The Traffic Exchange Industry Has the Plague…Here’s the Cure
This is What It Would Take to Save the Traffic Exchange Industry (and why it’ll never happen)

The Traffic Exchange Days Are Numbered – Here’s Why, and What You Should Do About It

The Traffic Exchange Industry Will Never Recover (but there’s an alternative, all ready to go)

In addition to explaining why the future of Traffic Exchanges is bleak, I’m also going to show you the critical shift you can make that will allow you to achieve the kind of results that TEs can no longer deliver.

In other words…There’s still light at the end of the tunnel!

Download this special report and give it a good read, and then come back here and make a comment.

 Download here

We don’t need your email address to access the report just your attention for 5 minutes

33 thoughts on “The Traffic Exchange Industry Has the Plague

  1. Robert, I certainly enjoyed reading your book.

    To me traffic exchanges have always been a good way to advertise, I also use viral mailers but must admit that I prefer TEs.

    Are traffic exchange dead? Not really, people are still using them. How long will it last, that I cannot answer as yes the industry has been affected greatly.

    Pointing fingers in my opinion never results to getting anything done, also to say that only traffic exchange are being targeted I would have to disagree. In 2016 when my account first got limited, they not only targeted some of my traffic exchange but some of my a viral mailers as well.

    I came close to throwing in the towel, but as I’m a great believer that there is light at the end of the tunnel therefore I continued only to be limited again in 2017. I managed to be able to come back only to be limited a third time this April!

    I think the big thing here is what many have already mention and that is that owners need to change their mindset and concentrate on making the TEs as an advertising platform only.

    The days of giving out cash as an incentive is now over or will be for those that continue on that path.

    Three years ago I had to change the way I was going to go about my business online, now here we are three years later and I’m still doing the same. For the past two weeks I have started implementing changes in my TEs and viral mailers, more will be apparent within the next couple of weeks.

    Will I be able to come back, only time will tell but I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
    “There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties or you alter the way you meet them.” — Phyllis Bottome

  2. That was a good read and one that I do agree with nearly all the parts in it.

    Probably not surprising as an owner that has always preached the advertising side and not the social fun and get paid cash to surf side of the industry.

    I also agree that results are higher in Viral mailers and such but I do see a small future for Traffic Exchanges. A small selection of sites where it is literally just site owners and advertisers that are viewing a few pages in exchange to get others to see their sites (How it was meant to be)

    It is okay having a few small fun games inside that allow members to collect things as they surf but it should not be done in a way that they need to hit massive targets to do so. Anyone encouraging members to surf more than 250 pages a day is really doing the results no favors.

    Like Robert said the paying cash or offering cash prizes needs to stop or the results will just go down the pan, You have to think that if people need a few cents to surf have they really got the ability to upgrade and buy things that advertisers on your sites offer.

    Owners need to also get out there and bring in people from outside TE’s and that mainly comes down to redoing your sales pages. Take off the cash and games from your sales page, to attract advertisers it needs to look like a quality advertising site. If your front page says you offer cash prizes then any advertiser will know its bribed traffic and that never converts as well.

    I love viral mailers but I find it more fun surfing, just spending 15-30 minutes a time clicking and having a look what others are promoting and looking for new places to advertise. I find it easier and more fun with a surf bar rather than an email inbox.

    My traffic exchange is set up to target the advertiser more but over the next couple of weeks you will see it push towards that even more.

    I still think we can create a little corner of ad exchanging sites with no cash bribes and target the advertiser not the paid to surf or hobby surfers as much. I would like to hear from others wanting to hit that little corner too 🙂

    1. I agree Steve, I’ve been thinking a rating mod with comment review option (with character minimum) where advertiser could set the extra rewards, character minimum on review, etc. might be a good place to start.

      Watcha think?

  3. Great report man. I read it almost with tears in my eyes because for almost 2 decades….Traffic exchanges have been my life.

    I have had a huge passion for them and it has dwindled considerably over the past few years. The Monsoon drama sure didn’t help but I agree, it goes way beyond pointing a finger at any one owner or group of surfers.

    We have forgotten the ‘advertiser’. And have been so concerned about catering to people who really dont want to build a business. They want to have fun, be social and hang out. No real desire to build businesses.

    Not that it’s right or wrong, that’s just the way it’s been.

    That being said, TE’s still are fantastic list building tools. I can stick a squeeze page up and get dozens of leads without much effort, so they still ‘work’ but not everyone will use them for business purposes.

