Saturday, 30 May 2009

The bad news about traffic exchanges - my opinion

This post is concerned with the issue of how useful surfing a traffic exchange is for your overall visibility on the Net. Many believe that the increased number of hits to their websites is good for their ranking on search engines. I am cautious of such assumptions. Firstly, such assumptions fail to understand the sophistication of search engines such as the all powerful google. I believe that google actually tracks the IP addresses from which you are receiving traffic and if a large percentage of traffic is coming from one single website - and at the end of the day any traffic exchange is nothing more than a website - then it gets suscipious and can flag your site.

I equally believe that the same holds true for most of the large search engines today - they are not easily tricked and it they think you are cheating (in their eyes) you will be punished in your search engine ranking. Basically the only advantage yo have form having your site on a traffic exchange is that you have an inbound link. Mind you the value of an inbound link from a or multiple traffic exchanges is very questionable in my eyes.

I always come back to the same painful truth, attracting visitors to your site with good content, frequent updating, good search engine optimization is the key. And that, dare I point out, is work.

Friday, 29 May 2009

A word of warning - viruses

What I write is not directed against any particular traffic exchange nor is it meant to deter the would-be traffic exchange surfer. I quote from a forum at
" Hi:

I hate to have to do this but traffic exchanges can't be trusted anymore. It isn't because of the exchanges themselves are crooked. How can they be when they're free? The problem is that many users who are putting up sites on these exchanges are putting up sites with lethal tojans and other viruses. Because exchanges get so many submissions they just can't keep up with a site after it is approved. Once that is done, the owner of the site puts the trojan in place and unless you have a firewall installed with security, you won't even know it.

People, this is really scary stuff. I kid you not. "

I think that the author "swagan" is absolutely right that it is not the fault of the owner but the sheer amount of manual working checking all pages frequently for viruses.

And it is really scary stuff. A friend of mine in the web design business got the latest trojan on his server 2 weeks ago - not from a traffic exchange. These new generations of viruses are really frightening in that they mutate while on your server. My friend is really stuck. He talked to a network security guy and named the virus. What would it cost to get rid of it? Anywhere between one hour and one month and I charge Euro 120 ($150) per hour was the response!

Even worse my friend had all the necessary software to detect a virus attack - it did not find it!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

What is traffichoopla all about?

Basically, traffichoopla is a website which aims to help you get free web traffic. It has over 68 000 members and the traffic exchange surfer uses its facilities, for example, to store his login's for the traffic exchanges he or she surfs. It is like a central storage space and point of departure when you start your surfing and keeps you organised.
All traffic exchanges love traffichoopla because it rates on a weekly basis the top 20 exchanges and as I said in an earlier mail competition at the top is fierce. Naturally the TE surfer is always anxious to know which are the best exchanges to surf so to this extent is a very useful source of information.
The website also has its own affiliate programm so you will often see splash pages on traffic exchanges as surfers try to refer other surfers to reap the rewards. Traffichoopla is a useful tool, membership is free.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Cheating on traffic exchanges

Please beware, there are surfers who spend their time creating programs to cheat on traffic exchanges. Any traffic exchange owner will tell you the number of cheats he/she has to remove everyday.

Cheating on these exchanges is nothing less than theft. You are stealing from the surfers who are either paying for credits or spent hours surfing the exchange to collect credits.

If anyone offers you software etc to cheat, ignore them. I am not posting any url's here of cheats and those who offer cheating software - you are clever enough yourself to know how easy would be to find that. Please don't!

Website Visitors

How can you gain more traffic to your web site?
If you like to know the answer to this question, you have to keep on reading!

The main aspect of Internet Marketing is traffic. Traffic is also the most fundamental aspect of any marketing campaign on the internet. If you ask a professional internet marketeer, he will as well tell you that nothing is more essential than generating enough traffic on your website.

Generating traffic to your website, can be achieved through numerous ways. Using a Traffic Exchange program is the most easygoing way to gain traffic. Link Referral and Traffics Swarm are examples of Traffic Exchange programs. If you visit these sites, they will provide you a good measure of traffic in exchange. For website owners, this way of traffic isn’t very useful. The amount of website visitors is rising, but in reality it’s unworthy. This is because the visitors are merely glancing over your web site and in just a snap they have left. So it’s an easy way to generate traffic through Traffic Exchanges sites, but you will not genuinely gain a lot of profit through it.

