When you saw the title of this article, you probably either clicked on it out of outrage or out of curiosity. If you are a proponent of the traffic exchange, then I totally understand! Please save your hate mail until after you read this entire article. Traffic exchanges are a huge part of some people’s business, especially for the people that own them. I am not debating whether they can help bring you visitors or make you a little money. I am simply gonna state my observations.
I am not gonna sugarcoat my views, so I hope you don’t get easily offended. Please appreciate my honesty!
On your quest to drive traffic to your site, you probably started with the best free options you could find. The most obvious place to start is someplace where people can visit your site daily without the use of your credit card. Introducing: traffic exchange websites. What an awesome thing! You can get hundreds of views to your page and all you have to do is click away for 10-30 minutes a day! Pretty sweet!
Someone either told you about them: build a website and join a handful of traffic exchanges and add that site, or you stumbled across them on your own and decided to put them to work for your affiliate links. However, no one probably warned you about the pitfalls of traffic exchange use. That is where I come in!
Traffic Exchanges: Clicks Come at a Price
Whether you click to get credits or use an array of auto surf sites to gain credits for views to your sites, you are paying for your credits. Whether it’s in time or money, nothing is ever free. I used traffic exchanges for years because I was told they produced results. I could get referrals to free programs and even get some people on my email list, but they rarely translated to anything other than a name and an email address. If I was doing all of this for the social aspects only, I would have considered myself very rich!
One thing I have tried to make my readers understand is there is always a trade off with anything you do. If you want free traffic, then you will have to spend a lot of time to set up that free traffic. If you want higher quality traffic and/or you don’t have a lot of time, then generally you will have to spend some bucks. Either way, you are paying for what you get – the currency is just different.
Sometimes I feel like I am the only one that stands against this method of traffic generation. Scott Newkirk agrees with me on his blog here. He actually echoes some of the same things I am saying here!
The Five Reasons I Hate Traffic Exchanges
Okay, hate is a strong word. I still have traffic exchange accounts that get views to random sites each day. I have no idea if those sites are still active because I rarely check them. Still, I will never spend my life clicking anymore. It simply isn’t worth it.
So here are five very good reasons for you to avoid traffic exchanges:
- You are wasting your time. 99.999% of people don’t care about your page. When I was on traffic exchanges, sometimes I would sign up for something if the ad annoyed me enough and I wanted to see why it was so annoying. I never spent money on any of these, and yes, I am very familiar with the phrase “curiosity killed the cat.”
- If the page is on a site you own, the traffic exchange traffic is killing your SEO rankings. Google weighs your page views heavily in their algorithm. If all your views come from certain sites and only stay on your page for 8 seconds, they will flag your site as low quality. The same goes for click-thru rates. If everyone stays on just one page and never clicks thru the links on your page, you will be penalized in your site’s rankings.
- Traffic Exchanges are filled with people that are just freebie seekers and tire kickers. They complain over spending $5 and will give you a major headache with everything try to help them with. People with money generally do not hang out at Traffic exchanges! You need to advertise in places where people with money hang out.
- As I stated in the third reason, you need to place your site in front of people that are looking for what you want them to buy. This is called advertising to your target audience. By using traffic exchanges, you are risking your credibility as a marketer. The affluent have very little patience for people that aren’t on their level. They are usually busy and don’t have time to waste on people that just want to slack and seek freebies. By using traffic exchanges, you are sending that message.
- The time you spend at traffic exchanges could be spent on more productive tasks that help your business far more. Some people I know have been deluded by the myth traffic exchanges can make you rich for over 7-8 years now. They have been so misled, they are convinced they don’t have to learn any other traffic generation methods. As a marketer, it is your task to divide and conquer the areas that will improve your business. These areas generally include (but are not limited to) content generation, traffic generation and conversions. None of these areas are enhanced by traffic exchanges because the net sum from traffic exchanges is zero! The keyword here is “EXCHANGE.”
Traffic Exchange Summary
Traffic exchanges are comparable to running a marathon in the desert with no finish line. You might get a little thirsty, but water is scarce in the desert. Still thousands of people surf daily and that will never change as long as there is an internet and people sell stuff online. You are not building a high-quality business by using traffic exchanges. You are just wasting your time on tasks for the sake of staying busy. You will only end of frustrated in the end!
I hope you learned a thing or two in this article. Hopefully you will accept my advice at face value and you will consider your options. Facebook traffic and other forms of PPC traffic are excellent ways of targeting the people who see your ads. Let me sign off by asking you a serious question. If you were promised a dream vacation if you simply went to prison for a few years (maybe several, no one is very specific) would you do it? I didn’t think so.
That is what a traffic exchange does.