Knowledge is good only if it is shared. As a new blogger, I had learned to change the Web template, and found out the tips, tricks, hacks, and tweaks of altering the Blogger template, customizing CSS, widgets, layout, blog design, inserting JavaScripts, HTML codes, Google AdSense, and other settings the hard way, through many trials and errors. For the purposes of this guide, I had started with the old Blogger “Minima” template. As I made the changes or learned something new, I had documented them. Before changing any template, please remember to save a copy of the current template. After editing the template, preview it, and save it when you are satisfied with the change. Hope this guide will help those who are finding the way around, just like me.

Search Tips for New Bloggers

We have extended our month-long vacation by a couple of days. We shall be posting articles the moment we return. We noticed that Google had updated the Page Ranks. New bloggers who have been waiting anxiously for this can check their blogs' Page Ranks. We have the PR checker link in our SEO Tools - Search Engine Optimization article.

The blog we created recently in Aug 2007, Blogger FAQ and Help, has also got its first Page Rank, a PR4. All our blogs are now ranked:-

Tips for New Bloggers - PR6
Business Fables and Management Lessons - PR4
Famous Motivational and Inspirational Quotes - PR4
Blogger FAQ and Help - PR4

Thanks to everyone for the support!

Apr 1, 2007

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Blog Traffic Exchange and AdSense

After doing up nice websites with interesting contents, the webmasters' dilemma is usually one of attracting visitors to their sites. Having more visitors is gratifying; it is a reward that website owners deserve for putting time and effort into their sites.

Traffic exchange networks were designed to promote visitor traffic to websites or blogs. The idea is simple – members of the network surf each other's sites. Upon setting up an account with a traffic exchange program, you will be entitled to earn 'credits' by manually surfing other members' sites. Depending on the program, you may have anything between 0.5 to 1.0 credit for every site you visit. There is a timer at the top or bottom frame of the page to compel you to remain at the site for a period of time. This can range between 10 to 30 seconds. You are then required to click one of the images to correspond with the given image in order to proceed to the next random site. This is to prevent autosurfing hacks that may cheat the system.

With the 'credits' you earn, you can assign them to your blogs. For every visitor you get to your blog, 1 credit will be deducted until all your 'credits' are spent. In a nutshell, the more blogs you visit, the more visitors you get to your blogs.

Alas, no program is perfect. While the concept of traffic exchange sounds good, there are the negative aspects that you should consider as well. I'll summarize the good and bad points of traffic exchange.

Pros of traffic exchange

1. The programs are free, that is if you are not buying the 'credits' but earning them.

2. For some programs, you can specify the category of blogs you would like to view or the sort of visitors you would like to have. The traffic is therefore targeted.

3. While viewing other member blogs, you may come across a couple of interesting ones that you can re-visit or learn from.

4. Since the programs work well only if they have a wide network of members, the administrators often conduct mini contests and games to interest the members. You may find some fun in these communities.

Cons of traffic exchange

1. The biggest negative point is that such traffic exchanges run counter to many advertising programs, especially those that pay you based on impressions you get to your site. A notable one is Google AdSense. If your site's traffic is mainly through traffic exchanges, be prepared to receive reminders like this from the Google administrator:-

It has come to our attention that invalid clicks or impressions have been generated on the Google ads on your site(s) through users of third-party programs paid or provided with other incentives to visit your site. Such programs may include, but are not limited to auto-surf, pay-to-surf, pay-to-read, or pay-to-click sites.

2. A number of the sites that register with traffic exchanges are new sites and are not worth the time reading. Many of the established ones that have a good following of readers do not need such traffic exchange programs to boost their traffic.

3. After surfing for a while, you would also find yourself looking at the same sites over and over again, simply because only a fraction of the members are active users. It may be boring in that sense.

4. While I make it a point to read some sites, I believe that many people don't. They may be doing their homework or watching television, and mindlessly clicking the image after every 30 seconds or so. You may be getting more visitors but these are not the people who appreciate your blog contents.