Purchased traffic is another way of generating traffic to your internet site. With the help of purchased traffic exchange programs, you will get the luxury of not viewing web sites on such programs. Unluckily, this way isn’t that useful either.

Traffic generated through search engines. This is the best way to get traffic to your website. Let’s say, an internet surfer is surfing on the internet. Casually he falls upon your web site. This visitor is most likely to click on the advertisings on your internet site. In conclusion, search engines traffic is what we really need!

It is not easy to gain search engines traffic. It requires lots of time and patience, but firstly you have to understand a few basic principles of Internet Marketing. You have to optimize your web site for the search engines. There are 2 types of search engine optimizations: onsite optimization and offsite optimization. We will explain onsite optimization to you:

First, you need to look for the correct keywords for your particular niche. Afterwards, you need to make sure that the title of your internet site contains your keyword(s). In this way, you can be easily found on the internet. Still, it’s a good idea to optimize with Meta Tags, although the Meta Tags have lost their importance. Do not put too many keywords in your Meta Tags, because the search engines can look through this tactic. At last you need to look carefully at the header and footer.

It’s very fundamental to have as much text as possible and as less images as is needed. This is because the search engines understand text, they simply love text. Images, they don’t understand. It’s effective to spread your keywords throughout your pages, so don’t put them all in one paragraph. You can as well utilize links to affiliate programs or advertisings. If this is the case, then make sure that your advertisements blend into the pages and not stand out.

In conclusion, your internet site should have a remarkable navigation to all the pages. Also make sure that your web site contains lots of a text, which is simple to read and understand.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Either dominate a Traffic Exchange or be dominated!

I just came across a very interesting article on the future of traffic exchanges authored by John Guanzon and Jennifer Herold, definitely no newbies to traffic exchanges.

When looking at the tactics for branding ourself on an exchange, they ask the following (and I quote them) Further, how much time do you have to spend daily on important traffic exchange
dominance tactics such as the following:
• Forum posting and relationship building with key owners
• Account management across multiple traffic exchanges
• Tracking and testing of pages/sales/signups
• And, clicking, clicking, clicking, clicking and clicking some more

Secondly they usefully identify the vast majority of traffic exchange surfers, putting them into five categories:

• People interested in how to get traffic to their website
• People interested in how to build their list of opt in subscribers
• People interested in home business opportunities
• People interested in webmaster/website related services
• People who are complete online newbies who are looking for a guiding light.

On that basis and before I continue, I have one all important question you have to ask yourself. Are any of the five groups the target traffic you are looking for?


An interesting take on traffic exchanges - and the more you think about it, it even makes sense

Yes, I am sure it is not the first time that you have seen such an eBook - and no I am not advertising for this or any other traffic exchange. Most traffic exchanges worth their salt, offer not only the manual surf capability. There is a growing trend that they get together in joint ventures to encourage and motivate the surfer. Actually as at least several of the top traffic exchanges have the same owner, one can understand why.

So pretty soon after opening your email account you set up for all traffic exchange mail (remember?), the offers come rolling in.

"Its a bumper day at xxxxxxxexchange. We have teamed up with xxxxxxxx so surf 200 sites on both exchanges within the next 24 hours and you get 50 free credits"

Do not forget what I told you earlier, this industry is cut throat particularly for the big players - those you can count on your two hands compared to the hundreds if not thousands out there.

So what are you going to do - sit down and surf for another two hours for your 50 free credits? Is that the best way of getting visibility for your site? No it isn't.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

OH Dear! I am being punished

You aren't going to believe this - I didn't either - but it's true. I have this site on a number of traffic exchanges - just the first page to see if any newbies were interested in learning a little more about getting traffic to their site. And know what?

One of the sites actually has stopped rotating my site for no apparent reason. I do not feel this blog on traffic exchanges is threatening any business - but obviously others think differently. Actually not a very clever move when you think about it. If I was writing absolute crap then why should they care - or are some of the things I am saying actually true and the owners of some exchanges do not want it known?.

At this stage I will not name and shame but readers it makes me all the more motivated to tell the truth and the whole truth about Traffic Exchanges and those owners so anxious to get us more traffic - or more money in their pockets!


Friday, 22 May 2009

Exposure yes - but to whom?

