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Website Traffic Exchanges - Avoid Them
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
" 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.