    Not right or wrong, just the way it is.

    I’m really not sure what the future will bring. PayPal be damned lol I learned my lesson for relying on one form of payment for all these years and would love to see exchanges move into much more online friendly methods of payment.

    We will see.

    Right now…I’m not too hopeful of the future unless there is a massive change in mentality from owners to users that starts to ATTRACT advertisers.

  4. Well Robert, as a new TE owner that’s not the article I was hoping to read from you today! LOL

    Actually I had one back a decade or so ago, but back then I was pretty much a SEO guy, with tons of traffic primarily from google. (2 sites under 100k alexa, 5k uniques/day for a decade, both with 1000s of pages )

    Since panda and penguin I will no longer spent years pandering to google just for them to pull the rug out from under me ever again! But back to your TE article.

    I agree with much of what you stated, but will have to point out what I think is as much if not more of the problem. As others have stated, with so many TE’s launched on the cheap by those who have no idea how to run a business, let alone a membership site, it has denigrated the value of TEs in general.

    Heck, before deciding to launch my new one, I spent months on scores of sites just researching the current market. I was appalled by the amateurish nature of the websites in general and the owners in particular.

    Receiving emails from them that didn’t even have a link to the site is just a common example of what I found from many of them. Also, some sites had the sign up form include more information that I’d want to put on a job application for crying out loud! Trying to be brief here, but I could go on about grammar/spelling errors, etc etc.

    Ok, so back to your 3 main points. One of the reasons Paypal is so disturbed by the TE business model is not only because of ponzis like monsoon, but many TEs with owners who don’t know what the hell they’re doing have caused them customer service issues.

    Thankfully, with accounts that have a great reputation decades old, this is not a problem.

    Getting lengthy here Robert, but just to cap my rant, I’ll say I agree mailers are doing well now, but disagree that TEs are doomed. Personally I think many of them will close and the cream will come to the top, which is actually a great time for those who really take a TE as a business to hang in there and make their sites even better.

    I’ve got several ideas I’ll be sharing on my new site, but I’ve not launched yet, so that’s for another time.

    BTW, posting this I used a very old site I keep alive just for sentimental reasons as I’ve not added content to it in….hmmm, about 5 years….

    Nice read Robert, talk soon,

    1. Zac…some folks have pointed out that TE’s have been around for ever and they will, will I still use them and support them yes I will

      But if owners don’t see the writing on the wall, and start rethinking the way they promote them and the people they attract then the decline will keep rolling on.

      What I want is for common sense to return to the industry drop the rush to the bottom over pay to surf and prices and profits & conversions will return.

      This is the most poignant image in the ebook…

      1. Totally agree Robert,

        That image says it all. You got it right that common sense needs to return. Paying penny’s to attract surfers will bring poor quality traffic. Page views need to have value or advertisers will seek other avenues with better conversions, ROI etc.

        Of course the type of programs/sites/products advertising has a big roll to play in this equation as well.

        Personally I believe we’re in an ebb and flow period. Like I said, the TE owners who not only have a quality site, but also have marketing experience they can share with their members will rise to the top as others fall by the wayside as so many are. (which isn’t actually a bad thing. 😉

  5. I see discussion about PayPal and how it turned the table over TE MAILER PTC etc, but no one tells us why only PP among other processors?
    In my opinion PP is the only processor that has RESOLUTION CENTER to protect its customers.
    PP last year faced many claims of refunds and not resolved.
    The issue showed with instant commission programs and those who received this together site owners of these programs like ……..

    1. The main reason that I have managed to figure out is that PayPal was sued because of the site called Monsoon Traffic that was ran as a rev share system built on top of a traffic exchange functions. When Monsoon was shut down by the Federal Trade Commission a lawsuit was filed against PayPal.

      Since then PayPal has taken the stance to no longer do business with the TE model.

  6. Excellent comments. As for me, I have been in this business for almost 10 years. When I am told to create a second account for emails, I almost never even log into that second account to read anything.

    I love some traffic exchanges that have top admins, answer support tickets timely and pay on time, but my best results and open rates come from those on my private list.

    Whenever I have a new idea, I test it on that list first. If they are not interested, I modify the idea or come up with something completely different.

    I’m always amazed that when I get it right, I get swamped. Then I know I can roll it out thru other promotions.

    As for emails from admins: I read them all because they always contain good tidbits of information.