Like many of you I assume, I am also a fan of twitter though I am not sure where it is really going at the moment. Anyway I receive daily a digest of all tweets on "traffic exchanges" and unfortunately most of them follow the example I have just picked up:

heartbeat1 One of the biggest traffic exchanges. Huge exposure... Monday, 18 May 2009, 11:10 am - Reply - View Tweet - Retweet - Direct Message

I do not know which traffic exchange the individual is trying to promote and that is really not the point, the point is exposure - but not to a trageted public. I mentioned this in earlier postings but I feel I have to stress again that Traffic Exchanges are a source of traffic but mainly for those wanting traffic to other Traffic Exchanges.

Do not get me wrong, I am not knocking Traffic Exchanges. They are valid in their own right and for certain purposes - but if I have a little website trying to sell antigue furnishings, I would not be too optimistic about finding customers through a Traffic Exchange.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A little off topic but do not be scammed by Vinefire

Perhaps a little off topic but it shows you the extent people will do today to get some degree of visibility for their websites or the products/services they are trying to sellon the web.

Recently a site appeared on the net called Vinefire. Basically, the idea is simple. Once every 60 seonds you can post a short text add for free. How news of the site spread so quickly through the Internet beats me but it caught on big time.

But this is where the story gets interesting. And shows how gullible many of us are. As a second step for 5 dollars you could have an additional option - earn up to $100/daily. Shortly afterwards for $20 dollars a week you could add a little symbol to your text add to make it stand out more.

And then - for $200 you could become a sponsor, meaning your text add would be sticky at the top of the page for the amout of time you bought.

Now the story becomes even more interesting - you could earn high returns for clickpping on other adverts, voting them up or down etc. The $5 initial supplementary fee allowed you to increase your earning to $100/day. How many people looking for free traffic on the Net fell for it. Thousands!

And what about payout dates - that's the interesting part - there is none. The story they sell you is that if you keep earning with them and bringing traffic, they are negotiating to sell the company and then you get all your dollars! Yeah, I bet!

Now do a search on the Net for vinefire scam and read the results - those boasting of the thousand they had made and was waiting for them have gone very - very - silent.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Important news - the first ever Hit Exchange Newsletter

John Olson, with years of hard-won experience in the traffic exchange industry has just launched the first ever Hit Exchange Newsletter.

I joined up and read it and believe me what he says makes sense.

Let me take just one extract which ties up with what I said in an earlier post:

Here's your first golden nugget for your campaigns in the traffic exchanges and something that 93% of the surfers in these programs will not do...Ready?

Stop promoting in the traffic exchanges right now!

Do not click another link until you read this e-mail because it could very well turn your exchange promotions around for good. No
hype, no fluff, no B.S. The following information has proven so effective, that it has turned my life around from flipping pizzas for a living to earning a steady and ever growing income using one kind of promotion and one only, traffic exchange advertising!

Now let me shock you with the following statement because I think it is vital for anything you plan to do with exchanges, you must know this first...

People do not care about what you are promoting to them!

While this may be obvious to some, 93% of the web sites I continue to see in the exchanges do not follow that simple fact. They are
trying to sell you! The ad copy has been developed so that some 'guru' could justify spending thousands of web copy that honestly has absolutely no place in the exchanges.

He continues:
You have to know your audience. The typical exchange surfer is just like you, and in no other form of advertising can you almost
guarantee that the person you are trying to sell to thinks like you, wants to promote like you and is trying very hard to get their message across, just like you. Yes, you are advertising to an advertiser. Should this scare you away?

Absolutely not!

The trick is to KNOW that this person does not care about what you are selling them. So don't try to sell them! You want to offer them
something different from what they see in 93% of the web sites out there. You have to adopt and use splash page advertising.

I will try and find how you can join his newsletter if you are interested and get back to you as soon as possible.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Returning to a previous post on the strange phenomenon on the snake that eats it tail

In an
earlier post this month
I looked at the issue which really is not in favour of traffic exchanges - over 90% of the pages you surf are splash pages for other traffic exchanges. Why?

The answer is a simple one. Most serious sufers of TE's have one goal in mind - to get free advertising. If using the splash pages of other TE sites I can get surfers to subscribe to another exchange, I get a percentage of the credits they earn by surfing. Do this long enough for enough exchanges and you have referred 10 surfers to each you are well on your way to having an automated advertising campaign of your website. Simple as that. Every traffic exchange I know offers its splash pages so you attract customers for them.

