What are Traffic Exchanges?
Traffic exchanges are sites that you can join for the purpose of getting traffic to your own site. You get traffic by viewing other members sites within the exchange. When you view a certain amount of websites for a limited time, you gain a visitor to your site for a limited time.
There are two types of Traffic Exchanges-Manual and Auto-Surf. I’ll describe the manual Traffic Exchanges first.
In a Manual Traffic Exchange, the time you view a website or page varies, anywhere between 3 to 20 seconds, on the specific traffic exchange and whether you joined as a free member or have upgraded. The amount of views you must achieve before you receive a view on yours also varies. The amount of views you must visit versus the amount views you receive is referred to as the surf ratio. Some sites will offer a 1 to 1 ratio for even free members, others range from 2 to 1, or even 3 to 1.
In the surf bar area (the area where you view these websites or pages) once the timer has expired, a verification will appear to get credited for viewing a site. This is their anti-cheat mechanism so that you can prove that a site was viewed by a person and not a ‘bot’, or other means of cheating the system. The verification are usually a set of pictures or icons and you click on the matching icon to continue to another site.
An auto-surf traffic exchange will automatically rotate sites in a browser. You can leave them running while you do other things. You will get traffic to your site, but from others members of the system. If they are just running the auto-surf in the background and doing other things on their computer, who is reading or looking at your site??
That’s the basic idea behind Traffic Exchanges, And…
You will get real traffic, BUT…
The use of traffic exchanges in order to gain traffic to your site could hurt your rankings in Google, and have other consequences. For example:
- If your website is developed enough that you are running Adsense ads on your site, you could lose your Adsense account for that website and any Adsense earnings you may have accrued.
- Google Analytics will see many (possibly thousands) of visits to your site from the same domain. These visits will be very short-the timing to view a site can range from 3 to 20 seconds resulting in a very high bounce rate.
- With such limited time to view any site, how much attention is anyone paying to what they are viewing. Rather, most are peering at the timer to click on the verification icon to gain credit for the view.
- Everyone is there for the same reason you are, whether it is gaining traffic to their site, getting you to join their Biz-op, gaining a referral, or even just gaining leads. As a result, they are probably not interested in your site, or the offer you are presenting. They are not targeted traffic to your website.
- Using your website in a traffic exchange will not gain readership to the site. Too much info with too little time. Even if something did catch or peak their interest on your page, because they’ve clicked the verification and moved on they will forget what they saw or read.
- Traffic Exchanges do scan sites that people want to display, but they can’t catch everything. You could expose your computer to malicious type programs that the Traffic Exchange didn’t catch. Using a splash page, or Landing page, can hide the user’s malicious intentions from the Traffic Exchange.
What if I design a nice Landing Page or Lead Capture page instead of using my Website?
Great idea. Everyone else is doing that too. Almost every TE has their own landing pages, or splash pages that you can use to gain referrals into that exchange. So many people have joined several TEs just to recruit members under them, because all these TEs also have some sort of benefits to members for recruiting.
Benefits for referrals vary per TE, but you can expect to gain a percentage of their surfing efforts for free views to your pages. Some a high as 10% for first level referrals. That means if a referral surfs 1000 sites, you’ll get 100 free hits to your sites. So you will see a lot of splash pages to join any TE while surfing.
The amount of sites that you can link also varies per TE, some are as high as 20 sites you can link, and they will all be rotated for viewing. Many users promote several TEs, and also their own programs or websites using splash or landing pages to get them there, or to opt in to their lists, thus becoming a lead.
If you don’t have the time to surf, you can also buy credit packages from every TE, so that you can just assign those credits to what ever site you want to rotate on the exchange. On most exchanges, you can earn money from your referrals for their traffic purchase.
You mean I can earn real money on a Traffic Exchange?
Yes, and it is real cold hard cash, but I will emphasize the HARD. On many traffic exchanges, if you surf a set number of pages your account in the back office will be credited by that amount. To withdraw the money, you will have to reach a minimum balance before you can withdraw.
You can also gain a percentage of every members purchases. You won’t gain any percentage from the money your referral paid for upgrading, But if you are upgraded, you may earn a little more from each purchase, and receive more bonus credits for surfing.
How much can you earn? In one TE, for example, if you surf 1000 pages, you will make $0.30USD. There is also bonus pages throughout your surfing session where you can earn a few cents or credits. Sounds easy right. And it is easy, but it takes time. For surfing 1000 sites at 20 seconds, not including the time it takes to load new sites and verify each view, you will be looking at least 2 1/2 hours worth of surfing.
People multiply their surfing efforts with various strategies. You can open multiple tabs in your browser each containing a different TE’s surf bar, and use a tab switching accelerator plug in for your browser, so that it’s just one key press to switch to a different TE. Now you are surfing 6 or 7 or 8 TEs simultaneously. In the time it takes to surf 1000 pages in one TE, you have now surfed and earned from 8 TEs.
Wow! Now you are ‘raking’ in the dough, and gaining thousands of views to your linked sites.
But I think you’ll see the problem here.
Using a tab switching strategy, now you’ll only see a page for a second or two if you are even looking at the site. You are most likely checking to see if the timer is up and the verification icons are ready. And you just missed a bonus page with $0.05USD on it because you didn’t click on the receive bonus button on the page before verifying the view.
Clicking for traffic isn’t the only way to make money with TE’s. Almost all TE’s provide you with a Membership Page (like an About Page in a Blog) where you can add your information and promote links to your site or business right on that page.
Most TEs are very social places. You can make contact requests with other members, or your referrals, and promote your business to them. Again, almost every member is doing this, so after the initial contact expect a message with “I want to tell you about Program XYZ, and all it’s benefits”. If XYZ is not a program that you may be interested in and don’t join under them, you will most likely never hear from them again.
