Do Traffic Exchanges Really Work?

Do Traffic Exchanges Really Work?

So, do traffic exchanges really work? For most people the short answer is probably no!

Over the past several years traffic exchanges have grown in popularity because there is a perception that they are an easy way to generate traffic and to create online income.

Below I’ll explain in more detail why this perception is almost certainly false…

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How Do Traffic Exchanges Work?

In essence most traffic exchanges work in the same way. A person sitting in front of their computer clicks on a link.

This directs them to a website where they have to spend a certain amount of time (usually around 10 seconds) after which time they will earn credits.

They can then move onto another website and earn more credits. Essentially they are being rewarded for their attention.

Users of the traffic exchanges can then “spend” their credits to get other people to look at their website. In some cases they may also be able to convert these credits into cash.

A typical traffic exchange

Traffic exchanges will also usually allow you to bypass the first part of this process and simply purchase credits which can then be used to generate traffic.

In some cases you may also be able to sell “traffic packages” on to other people.

Consequently, the traffic generated by these exchanges is generally real people. But, as you will see below, just because they are real people doesn’t necessarily mean that it is valuable.

The Problem With Traffic Exchanges

The key problem with traffic exchanges has to do with the quality of the traffic that they generate. To understand why the traffic from exchanges is generally so low quality we need to look at the intent of people who are using them.

People who use traffic exchanges are looking to earn either credits or cash. In order to do this they need to wait a certain amount of time visiting your website.

What they don’t have is any previous interest in what you may be offering them.

In fact, because they want to move to the next website in order to generate more credits or cash they will be inclined to “zone” out the offer you are presenting them.

Of course, there may be an infrequent occasion when someone will coincidentally be interested in your offer or opt into your marketing funnel, but this is a rarity.

A modern Traffic Exchange

In contrast, let’s consider the thought process of someone who uses a search engine like Google or Bing to try an solve a particular problem.

For example, they might do a search for “weight loss tips”. This person obviously concerned about their weight and is actively looking for a solution.

If you were to present them with an offer the provided a credible solution to that problem there is a very good probability that they would be interested.

You can target this traffic using organic SEO or a PPC network like Google Adwords or Bing Advertising.

Continuing The Cycle Of “Poor” Traffic

What’s worse is that there are many marketers who are on-selling exchange traffic onto other website owners.

Many of these website owners are desperate for traffic to their website and fail to understand the importance of quality, not just quantity, of traffic.

In the end these website owners are disappointed in the results that they achieve when this traffic doesn’t convert to buyers or click on their ads.

This in turn hurts the credibility of the marketer who sold the traffic in the first place.

Can You Earn Money With Traffic Exchanges?

It is true that you can earn money with traffic exchanges. You may decide that while traffic exchanges won’t make you a lot of money it is better than spending your time watching television or playing Call of Duty.

But, the truth is that your time always has value. You could have spent that time developing a website that solves a real problem and offers real value.

You could also use that time to generate genuine traffic that will convert into real buyers and make your far more money in the long term.

So as you can see the answer to the question do traffic exchanges really work is in most cases no. Spending time on traffic exchanges will almost always deliver sub-optimal results.

Instead you would be far better off creating a valuable website built on real traffic that can generate you a sustainable income over the long term…

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12 comments on “Do Traffic Exchanges Really Work?

  1. Great article,
    there are many ups and downs to if making money with traffic exchange sites. Truth is from what i experienced, the traffic sucks.. and almost never converts well.

    however the ones you need to do a deep research about that focuses on traffic specifically are the ones in which you need to invest real money into.

    1. Hi Nelson, thanks for commenting!

      Yeah I agree, as you can see in the article – the traffic does suck! I don’t really know what you meant by your ending statement though? Are you talking about Adsense? (for example!).

  2. I’m glad I stumbled across your post. I had honestly never heard of “traffic exchange” prior to reading this and probably would’ve fallen for it. I would’ve lost time and energy. I’m not looking to have a million one time visitors. I want people to find my stuff useful. I want good traffic. And thanks to your article I know somethings to avoid along the way.

    1. Well unfortunately when I first started out online I was one of those saps Jennifer LOL. Yeah I fell for it but learned the hard way in the end! 🙂

  3. Thanks for a sobering thought about traffic exchanges, Chris. It is really true that the traffic you get, is seldom to never targeted.

    For traffic to convert into sales, a solution to a problem must be offered. In the exchange context, every participant just endure the 10 seconds in order to get traffic in return.

    A vicious cycle: You give junk traffic, you get junk back. What a shame!

  4. Thank you for all of the valuable information you shared on your site. A few years ago I joined a program that “paid you to review websites.” You earn points to convert into money and the points only lasted 30 days, therefore, it was difficult to receive any income from the program. It was a way to generate traffic for the websites. I could have save myself a great deal of time and effort if only I had read your site.
    Thanks again.

    1. Wow that sounds pretty grim – not my kinda site at all! Hopefully you will be able to find a more suited option here! 🙂

  5. This makes sense. I didn’t think the traffic you get from a traffic exchange would be he best quality. I wonder if there’s such thing as a social media traffic exchange, where you could use a similar system to get more Facebook likes or Twitter followers. Now that’s something that would come in handy, more followers = more social influence!

  6. Hi Chris,
    I agree with you. I have seen some of those sites that offer traffic exchanges and I have always thought about the same thing that you. If somebody is just on your site because he gets paid for it, he will probably not be very targeted traffic. I think one of the best ways to get targeted traffic is to write high-quality articles and to get ranked in Google. It requires very much work but at least it doesn’t cost any money 😀

    1. Yep I agree with you Roope – but also PPC ads!

      Organically ranked articles with targeted keywords (and titles) or pay per click adverts are the only way to go in my book. A lot of people swear by social media marketing for traffic but I find that a bit ‘noisy’ and fussy at the best of times!

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