Traffic Exchange progammes. Any use?
The idea behind traffic exchange programmes is that you earn credits by visiting other people’s web-sites and then use those credits to get visitors to your own sites. For someone starting off they sound like a good way to increase traffic to your blog. There are lots of such programmes out there. So far I have tried three.
The method of accumulating credits has been similar in all three cases. You surf web-sites inside a frame set within which the traffic exchange site displays a site for a certain amount of time, usually more or less 30 seconds. At the end of the given time you are asked to click a particular number or image from a random list given to you in order to earn a credit and see the next site. This is to insure that it is humans who are visiting the sites.
The first traffic exchange site I tried was Blogexplosion.com. When you sign up with them your blog must first be approved by a moderator. You can start surfing immediately to earn credits but your blog won’t go into the rotation of sites to visit until it’s approved. Approval is supposed to take place within 72 hours but at the moment it appears that NEVER is a more realistic timeframe.
When I signed up for Blogexplosion.com I wasn’t aware of any of its back history but it appears to be in the middle of changing hands and at the moment the site is adrift. Some blogs are still getting approved but the backlog is huge; in my case now well over a month. In my initial enthusiasm for Blogexplosion before I realized the extent of the backlog I surfed away in work and accumulated about 1,700 credits. If the site ever does get back on its feet that’s a lot of visitors they owe me!
The next site I tried was Blogmad.net. The system of surfing is similar to Blogexplosion. There are some differences. One is that you can add your blog immediately. There are different options on how to verify your blog and once you’ve completed one of them your blog is immediately put into their rotation. Whereas with Blogexplosion you earn one credit for every two sites visited, with Blogmad you get one for one. I spent two days surfing sites in work earning credits and then sat back to watch the results; which I have to say have not been impressive.
I have my personal blog signed up with Blogmad. I have accumulated about 800 credits with them which it appears will take me more than six months to use up. I am getting an average of about 4 visitors a day from Blogmad.
You should bear in mind the fleeting nature of a visit from a traffic exchange site. I have it open in a browser window at work. Every 30 seconds I alt-tab to it and click whatever number is required. I watch briefly as the new site loads and then alt-tab back to my work screen. You have to assume that most other surfers are doing the same. I’m getting four of those a day.
I was hoping to be able to post a clever tip here for all people starting off with a blog. I thought of a rather clever idea to attract the attention of the traffic exchange surfer. Since people surfing on these sites are doing so in order to accumulate credits to get other people to visit their site and since Blogmad allows users to transfer credits among each other I thought of offering to give away credits to visitors to my blog.
In the top right hand corner of my blog I posted a prominent ad offering 50 Blogmad credits to whoever posted the ‘comment of the day’ on my blog. I thought this should catch the fleeting attention of the traffic exchange surfer. There were no takers. Since there were only three visitors via Blogmad that day I wasn’t too disappointed. The next day I put it up to 100 Blogmad credits. Still no takers. Every day I added another 50 credits. So far I’m up to 250 credits and nobody has come looking for them. That tells me that the people who use these traffic exchange sites pay about as much attention to the sites that they’re visiting as, well, as I do. That is, very little.
Just out of curiosity I’ll keep running the Blogmad promotion for another while to see how long it is before one of the ‘surfers’ spends enough time on my site to (a) notice the ad, (b) read one of my posts, and; (c) comment on one of them.
Shortly before I left work this evening I came across another traffic exchange programme, trafficg.com. I signed up for this and only surfed a few sites before I came home. Like Blogmad there is no approval period. You just sign up and add your blog is added straight away. Also like Blogmad the ratio is one credit for one site visited.
The difference between Blogmad and TrafficG is the amount of hits I got. In the two hours between leaving working and logging in to check my stats tonight the 20 TrafficG credits I had built up in work were gone. TrafficG does bring you hits. But again you have to wonder about the quality of the hits.
As I’m typing this I have it running in a browser in the background and I’m alt-tabbing to it every 30 seconds to visit another blog. That is the reality of traffic exchange programmes. Another unfortunate thing about TrafficG is that alt-tabbing to it every 30 seconds to register another click is preferable to actually viewing the sites. When you sign up for it you are given a choice of what type of sites you want to see. If you do sign up for it you should think carefully about this because if you select ‘any’ like I did you’re just going to get exposed to one get-rich-quick scheme after another.
In summary I think the only good thing that can be said about these traffic exchange programmes is that they are free. You accumulate credits by surfing other peoples sites. They also give you the option to buy credits rather than having to earn them but you would want to be mad to opt for that! It would be a complete waste of money. Consider the quality of the visit that you would get for your money. You would be as well off buying a monkey and training it to type your url into a browser.
On the plus side you’re better off having someone looking at your site for a split second rather than not at all. Even though I am the most brazen credit-hunter of them all I do occasionally come across an interesting blog when I’m surfing and I have added a few to my bookmarks.
If you want to give them a try then here is a list of traffic exchange programmes. Just don’t buy any credits and keep your firewall on and it won’t do any harm. Ps. If surfing from work make sure your speakers are turned off. Some of these sites are inconsiderately loud!