Traffic exchange sites are those that assist Webmasters in promoting their Websites or affiliate links in exchange for money or by viewing other sites. Many exchanges enforce a credit ratio which determines how many sites a registered user must view, within a set time limit between 10 and 60 seconds, in order to receive one hit through the program for their promoted Website. Users who have no time to surf other sites but want to receive hits or traffic can pay a minimal fee to buy specific number of hits, in bulk, to their site.
The benefits of using traffic exchange sites is a widely discussed topic in the blogosphere. Many believe exchanges have the potential to attract tens, hundreds and even thousands of monthly visitors to a Website. While this may be true, the following are reasons why you might want to consider if using exchanges is worthwhile particularly if you desire long-term success and sustainable traffic for your site.
Most traffic exchange sites make use of auto-surf programs that automatically rotate registered sites in the database without human intervention. When this happens, the result could be a phenomenal boost in the number of page impressions that are assigned to the Website during statistical analysis. While this impressions might appear to be real they are actually false and distorts the true measurement of a Website’s popularity.
Robots and Spiders
In the context of this article, robots or spiders are those software programs that are coded to generate automated clicks and sometimes impressions by traffic exchange sites. They often appear confusing to most Web analytics reporting tools which find it difficult to differentiate them from real people. Unfortunately, this confusion could be passed down to the Webmaster who, unless by careful examination, will also be unable to differentiate real visitors from robots/spiders.
Another major draw-back of using traffic exchanges is that they always result in a low bounce rate for users’ Websites. Bounce rate is a measurement of the number of visitors to a site who views a single page and then leave to visit other Websites rather than continue on to a different site. Since most users of traffic exchange sites are only interested in getting traffic to their own sites, only a few would go beyond the landing page. As a result you are more likely to get a low bounce rate than a high one from using traffic exchanges.
Consequently, if your Website is sales oriented, the chances of retaining visitors and converting them to sales is quite low. Furthermore, there could be a negative impact on your SEO and SERP ranking as a low bounce rate suggests that visitors are probably not interested in your site content.
Google policy states that sites that use prohibited methods such as repeated manual clicks or impressions, automated click and impression generating tools and the use of robots or deceptive software may have their Google Adsense account cancelled. Unfortunately, most traffic exchange sites fall into this category and should be avoided if you do not want to take the risk of having your Adsense account cancelled.
Have you ever used a traffic exchange site to generate build Web traffic and would you do it again?