Traffic Exchanges are a waste of time then?
No, I’m not saying that they are a waste of time. There are many well-established TEs online, some have been in operation for 15 years. If they were a waste of time, they wouldn’t be online for as long as they have been.
What I really want to you take away from this post is the short-falls of TEs, and if used ineffectively, you will not make any progress with a TE. Even if you do manage to gain referrals.
Let’s say you are a newbie affiliate marker and have a new website up that you want to promote. You won’t make any gains with that website or your business by directly linking your site in the TE. You will get traffic, but it won’t be targeted in any respect. And for reasons mentioned above, you could hurt your site for rankings, or even risk Adsense earnings.
So, how do I avoid these pitfalls?
If you do decide to join a Traffic Exchange you will need a solid plan to make any gains, and your strategy could go something like this:
- Create an eye-catching easy to ‘join’ Splash or Landing page-Keep it simple and only provide enough information to peak their interest. Remember, they don’t have much time on the page.
- Have the page collect name and email address so that they can become a lead and have them join your email list or newsletter.
- Provide them something of value such as an ebook they can download and read later. Better yet, write your own ebook.
- Have proper links on your emails, newsletters, or ebook to your site
- Only join a limited number of TEs, and only the most established.
- Upgrading is optional, but some TEs will send you referrals that have joined using their main business page if you upgrade. If they are active surfers, you will make credit gains, and even money on their purchases
- Promote only your ONE Splash page for your business, but also the link referral pages for the other TEs so that you can gain referrals. Most TEs you can set the frequency of each link will be viewed.
- Really limit the amount of time that you surf. More is not necessarily better. The money that you will make in each TE will be minimal and should not be your main reason to surf.
- Don’t expect fast results. You will gain leads, you may even have people join your email list, or newsletter. They may even become regular visitors to your site. Just keep in mind that a lot of people that are using TEs are free-bee seekers and are looking for the easiest way to make money.
Using a TE with a plan and strategy can prove very effective, but notice that this strategy will direct people to tools that you will incorporate into your business and not directly to your website. You will gain leads this way, and even followers to your website, but not targeted direct traffic.
What’s the best way to get targeted direct traffic?
First off, you’ll need to have your own website.
Unlike the movie “Field of Dreams” where the theme was ‘If you build it, they will come’, it just doesn’t work that way with a website. You can build it, you can put posts on it, but it will just sit there, idle on some server somewhere in the great expanse called the internet.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal blog that you’ve created, or a business website, the result will be the same; building a site does not mean you’ll get traffic automatically.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of questions you will need to consider answering in order to gain natural ‘organic’ traffic to your business website:
- Have you researched your site’s niche? Is the niche very broad, or have you narrowed it down. Is it a highly competitive niche?
- Think of a niche as a group of people that have specific needs, or they require help with something that you will provide, or they have certain goals they want to achieve that your site can help them with.
- Have you researched Keywords that are relevant for each post you create?
- Effective and proper keyword research is essential in order to get any post you create noticed and ranked in search engines.
- Improper use of keywords such as ‘keyword stuffing’ or non-relevant keywords will get noticed by search engines and lead to lower rankings
- Are you following proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices for your site and posts?
- SEO is essential for search engines to properly index and rank your site
- Improper SEO techniques can be very detrimental to your site’s ranking.
- Are you creating posts on a regular basis?
- Are the posts relevant to your niche and keywords?
- Are you effectively communicating your intentions with the post?
- Is your content original?
- Duplicate content can be just as detrimental as improper SEO techniques in ranking your site. If you’ve written a post on ‘thingamajigs’ on your personal blog, and copy and paste it into your business blog, search engines will deem the post as duplicate content.
- Even on the internet, plagiarism has its consequences.
- Have you included relevant images in your post?
- Are you engaging your readers that leave comments?
- Responding to comments in a timely manner, and engaging them further to create a conversation on your post shows search engines that posts on your site are being interacted with, thus helping with ranking your posts.
If you are unable to answer these questions, or you can answer some but not all, you’ll need some guidance or even training to help you gain an internet presence for your site.
My best recommondation to help you get these questions answered would be to join a site called Weathy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate is completely free to join, and it is a site that anyone learn to earn on the internet no matter what niche their business is in.
My Final Take on Traffic Exchanges
I built this site with the intentions of helping retirees, or those nearing retirement find ways of earining an imcome online to help their financial situation. All of the program reviews, or recommendations can help anyone that wants to change their financial future.
Will Traffic Exchanges benefit a proserous future for the retiree, or anyone else?
I will say that using a TE, can be of benefit and help your marketing endeavours on the internet, but I would consider them a tool to use and not your main focus for your business. If you use TEs with a plan and a strategy for your business, and heed some of the limitations and warnings I’ve mentioned in this post, TEs can add another stream of income to your business.
There are a couple of TEs that are well established, and are unique in that they offer much more to their program than just surfing for credits, and promoting the TE to earn referrals.
I’m currently writing full reviews of these Traffic Exchanges and will illustrate how their unique programs can help your business in more ways than most Traffic Exchanges can.
I’ll update with links to other select TE reviews once they are posted below.
Just remember that the whole idea of using a Traffic Exchange is to get traffic to a site, but if your site is not getting any traffic organically, I would strongly suggest that you look into Wealthy Affiliate before even considering joining a Traffic Exchange.
Read my full review of LeadsLeap Here: As its name implies, LeadsLeap is far more than a normal TE, thus is one of my Top Rated Programs.
Thanks for stopping in,
Frank Sirianni aka Foxxfyrre