  7. Thank you for that article Robert, I have been wondering for a long
    time what has been happening with Traffic Exchanges. The Times They Are Changing in so many different areas, sometimes making it challenging to keep up with it all.

    I personally do not think people who have belonged to TE’s for many years
    will quit using them. They have been there since Internet Marketing began. I am hesitant about joining new ones because of what they are offering and then not following through when it comes to paying out or disappearing entirely without a word with all your commissions. I think it is important at this point to know who the owner is and which programs they may already own. Really no difference then doing business in the brick and mortar world. Would you go into business with someone without doing your due diligence?

    I find TE’s to be a good place to see new businesses that are launching
    and a great place to relax while your surfing. I think TE’s produce traffic if you are consistent, same as mailers. Can’t say I’ve had much success with referrals surfing or upgrading though.

    Your article certainly made me stop and think. I am also greatly concerned
    about the Pay Pal and Payza issues. I would rather pay for something with real money then crypto currencies.

  8. I’ve thought traffic exchanges were dead for years. The model is circular, advertisers advertising to advertisers instead of customers. They are plagued with freebie seekers and not buyers. I have seen the same circular problem with viral mailers BUT I have noticed there are buyers in the space. This report is definitely right that the move to viral mailers is the best tact for future marketing.

  9. Someone needs to come up with an alternative to PayPal, and in a free market, it’s only a matter of time before someone does. I believe crypto currencies have the best chance of filling this need.

    The danger that VM’s and Safelists have is that they depend as much on Gmail as TE’s depended on Paypal.
    At any moment Google could deal VM’s a death blow, with the pretext of protecting themselves from legal troubles.

    So one solution I see is for maverick TE / VM insider entrepreneurs create a payment gateway & email provider to compete with Paypal and Gmail, but be geared to service the advertising industry.

    The other thing that can help is if TE’s and VM’s started offering OUTSIDE advertising. I’m not sure how this can be achieved, you would need a smarter person than I to figure that out. But an example would be:
    Trade 1000 credits for a Facebook ad, or 2000 credits for a search engine posting.

  10. Mr. Puddy.
    Thank you for pointing out that viral mailers are converting better than traffic exchanges.
    I have tried many traffic sources without really tracking my results. I like to try safelists, spending small amounts to see
    how may paid signups that I get.
    I will check out your recommended viral mailers.

  11. Sorry for leaving another comment!

    Not all of you fail in getting outside traffic, just a huge percentage of owners who ban anything non TE related – Trust me, they made me stop surfing for months!

    One of my side lines to increase monies for my charity was to sell traffic exchange traffic to other affiliates outside of the TE industry

    YOU CAN’T!!! The catalogue page is too slow to load – suspended!!! That is a classic TE problem

    Try to submit a page of latest graphic card ads – Site Verification pages just dies! Non auto approval sites you have to keep emailing many of them to ask for them to activate your site!!! This could take months and your hot promotion only lasts a week!

    And why would any big company looking to create an account and buy large sums of traffic from a TE would want to surf 25 pages to activate their account or have to put up with their promotes being paused because they have not logged in for a week or a month?????

    So when i could prove to companies that I could widen their traffic I stupidly thought they would sign up to TE,s and buy traffic. Trouble is the TE is not set up for real business users.

    So please look at the way the actual Traffic Exchange Scrip is written!

    People should be able to just register an account and if they purchase traffic without surfing like you can on HitLeap without inactivity emails or pausing ads then that is your first step.

    The only sites that should be banned from traffic exchanges are dating sites and porn sites. Oh, and video ads as big advertising companies consider them a no, no for a professional advertiser.

    Sorry, I get a little passionate and ramble!

    May your day be awesome!

  12. Well I for one have yet to read your download Robert.

    TE’s have been around for years and have gone through many changes and I know TE’s will continue to be around for a very long time. How do I know? Because I am not going anywhere, others owners are not going anywhere, we will adapt, make changes and improvements and keep going – with or without PayPal.

    Yes being able to accept PayPal makes things a lot easier, but there are other ways to utilize a TE to make money indirectly.

    So PayPal dropped TE’s – a lot of that blame is on the shoulders of the TE Owners for doing questionable things with their exchanges, but in the end PayPal are the ones that are losing out on the legit TE Owners who follow and do things correctly.

    Now if everyone listens to Robert and decides to jump ship and go to VM’s because they think the TE industry is over I wish them all the best and at the same time for any and all TE Owner’s who do this, I want to say Thanks for leaving the TE industry because you are reducing the competition and making things easier on the TE Owners who will remain.

