What Is a Traffic Exchange?

With more and more people looking to earn a side income online, traffic exchanges have become increasingly popular. The truth, however, is that traffic exchanges have been around since the dawn of the Internet, with some of earliest exchanges dating all the way back the the early 1990s. To learn more about these exchanges and how they can drive traffic and sales to your website, keep reading.

A traffic exchange is exactly what is sounds like: a you-scratch-my-back-and-I-scratch-yours system in which two or more webmasters visit each other’s sites. In other words, you visit a website listed on the exchange, and in return someone visits your website. It’s a win-win scenario, as everyone receives free traffic. With that said, the exact timing, credit ratios, pricing, membership structure, and other elements vary between the different exchanges.

Most notable traffic exchanges use a credit system where you earn X amount of credits for visiting a website listed on the exchange. Using these credits, you can purchase unique views/visits to your own website. When choosing a traffic exchange, you should pay close attention to the credit ratio, as this determines how many visits you’ll receive in exchange for visiting other sites. If the traffic exchange has 1:1 ratio, for instance, you’ll receive 1 visit to your site for every site you visit.

Another element to consider is the surf timer. This is essentially the length of time you are required to stay on a website to receive credit. Some traffic exchanges have 30-second timers, whereas others are a full minute or longer. While opting for a low timer may seem appealing, you have to remember that this also means visitors will stay on your site for less time.

Don’t underestimate the power of referrals when using a traffic exchange. Depending on how many active users you refer, you may be able to generate credits without actually visiting other websites.

There are both pros and cons to traffic exchanges. While traffic exchanges provide tons of free traffic, the traffic is typically low-quality. After all, most of the people who use traffic exchanges are doing it to promote their own website, so they aren’t in the “buying” mindset. This doesn’t mean you should neglect them as a traffic source, however. When used correctly, traffic sources can be an effective tool in building lists and boosting your site’s overall traffic. So what are you waiting for?

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