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Traffic Exchanges; The Call of the Siren

Posted on 10.23.2005

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Traffic exchanges are a popular Internet marketing method where websites "exchange" web traffic. Here is how it works. Sign up at sites such as, surf member websites and in exchange other members will visit your site. Sounds great, right?  While it may seem as though there are infinite benefits, it may just be one big giant slight of hand marketing show that benefits no one in particular at all except those running the traffic exchange network.

All websites on day one experience the exact same problem: how to get visitors to your online property. Visitors are needed quickly and for the lowest cost possible. Traffic exchanges can indeed provide traffic, but the question is not so much quantity as it is quality. As most exchange programs utilize a specific credit ratio (2:1, 3:1 or 4:1) you have to spend a significant amount of time surfing others companies websites in order to get just a few visits from the other members. The problem is that you (like the other traffic exchange members) are only interested in getting more page views and not necessarily interested in buying a product or signing up for a service.

Since most are website owners or operators, however, it is certainly possible that someone might find what you are promoting interesting which could lead to a more established relationship over the long term. Traffic exchange programs are mostly used by small business owners or marketers who low cost (cheap or free) advertising campaigns.

You may find that your time is better spent on search engine optimization and your money is better spent on any of the other popular promotional methods such as pay per click advertising.

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