Website Traffic Exchanges - Avoid Them

Preface:

It can be very discouraging when you first start out blogging, hubbing, or trying to publish content. The most discouraging thing is when you check the statistics day after day just to see few, if any, results. No views, no comments, no diggs, and no incentive to keep going. Many begin to seek ways to draw in that instant traffic, because to that person, traffic is what matters right now.

The problem stems from the instant need of results and a weakness for a promise of instant results. Some might try and build link relationships with people which is a wonderful and honest way of driving traffic, but others may go another route, they go for the instant traffic promise, they go to the traffic exchange...

What Is a Traffic Exchange?

A traffic exchange is a very simple idea, you visit other people's sites and earn credits, then your credits can be used to get people to go to your site. This sounds innocent except that most exchanges operate off of an automated system, others operate off of a manual system or a mixture of both but I will cover how they work.

Automatic System: Basically you log into the system, it starts a timer, and it begins going to other people's sites that have signed up for the same exchange. Each site that you automatically visit gives you a credit. Most people will just leave this running in the background as they surf or leave it on all night while they sleep. In the morning they then select their site, add their credits and then other people using the system will then see the site automatically.

Manual System: The manual system operates in the same way as the automatic system except once the time counts down to zero it will ask a simple question that you have to answer before it gives you the credit and loads the next site. This at least requires that people be at their computer.

Why Are Traffic Exchanges Bad?

While the above sounds harmless what this effectively does is create a false sense of traffic, meaningless page views, and can have advertising accounts suspended. We will address each of these below:

False Sense of Traffic: Most people "visiting" your site are probably actually sleeping, watching TV, or surfing other websites while the exchange runs in the background. They couldn't care less about the content on your website, they just want to earn their credits.

Meaningless Page Views:The very nature of a traffic exchange means that the people that are "visiting" your site are in the same position that you are, they just need page views. These people are most likely using automatic mode and not even really seeing your site. The people on traffic exchanges tend to be desperate webmasters trying to drum up some numbers.

Suspended Advertising Accounts:Google can tell where people are being referred from, and most other advertising engines can as well. While traffic exchanges may not encourage clicking on the ads, this false traffic can create false impressions (when an ad is viewed), and it also demonstrates the author's desperation to get people to their site. If you are doubtful about Google's opinion on traffic exchanges, here is a quote from the AdSense Blog:

"... While these services may help advertise your site, we don't recommend using them, ..." 1
1http://adsense.blogspot.com/2007/04/note-on-traffic-exchange-programs.html

Debris' Tips:

 " The hardest part about blogging is staying motivated enough to keep writing despite not having any readers. "

How Do I Get Traffic Then?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the only way to generate quality, and meaningful traffic is by publishing good content that people want to read and link to.  E-mail people that own relevant blogs and request link swaps.  After that, you need to wait for the search engines to pick you up and begin sending traffic your way.

The hardest part of blogging is staying motivated enough to keep writing despite the fact that you do not have any readers.  If you can persevere and publish good content, then it is not a matter of if you will succeed, but when you will succeed.

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Comments 14 comments

westernangel profile image

westernangel 7 years ago from Canada

Thanks for the info. I've never been in a traffic exchange and don't plan to, especially now that you've written about them.


debris profile image

debris 7 years ago from Florida Author

I'm glad I could help. I've heard some people try to read between the lines and say "Google just doesn't recommend them, they're still allowed." My response is: You're free to gamble, but the payoff isn't worth the risk!

-Debris


Army Infantry Mom profile image

Army Infantry Mom 7 years ago

I agree with you Traffic Exchanges are no good. Personally, I'd rather have 5 real readers than 100's who don't care.


debris profile image

debris 7 years ago from Florida Author

Army Infantry Mom: I completely agree. It is a shame that people do fall into this trap. I would much rather have real readers!

-Debris


tommywong profile image

tommywong 7 years ago from Malaysia

Hi Debris:I agreed with you, traffic exchange never increase traffic to business. Getting real people to become traffic should be the first lesson for all new online marketers

Tommy


debris profile image

debris 7 years ago from Florida Author

Hello Tommy!

I completely agree. It may be tempting, but nothing replaces real people looking for your content!

-Debris


prasannasutrave profile image

prasannasutrave 7 years ago from mumbai( india )

Traffic exchange will not help us to grow our blog popularity it will just increase the page impressions without any earning.

My opinion about traffic exchange is very bad it not useful and not recommonded.


debris profile image

debris 7 years ago from Florida Author

@ prasannasutrave: I completely agree. Traffic exchanges only generate false impressions that are completely meaningless. They are very bad in the long run.

-Debris


BrianJUY 6 years ago

I'm glad I stumbled across you... You seem to have your head on straight. I'm part of a few different forums and the amount of people who boast TE is sickening... The majority of them are what I refer to as "Spam Marketers"... As the FTC's new rules and enforcement gain traction, we'll see those idiots fall...


debris profile image

debris 6 years ago from Florida Author

In response to a comment I won't approve due to affiliate links:

Juanita Osborne,

Post your comment without all of the affiliate links and I may address your comments more thoroughly. The affiliate links don't really help the case that you're trying to make either. To generally address your comment: what kind of people are on these manual traffic exchanges that you talk about? They are people that are trying to earn credits so they can get their websites going, or they are earning money. If they weren't, they wouldn't be using the exchange!

