We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Traffic Exchange?

Malcolm Tatum
By
Updated Jan 31, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A traffic exchange is a type of website that is set up to aid the owners of websites in promoting any online pages or sites under their control. Using the time-honored concept of the barter, a traffic exchange makes it possible for participants at the site to share links to the sites of other participants, in exchange for those other site participants doing likewise. The end result is that each site participating in the traffic exchange is likely to reach a larger number of interested web surfers, which in turn increases the chances of gaining sales and increasing business volume.

A basic traffic exchange functions by allowing members of the site to post links to other web sites, splash pages, and even articles that have to do with the member’s sites in some manner. In return for being able to post those links, the member must browse a certain number of links posted by other exchange members.

For example, the rules of the traffic exchange may require that in order to be allowed to post one link, the member must click on and visit at least five links already posted by other members. More robust sites allow members to choose links to visit based on either the most recently posted links or by selecting links based on category or interest.

The general idea behind the traffic exchange is that each member not only has the ability to publicize his or her own sites and pages, but also is granted the possibility of coming across sites featuring goods or services that may be of interest. When and as this occurs, the member can bookmark sites that are of particular interest for future use, possibly even placing an order. Those saved links may also be shared with others who are not members of the traffic exchange, further increasing traffic to the sites and opening the door for more sales.

Over the years, greater security measures have been implemented on traffic exchange sites, typically to reduce the incidence of the use of software to post links and to get around the requirement to visit a minimum number of member sites in order to be able to post a link. This often includes requiring that the visit to the clicked site last for a minimum amount of time, and also using security measures that require entering a series of characters into a field or accurately matching a set of images in order to get credit for the click. These efforts help to reduce the incidence of computer-generated traffic that effectively skews the results obtained from participating in a traffic exchange, and makes it easier to ascertain if this link sharing approach is in fact worth the time and effort it takes to engage in this type of marketing activity.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By Logicfest — On Nov 16, 2014

@Vincenzo -- I don't think there is anything wrong with joining traffic exchanges to create a little interest in your site, but I would not rely on one too much. There is some benefit to using those, but you want as much organic traffic as you can get.

Here's the problem. You won't get that organic traffic unless search engines detect there's enough traffic heading to your site to rank it higher in searches. A click exchange, used conservatively, can help you get more traffic.

Again, just don't go overboard with one or rely on it as your sole source of traffic and you should be OK.

By Vincenzo — On Nov 16, 2014

Be very, very careful about using those things. If your goal is to get more visibility and a higher page rank leading to better positioning in search engines, a traffic exchange could be a very bad idea. That is because there are some search engine algorithms that effectively frown on such "bought" traffic and might actually penalize a Website with too much of it.

Besides, which would you rather have? People who look at your site for a few seconds to fulfill the requirements of a traffic exchange network or consumers who come to your site naturally because they are interested in your content?

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum

Writer

Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.