Blog Traffic Exchange sites

If you want to have a go at it, here are the ones I think you can consider.

Blogmad Blogmad

This has a 1:1 ratio, which means that for every site you visit, someone will visit yours. The surf timer is 25 seconds and the site layout, ideas, and image icons (with the two big eyes) are pretty nice.

Blog Explosion Blog Explosion

The surf ratio is 2:1, i.e. for every two blogs you visit, one person will visit yours. The saving grace is that they have about close to 50,000 blogs registered, although I have an inkling that only a small percentage of these are active. They do run contests like Battle of the Blogs which add to the fun of using their service.

Blog Soldiers Blog Soldiers

Another 2:1 ratio traffic exchange. Nothing fanciful about the site, and the administrators should do more work to build up their membership base.

Blog Advance Blog Advance

Their surf ratio of 1:1 sounds attractive, and like a few other programs, they throw in free bonus points when you log in or surf. What I didn't like was their lack of response. I raised a technical problem concerning adding a site and despite 2 messages, they have not replied. Such a contradiction to their statement that “at Blog Advance your voice doesn't fall on deaf ears.” Also, I received error messages on a few occasions despite having clicked the correct surfbar images and was unable to proceed to subsequent blogs. I guess there are unresolved bugs in the coding of their program. (Update: This service is no longer available and link is therefore removed.)

EasyHits4U

This is another 1:1 traffic exchange site that seems to have more commercial sites registered with them than blogs. It has a 30-second timer giving viewers a lot of time to view the blogs. The thing that stands out is that they pay you cash for active surfing ($0.50 for 1000 sites viewed)

TrafficG Traffic G

This is not blog specific, and you will see a number of non-blog websites. The ratio of 1:1 is good, and the longer surf time of 30 seconds means that you might get more quality traffic, people who browse your blog contents.

Blogazoo Blogazoo

They have a 4:3 ratio, and credit incentives to read blogs and find the 'gazoos'. (Update: This service is temporarily not available and link is removed.)

Linkreferral Linkreferral

I happened to come across this site last week. Essentially, when you register your blog with them, other members can review your site, give a rating and post comments. The more sites you visit or review, the higher your blog rank will be, and the more likely that your blog will be seen by others. Unlike the other programs, you will expect visitors to go through what you write in order to review your blog.

Conclusion

If your blog is new, traffic exchange may do wonders in sending visitors to your site. Surfing other members' sites is also a good way to learn useful tips to improve on your blog. For a wider exposure, you would want to have your blog listed in Blog Directories, Feed Directories, and search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com. Also, submit your Blog to the various Search Engines. Nothing beats content though, and if you have good quality writing, you can be sure that your blog will be read.

I have tried out the traffic exchange sites for the purpose of this writing. With the credits, I have bought banner and text link ads since advertising a blog is not against Google's TOS. These ads appear at the traffic exchange sites when members are surfing, and make your site more visible.

Feel free to share your experience on the above sites, but please refrain from posting suggestions of new traffic exchange sites. There are hundreds of them and if you'd like, do a keyword search and try them out. New traffic exchange sites are created practically everyday. Run an eBay search and you will see a number of them being sold too. It is alright to register with a few of them, but unless you intend to spend all your time surfing member sites, there is little reason to be registered in a hundred traffic exchange sites.

If you are ready to submit your blog to blog directories for better search engine optimization and publicity, read the articles on “Submit Blog to Blog Directories” Part (I), Part (II), and Part (III).

While you are looking at traffic exchange sites, you may also want to consider earning money while you are surfing the net. AGLOCO seems to have a nice scheme for you which you may want to take a look. You may also want to consider having AuctionAds to display an eBay auction widget which is compatible with AdSense and other ad systems. No harm trying it since it might give you an extra income.

Further Reading

Feel free to read Google AdSense's official stand on traffic exchange programs at their post "A note on traffic exchange programs".