Hence my analogy of the snake that eats it tail. Surfing traffic exchanges to get others to surf traffic exchanges in order to get free exposure. That is the bottom line.

In my next post, I will examine some of the spin-offs of joining traffic exchanges. Good and bad!

Two Freebies if you wish to print and read......

These two ebooks on traffic exchanges are more for the inexperienced traffic exchange surfer but I am making them available as some of you make tire reading so much on screen and would prefer the hard copy. I would also be very interested in how useful you find them so take a second and give me some feedback later.

You can access the two part Traffic Exchanges Explained (free of charge of course!)
here and here

The strange phenomenon of Traffic Exchanges

As I pointed out in an earlier post traffic exchanges are extremely competitive to the extent that it is a cut-throat business. Indeed you will soon discover that one person actually runs several traffic exchanges and through cross-branding tries to entice the surfer to join the others.

But the saddest hurdle about the entire Traffic Exchange business is that it is in many ways a snake that eats its tail.
By this I mean the following: at least 90% of the splash pages you will encounter on the top traffic exchanges are in fact pages to try and get you to sign up to another exchange! Why is this the case?

Friday, 8 May 2009

The issue of tabbed browsing when surfing exchanges

Marketing / SEO

In my previous post I provided you with a list of five traffic exchanges I found worth joining since they had a high membership and offered a good ratio of credits to sites surfed.

Now the experienced surfer of traffic exchanges - if not buying credits - will surf for several hours daily to build up credits to have his/her site visible. Since each exchange has a timer which forces you to stay on the page for a certain number of seconds - between 6 and 15 depending on the exchange, it makes good sense not to just sit and wait. With browsers such as Opera and Mozilla you can browse several sites at once using tabbed browsing. In the case of Mozilla simple go to "File" on the toolbar and click on "New Tab". The image below shows you what an example of tabbed browsing using the Mozilla/Firefox browser

Usually I open about six tabs and browse the exchanges one after another as the timer has run out by the time I get round to number 1 exchange again. While this is an efficient means of browsing Traffic Exchanges it does have one major disadvantage which is a bit self-defeating. You actually are not looking at the sites you are surfing - you are merely intent upon getting as many credits as possible. And that alone is one of the major drawbacks of the whole traffic exchange system - over 90% of the surfers are not even interested in looking at your site. All they want is credits.

Top Blogs

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Traffic exchanges I would recommend

Firstly, this is an objective and impartial list of the Traffic Exchanges which gave me the most exposure over the past 12 months. I base this list on the number of signups I received through the exchange, the number of persons who became one of my downline members [Downliners is a topic I will come back to in a later postings as for the serious Traffic Exchange surfer it is an extremely important issue]

My top five exchanges are:

In up and coming postings I will examine each of these exchanges in detail and give you some pointers as to how to use them most effectively.

As I wish to stress, this is my personal but objective assessment but I shall also provide you with additional Traffic Exchanges which are well worth joining. I am not doing so now as stated in an earlier posting, newbies make the mistake of joining too many Traffic Exchanges and soon lose trace of what they are doing in this respect see my earlier posting about getting organised from the start. You will not regret it.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Example of a typical splash page for a product

Here you see a typical splash page - also termed squeeze page. The object is to get the interest of the surfer and to fill in his/her name and email address. This is known as list building. Obviously there is a lot of psychology goes into creating such a page - the more appealing, the greatest the chances of a surfer providing his/her details.

So what is a Splash Page

Well, this is how wikipedia describes a Splash Page:
On the Internet, a splash screen or splash page is a page of a web site that is a sort of pre-home page front page. Designers may use splash pages:

* to restrict access to content such as pornography, alcohol advertising or sales, or gambling (as is required by law in many countries, including the United States and Canada);
* to direct users to the appropriate website for their country or language;
* to direct users to a low-bandwidth site or one more accessible to disabled users;
* as an aesthetic compliment to the main page;
* as an additional form of advertising.

Since splash screens often increase the distance to the desired content and may take a long time to load, they are not universally liked by users. Web splash screens are especially inconvenient for users with slow internet connections as the first page may take longer to load or if the user has turned off rich content (such as images, Flash or Shockwave), the splash page may not load at all. Splash pages created in Flash (and the associated main pages) often cannot be accessed by search engines or handled by text readers for the blind.

Basically in the context of Traffic Exchanges it is the last option we are interested in:

"* as an additional form of advertising.

You can find a lot more information on the topic here at wikipedia