    Here is to everyone’s success!

  13. Too many traffic exchanges
    Many traffic exchanges being run without a professional approach
    Too many external prize pages – If it takes a surfer off the page to claim then that is not doing the surfer any favors. Time consuming and usually not rewarding for the surfer and a financial drain on the TE owner

    The most important thing for a Traffic Exchange owner right now is to just get their traffic stats up. Using quick click and claim surf prizes rather than paying to use external prizes. This means rewarding a surfer with at least a credit or 20 banner imps and not the very pathetic 3 banners or 1 text ad that many sites are giving.
    Pander to the short sited surfer who surfs for a cent! Become black coin paying traffic exchanges. Black coins are cheap, you do not need to prove yourself and declare taxes every two minutes!
    Today 1 BLK (Black Coin) is worth 1 BLK = 0.28 USD. So if you gave surfers 1000 BLK for every 1000 pages surfed in a day you would be laughing!! Your traffic will be up and will encourage new surfers, your no longer paying for the external site prize pages and people can pay for upgrades in BLK too. BLK is a cheap crypto currency and many surfers have a lot of it. Why not all change. Some crypto wallets will pay you $10 for new members – Wallets that will not ask ridiculous info as Coin Base and PayPal do.
    With faucet hub allowing surfers to claim a few thousand Black Coins from a faucet claim they could bring money into your TE’s from an external site. TE owners could then sell their BLK on Faucet Hub for BTC and then sell directly via Block Chain. This is a great way to actually invest your funds too as can just hold your bitcoin and sell it when it spikes in value.

    Just a suggestion, as a surfer for general website traffic rather than TE sign ups I have been lucky enough to get good trade from some sites in the past.

    If you all changed to crypto and had an easy explanation on your payment page of how to get a wallet, how to buy it, sell it and pay you with it then people would who are not familiar with crypto would soon be back to surf sites.

    If you do go in the direction of crypto curreny then do not make the mistake of going multi currency – This would not be a good thing. Stick to Black Coins – This will keep you in profit. Black Coin is a good coin to stash, I have sold during spikes and made tidy profits. It is the dark horse of coins to my mind.

    Black Coins – It has a current circulating supply of 76.8 Million coins and a total volume exchanged of ฿36.

    No matter what direction you take in your ventures, I wish you all success. Business is hard and as we all know that many businesses take 1 to 2 years to start making a profit.

    If your new at this then take advice from wiser TE owners, they are still here today because they really do understand the market they in.

    If you are a surfer then I do highly recommend the TE Command Post Site, this really is very rewarding for the surfer as it increases the amount of traffic you can earn maximizing your advertising.


  14. I hate Robert Puddy.

    You said you wanted some hate mail, just trying to help you out 🙂

    I think the TE Industry is on it’s deathbed, and your reasons are certainly valid. I’m going to add one if I may. We have failed, utterly, to attract outside advertising. 80% of the pages in any given TE are for another TE, which means the advertisers are simply chasing themselves around the block.

    I’ve spent a year trying to figure out how to change that, how to attract advertisers from a different neighborhood. I’ve got nothing. Well, maybe I have an idea or two, but I’m not going to discuss them while writing hate mail.

    Thanks for a considered post. I appreciate the thought and time you put into it, and I appreciate your leadership in this industry. Thank you.

    Pretty weak ending for hate mail, but I did what I could.

    1. [quote] We have failed, utterly, to attract outside advertising. 80% of the pages in any given TE are for another TE, which means the advertisers are simply chasing themselves around the block. [/quote]

      This never used to be the case and its symptomatic of the fact as an industry we are encouraging the wrong demographic group to use our services.

      The owners quite rightly see other TE’s as a perfect place to advertise, but were not encouraging other users to avail of our services because we encourage only surfers who do it for the cash not to genuinely view ads to earn advertising space for their own affiliate products

  15. Your article is at least thought-provoking and controversial I may have to ponder your opinion a little further, perhaps before coming to a definite decision…
    As always, it remains, (in my opinion) in the eyes of the Marketeer what works and as ever, which method is Most popular at the moment in time.

  16. In PayPal’s view, as an owner offering advertising space you are supporting anything that you allow to be advertised on your site.

    If you are supporting anything that is against PayPal’s AUP (or any payment processor), you are putting your account at risk. It doesn’t matter whether it is a TE or a mailer.