What would a person have to gain from using an exchange over just searching for the website they are looking for if they weren't getting compensated somehow? I do not disagree that you will get a real visitor, but your real visitor is just a person trying to earn some credits. If you'd like to prove me wrong, then please comment back with a link to a "manual traffic exchange" that has absolutely no compensation set in place. No credits, no financial incentive, nothing. Once you do that, and I see people using it, then I'll believe the claims you've made.

Thanks,

Debris


Nanncy Grill 6 years ago

I have been to traffic exchange trap trust me once you buy it you will find out ways to get rid of it. So never go for it because it wont bring clicks... nor time so google even knows about your referrals and everything. They even dont pay you a lot for a click if there is any after 3000 page views. So its NEGATIVE!


aislesoffiles 5 years ago

Well, I'm going to disagree with all of you...

I have been using traffic exchanges for quite a few years for promoting various affiliate products and programs...with success.

It's the way that one USES traffic exchanges that will determine their success or failure. If you're promoting your blog directly in the TEs, then NO, it is NOT going to work. If you're simply promoting an affiliate site directly in the exchanges, then NO, it is NOT going to work.

There ARE REAL people surfing the manual traffic exchanges (autosurf exchanges are indeed a waste of time since no one is physically looking at the sites coming up on the screen). The trick is: WHO are these people surfing, WHAT are they looking for, and HOW do you attract them?

First...they are mostly newbies entering the affiliate/online marketing world, since traffic exchanges are a free/low-cost way to advertise.

Second...you can (and a lot of people have) make the argument that the people surfing are merely surfing thru just to rack up credits, and they're not really LOOKING at the sites and what the sites' owners have to offer. That may be true for some, but definitely not all the surfers. A lot of them, since they are fairly new to the marketing world, so they are looking for ways to market their wares without a lot out of pocket. They're looking for website hosting, autoresponders, software to create ads, other places where they can advertise, etc.

So Third...how do you attract newbie marketers who are looking for ways to market online? You DON'T just throw up your blog or affiliate page, hoping that they'll see it and take an interest. Traffic exchanges aren't made for long reading; most TEs have a timer ranging from 6-30 seconds. There's NO time to read a blog post or a long sales page in that amount of time! Instead, you create an eye-catching SPLASH or SQUEEZE page to grab their attention and call for action. In the case of the splash page, the call for action would be to click here to check out my website...for the squeeze page, the call for action would be to provide a name and email address in return for more info/freebie regarding the product or program. The squeeze page is actually best because you are using the traffic exchanges to build your mailing list.

Traffic exchanges are NOT the way to generate direct sales; they are a way to get yourself recognized and known amongst the community of surfers...a way to build your "brand". In a lot of the exchanges nowadays, there are chat rooms, where you can chat with other surfers while you're surfing the exchange. With recognition comes response...either by sign-ups to your list, or to the products/programs you're offering. You develop a RELATIONSHIP with the folks who signed up where they come to trust you as a source that they can come to for knowledge and assistance...THEN comes the sales or affiliate commissions!

I would suggest that you visit a couple of exchanges, sign up and introduce yourself in their chat rooms...I think you'll find a whole new world in the traffic exchange industry that you were not aware of! Here are two you should visit (NO affiliate links!) ILoveHits.com and StartXchange.com. They both just recently celebrated TEN year anniversaries in the industry and have very large memberships AND active chat communities.

Ellyn Weber-Bynum


razorhits 5 years ago

Hi Folks,

This is one side of the story. The TE industry is quite diverse and has been for a long long time. BTW the Google PPC model is derived from TE industry and TEs were using that 15 years ago.

The TE industry is quite fragmented. There are low entry barriers. So literally anyone with $2000 to spend can become a TE owner.

There are diverse and various business models the TE industry uses. Not all of them are good for advertisers or even users.

The TEs that have evolved with changing times are doing quite well and contributing to the internet in a very meaningful and productive way. For example the monthly surf volume of the top 20 TEs is higher than the monthly surf volume of the busiest site on the internet Twitter.

So it is highly possible to have all sorts of experiences one can have with a random TE. What I read above is just one or one-half part of the story.

Some TEs also offer relaxed surfing alongwith comments, replies, and meaningful posts to your website. How about that ?

Take a look at razorhits.com for example.

Some folks use TEs to up their Alexa rankings. Others use it for upping their rankings at YouTube and FaceBook and all sorts of places.

If you are looking for personal branding, upping your ranks high enough to become noticeable (for example YouTube search results will not display your video until it has registered a set number of hits);TEs are good for you.

TEs are also good for you if you are looking to sell any digital content. But if you looking to sell wine bottles or like through a TE, you are in the wrong place.

So a TE is just another tool that you need to decide upfront if its good for your campaign and the use it. Its no point trying to use a mobile to cross the river and say the mobike is useless.

If any member needs any additional help on TEs, please do connect.

Cheers!


patrick 4 years ago

I agree it will not help a blogger. But it will serve as a traffic serving way of promotion to other things. I am a member of many and do not see a downside because it is JUST that traffic. Can help in many ways, maybe not so much to blogging. I hate writing, yet know it is a very powerful tool to promote any business..

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