© Tips for New Bloggers

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34 comments:

Basketer said...

I tried to use traffic builders like link exchange and blog explosion. The problem you mentione about repetitive sites is very serious. Also, there are a lot of non blog sites which is totally useless to browse through if you are trying to build contacts.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Market Data said...

Hi Jen, interesting article I shall look into the sites you mention. Is the problem with Adsense a real problem or just a 'theoretical problem' ? Thanks for the comment on my 1st editions blog by the way, I just noticed it today !

speeddemon0117 said...

People will often get bored seeing the same sights over and over again. That is why most traffic exchanges simply do not work. The other problem is that most other bloggers just seem to go on and on with the most boring details of their lives.

The Cell Phone Disconnect

Bev Schweigert said...

That was great information.... I had used a traffic builder several years ago for an old site I had and never saw a single sale from it... I hadn't looked into it about blog traffic. But I wouldn't want to mess up my adsense.... so I think I'll pass....

Samrat said...

I think you have suggested a great opportunity to really work on. Hoping to join one of them.

Forumer said...

Howdy?? Are those blog traffic exchange sites are legal for Adsense?? Is that not break the rules??

Nice guideline here, thanx

Best regards
:)

bizwhiz said...

Hi Forumer

We have dedicated a large part of this article just talking about that.

Searching the net doesn't reveal any definitive answer. There were people who claimed that they spoke to who's who in Google and got a positive response. There were also those who said otherwise.

The consensus seems to be that auto-surf sites are certainly out of the equation. As for manual surfing sites, like those mentioned in this article, they are nothing more than an arrangement where people view each other's blogs, no different from viewing other blogs via the Random Blog feature in the Navbar.

Well, nobody is the wiser. We had therefore laid out the points and it is for the users to make their own informed decisions.

Chuck and Brenda said...

I have a question for your genius mind!
I love the new easy to use blogger where you can add adsense with the click of a button, but is there a way to add a custom channel to each area without going thru the setup thru your adsense account. I am also not real familiar with CSS so dont know exactly where to place the html code if I were to set it thru my adsense account. Thanks in advance, you have an awesome imformative site!

bizwhiz said...

Hi Chuck and Brenda

There is presently no custom channel option in the Blogger adsense widget. As you've said, the way to get a custom channel included is to get the code through Adsense setup by logging into your Adsense account.

Once the code is generated, go back to your Template -> Page Elements -> Add a Page Element and select HTML/JavaScript. Paste the code, save and drag that element to the preferred part of your template. Save the template and refresh your blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi any one plz tell me how to make "STATUS Bar" invisible in Blogspot.

bizwhiz said...

Hi Anonymous

What status bar are you referring to? We talked about hiding the Navbar, and the Status Message.

Million Dollar Homeboy said...

Great information, although I haven't had much success with traffic exchanges in the past. That doesn't mean its bad, just hasn't worked for me on those sites. The idea is sound so in theory it should work.

Egyptian Pharaoh said...

thanks for info

http://googleasens.blogspot.com

Delson said...

I feel one has to be ultra careful, if using adsense. Google is very strict about the sites , where adsense is used.
I really would not want to venture into link exchanges.
Great Tips Though

http://www.delsonclicks.blogspot.com

Chismosa said...

I think you have a lot of great content. Thanks for the info!

3i Traffic Exchange - Its Positive Promotion said...

Wow, I can't believe how much I've recently learned about the importance of blogging and web traffic and page rank.

Not to mention with the last Google update that occurred.

Many older types of link building now apparently could have dropped your sites page rank.

Anonymous said...

I tried alot of these sites, I found linrefferal the best (really)...But when Google sends emails you better take them seriously. I had two clicks on a google ads from one of these sites and they were onto it..If you want to do adsense, you should keep away from these sites. Don't risk it. Because once you are kicked off, thats it!! (most of the time)

Annie from The Gap said...

Great site ... you have really helped me sort out some things. Thank you so much! Annie

Adil Syed said...