    I’m very new to the industry and, for me, the penny surfing has never made any sense. Allowing advertisements for pyramids, ponzis, get rich quick schemes or any other type of scam also needs to stop.
    We are responsible for what we allow to be advertised. Crying ‘freedom of speech’ doesn’t work. The FTC doesn’t differentiate depending on the advertising platform. The guidelines are the same for print, screen and web. There have already been instances of judges in the States overturning Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act where the site is a business venture.

    I’ve been told time and time again that as site owners we are not the internet police and that the payment processors don’t care what we allow to be advertised. Guess what? Bullshit!

    I believe it’s time for a rethink of our responsibilities as a provider of advertising space.
    And, while I’m here, it really pisses me off when owners promote a program months after that programs owners have been issued a cease and desist order. That’s not what I would call setting a good example.

    It may be too late for TE’s. Let’s not go down the same road with mailers.

  17. Don’t know what to think!! For an inexperienced marketer like me I’ve always wondered why TE’s urge members to upgrade. If everybody did then nobody would surf at all. Why are TE’s not more selective about the ads they accept? When I surf I still see existing and new ponzis being advertised. And yes there are too many new TE’s – and safelists – being launched all the time and being pitched by seemingly responsible on line folk. If they know that TE’s are dying and safelists should be avoided why do they break the golden rule of not recommending them unless they are enthusiastically and successfully using it themselves. To earn a quick commission would seem to be the answer.

  18. at least we have more people agreeing with me than not, I was expecting a lot of different arguments against whats plainly obvious

  19. The question currently is do TE work ?
    No one discussed why?
    In my opinion the reason is that the market is over saturated with TE every other day new launch
    The result:
    competition is high so we hear of reduced timer,increased surf ration,top 5 surfers etc….
    Then the aim of surfer is quantity rather than quality and no focus on surfing.
    The ease to own TE lets everyone owns TE and you are Sir responsible for this as script developer of TE and mailers.
    YES mailers are more likely to have more conversion cause if I decide to open a mail I will read it.
    Again if the market is over saturated with mailers the same fate like TE.
    I disagree that TE should go to the grave as a lot of money is invested and other supporting aids like splash page ,banner makers etc will go to the grave too.
    I have a lot to say but that is enough for now.

  20. Paypal still tolerates VMs, I do not know how long, but it’s still good.
    I still notice that the biggest traffic comes from TEs, and I’m talking about links, not banners or text ads.
    The big problem remains with the owners, they were not trained by anyone and focused only on making money.

  21. Thanks for saying what needed to be said. I had almost gotten over the shock of Traffic Monsoon amd the money that it cost me (pain & agony)!
    However, it was most likely the best lesson I ever learned. If it has the right color and the right smell, it most likely is what you thinbk iot is!

    Don’t stop what you are doing Robert, we ALL need a dose of medicine ever once in a while!

    Warm Regards,

  22. I like your article Robert,

    Though, I admit as a TE owner, I was mad when I came here to read it.
    I was looking for a reason to challenge your view.
    Cash probably is probably is one big reason for the results
    drop off in TEs click through rates. Because as you said many are not looking for advertising opportunities, just coins.
    I think there is another problem as well. TEs became so inexpensive to own. That many bought extra bizs looking to cash in.
    They open another site to get the initial buyers then, neglect that
    program too. I see the same happening in some VMs as well.
    I ‘ve referred to them as serial launchers owning many sites
    but neglecting most.

  23. A very interesting article. I appreciated the fact the article stated the reasons for the very predictable demise of the TE were solid and completely provable. Just check your own tracking. I also agree with the warriorlady. Build a business on the proper guidelines and trust and honesty. A great article that is worth reading

  24. There is a lot to say that no one wants to hear.
    In a nutshell ..
    Go anyway you wish! Create any business form you wish!
    Blame any payment processor you wish!

    UNTIL – no other way – NO OTHER business that deals in dollars
    will survive if they are NOT compliant with COUNTRY CONSUMER LAWS they choose to do business with.

    Cut the BULL- be honest – be accountable!
    Or plan on a short online business life.
    Your choice!

    We are not being asked – the law says we will …

    Fran Klasinski- warriorlady

  25. Everybody loves a party.. well the TE party is over. If you use a free traffic exchange with bad results what makes you think upgrading is going to make it any better? LOL Some say the free members will eventually upgrade. That hasn’t been my experience at all. I have 10,001 free sign-ups and that’s the way it stays.

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