Even if you've been marketing on the internet for only a very short time you've no doubt come accross 'traffic exchanges'. The number of exchanges out there is staggering, so if you need to know what these things are all about read on.
A traffic exchange is a system where in return for viewing the websites of others you will get credits for hits to your own sites. There are several different types of exchanges:
The 'surf exchange' or 'start page exchange': The names are synonymous and they are by far the most predominant type of traffic exchange. The user is required to veiw a web page in their browser for a set amount of time before clicking to earn credit and move on.
'Auto surfing': Like above but the pages change and credit is received without user interaction.
Pop-up exchanges: With these the web page will 'popup' at set intervals or or events. You will need to view the window for a set time before closing and receiving credit. These will usually require a small program to be downloaded and run on the users computer.
Now that you know what they are you need to know what they're made of. These are the things you will need to consider when comparing the different exchanges. The 'surf ratio' is how many pages you'll veiw before one of yours is displayed. These can be from 1:1 to 5:1 but are usually somewhere inbetween. Many sites will also give bonus credits or run promotions for credits. Some will also give credit for sending traffic to your referral page. All of these will combine to determine how many credits you actually get for surfing.
You can also get credit for referring others to the exchanges. You will receive a percentage of the credits earned by the referral, usual this will go several levels deep.
You will always be required to view the pages for a set amount of time. This varies between exchanges and usually ranges between 10 and 30 seconds. For surf exchanges you will need to click to proceed. Often the spot to click will change or you will need to click a certain number or symbol this is to help insure that a script or the like isn't being used to cheat the system. If an exchange doesn't have some kind of anti-cheat system it's probably being cheated.
There is often the option of joining the traffic exchanges as a paid member. The benefits of this could be a number of monthly credits, better surf ratio, more referral credits and other special offers. And of course if you dont like surfing, credits are usually offered for sale by the traffic exchanges.
These are the things you will need to look at when comparing traffic exchanges. There are hundreds out there with new ideas based on these principals appearing every day. Below are a few of my favorite traffic exchanges. Each uses a different system for you to compare.
copyright 2004 Brennan Howe
Brennan Howe is owner of http://www.opportunity4all.net a resource for the best business opportunities and tools. Visit the site or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and download a free 10 part marketing e-course.