Great Post. Traffic Exchange are against the policies of google adsense. But when i use free safelists to promote my blog, then i have also received the same notice. So plz write a post about using free
safe-list for promotion of websites
and blogs.thanks

Regina Easter said...

thanks for this awesome site, but I must be really doing something wrong because I am just trying a dumbing blog first to get it right before i change my main blog...I have this in for the picture, but it won't come up....I put in your background sample and it worked great...please help......here is what i put in:

body {
background:$bgcolor;
background-image:url
(http://s41.photobucket.com/albums/e258/CUTUPS/MY%20WORK/?action=view¤t=cancerbag.jpg);
margin:0;
color:$textcolor;
font:x-small Georgia Serif;
font-size/* */:/**/small;
font-size: /**/small;
text-align: center;
}

Rachna said...

I found ur blog really very informative for new bloggers ( as the name of your blog suggest). i reached here thru google surfing for 3 cloumn Templates for Blog. I've many queries as I am a new blogger, If you can help. I am trying to put my blog on top ranking for certain keywords. My Blog rank is zero but it is indexed in Google, Yahoo & MSN. I've read ur article on sunmitting sitemap to Google but didn't understandd the use of it. Can you Elaborate ur Articles? Moreover, every new blogger needs step by step procedure to grow, as he is new blogger.

Secondly after reading ur above article, I want 2 say that: there are many sites where adsense ads are running, then also they are promoting their sites on PTC / PTR sites (where timer is there), without getting baaned? I am watching those sites for over 3 months now and they are getting approx 100,0000 Pg Imp pm from that only. How? Why Google is not banning them? Are they Premium members? And if yes, then anybody can become premium members just by spending some thousands bucks on these cheap PTC sites an then can have full advantage of being a premium member of adsense. ( I am not using adsense, anyways).

ok! Now I tried to submit my blog in some directories youhave mentioned but not succeded. In Bloghub the error is;

= Tools used
Program, scripting use to design your site.

I tried here HTMl and Blogspot but still no use. What should I enter here?

And Most Importantly, where can a common man can get unique content for their blog. And is it really so important that one should have to have a unique content on his page to get top rank. What are other factors?

Please do reply me. I am very hard working and really keen to be successful like u to guide others. My blog is Hair Weaving

Ace of Adsense said...

Great Job Buddy....I read somewhere that leaving comments will defnitely improve the traffic......i hope it works for me too....but honestly........great job n u know that too....u must b a very experienced webmaster.....hatsoff!ch

Personality said...

Hey,
Thanks for all your information. I am simple trying to follow the tutorial you posted here and i found that it increased my traffic by 50% within 1 week.

Thanks for your support.
http://funnygarage.blogspot.com/
http://celebsgarage.blogspot.com/

Dan said...

Very Interesting! I never heard of blog exchanges. Nor did I think of using traffic exchanges for my blogs.

Thanks!
Dan

Banner Exchange said...

Banner exchanges are okay with Adsense. Just not "Traffic Exchanges" Take a look at FreeBannerExchange.ORG

kaarthik said...

thank you very much..using this i will increase the traffic in my blog.

Pablo Rosales said...

Great, just what I need, traffic ;)

Wish I had found your blog when I was just a new blogger, nice job :D

Blog Search

comment said...

Thanks for the very useful information

abra-ka-dabra said...

Informative article,But i have never buyed the idea of link exhanges.If we have a generic blog it might work,but when i have a topic specific blog,do you think it is worthwhile to have it cos i think links from the same genres blogs will matter and not some genreal ones.
One more thing,evrytime i change my template i have to upload my meta tags for various blog directories.Is there any way to go about it.

Saaqi said...

hey really great post thanks man

All other Nokia Mobile Repairing Posts

300allpctips said...

thanks

300allpctips
http://300allpctips.blogspot.com

waqas said...

this is very good directories to improve traffic
www.cars-showroom1.blogspot.com

irvan said...

i use Traffic Exchange