Traffic exchanges are only as good as the people taking part in their system. Here’s a thought experiment for you; you sign up for a traffic exchange network. The network requires that you browse sites through their browser or with their plugin installed, in order to earn points. You spend points to get traffic to your sites.
You find a program that allows you to auto-browse through their system in order to earn points, and it’s fabulous. You rack up an unprecedented number of points, and you spend them all on traffic to your site. Here’s the question; do you feel as though you’ve beat the system?
Here’s the problem; you’re using a readily available piece of software to essentially scam the system. You’re claiming a payout without paying into the system first. If you were the only one doing it, yeah, you’d be making bank by pulling the wool over their eyes. The thing is, you’re not. You’re not the only one with access to that software.
The reason you’re supposed to browse sites to earn points is because that’s where traffic comes from on the network. When you use a bot to do it, you’re putting bot traffic into the system. When you want to get traffic out of the system, then, that’s what you get; bot traffic.
The best traffic exchanges in the world are heavily moderated and incredibly tough to get into. In exchange, though, the traffic they provide is real. This is because they actively remove bad apples and botters from their lists. They monitor sites to make sure they don’t serve malware, they monitor users to make sure they don’t bot, and they regulate every aspect of the exchange. They’re also hard to find, they’re often private, and you probably need a recommendation to get in.
The exchanges I’m going to list below are not that good. I’ll tell you right up front; these all have relatively low conversion rates. Any exchange public enough for me to list is going to have at least some problems with botters. These, at least, aren’t the worst of the lot. However, no matter what exchange you use, your conversion rates depend more on your site than on the traffic you bring in. A poor site could get a million hits an hour but no conversions.
TE Racing League: While this sounds more like a Kart rally team than a traffic exchange, it’s actually quite a good high-volume exchange with an overall positive reputation. They require a 3:1 ratio of browsing to claiming, but only have a 5-second timer on surfing, leading to a little less exposure. If you want to convert this traffic, do so quickly.
EasyHits4u: Sounds like one of those sites that’s almost definitely a scam, but they’ve been one of the top five traffic exchanges online for half a decade, if not longer. They’ve even maintained a positive reputation, partially due to their 1:1 ratio. They also have a referral program with several tiers of bonuses.
StartXchange: This network has a 3:1 ratio, which isn’t the greatest for an exchange, but they do have a high volume, with around 2.7 billion recorded hits at any given six-week period. Not all of those go to you, of course. There’s a 10-second timer on surfing, and the exchange has one referral bonus for users bringing in other users.
Top 1 Surf: This site is hilarious, because, well, just look at it. Would you expect a site design like that to be any good? They have sidebar banners, they have buttons that look like they were made in paint, they have a random “TOP” ring up in the corner, the whole thing is bright orange, like… what? And yet they’re one of the top ranked exchanges with a 4:3 ratio and a ten second timer on surfing. They’re a bit lower volume than some of the others, butt hey have a decent conversion rate all told.
I Love Hits: This exchange has been in operation for fourteen years and counting. If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know how to help you. With a 3:1 ratio and a six second timer on surfing, I love their hits, and so should you. Give them a shot and see how they do with your site.
TopHits4U: This site has a lower volume than most of the others on the list, but has a correspondingly higher conversion rate, if you know what you’re doing. You have to have a site with a decent conversion funnel, of course. On the plus side, the standard 3:1 ratio and ten second timer is fine. You do have to log in to surf, which limits the utility of the network a little.
LegacyHits: Warning: this site autoplays a video when you click it, which can be surprising and stressful. Despite that, it’s still a pretty good exchange. Unlike many others, this one has three owners, and they run it with a 2:1 ratio and the normal 10 second timer. My only complaint is that they’ve been slightly declining in traffic for the last few months.
Surfers2U: This one has had some significant ups and downs over the last year, varying in placement in and out of the top ten. It has a 4:3 ratio and a ten second timer, which puts it a little below others on this list. Fitting that it’s as far down as it is.
FrogHits: We all have that friend who loves frogs, and one of them apparently decided to design and run a traffic exchange. The site design is pretty standard as far as exchanges go, with frog buttons making it stand out a little. My gripes about their site design aside, they have a 4:3 ratio and a ten second timer, which is pretty standard for the lower end of decent exchanges. It, and several others on this list, is powered by the LJ Exchange Script.
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