I’ve been testing out different “traffic exchange” systems to monitor the results thru Google analytics. Now for those who are new to these things, “Crowd Ignite” is not the only player in town, but in my opinion, one of the better. I don’t run them on “this” site, but am running it on another.
How they work is that you include their widget on your site and it displays the type of content that you specify (thru settings etc…such movies, sports, politics, etc).
The thumbnails link to other sites that pass thru “Crowd Ignite” first. As you send traffic (people clicking on the thumbnail links), “Crowd Ignite” sends back a %150 to 700% referral return rate of click backs (it registers your pages and promotes them on other sites the same way).
This can also be monitored thru your account with them.
It can also be verified thru your Google analytics referrals
It’s worth nothing that it takes about 3-4 days before the return rate has ramped up. This is due to them flagging you in the system and including some of your pages .
Now the traffic that they send back can vary but you should expect tier 1 or tier 2 style traffic. Since its actual readers clicking on article links, its not shady like a “auto-surfing” site may be (also “auto surfing” referrals will get your Adsense account banned (no really…it will!)
I’ve done some testing with and without the widget activated to see how it would effect things. I did notice that quite a bit of referrals noted in Google Analytics were coming from “Crowd Ignite”. This is a good thing. (it was actually 2nd to Google itself)
WHAT DO I RECOMMEND?
If you are on the fence you should include a few different ones and then after 1-2 weeks see which is sending the best results (in Google Analytics). After that I would limit it back to 1 widget on your site
- highly targeted readership
- high referral rate and traffic
- promotion of your content on other sites (even competitors)
- you may not want the additional java script code on your site
- it’s likely that it will link out to competitors and vice versa
- the links from my account were all sending back to craveonline.com, if you consider them a competitor you may not want to be referring others to their sites.
- the jury is grey in this area as to “if” it violates Google Adsense terms due to its unique nature and that “The site owners do not need to visit any links. The visitors just read news they like and they don’t get paid for it“. AND “There are no forced clicks, no-one gets anything for clicking. Traffic is not sent directly to content with adsense ads on it, traffic only comes if the visitor is interested enough to click on the news story. ”
Many have argued that using a service like “Crowd Ignite” technically is not a violation and thus will not get you banned
Note: Google Adsense statement:
“While traffic exchange services may help bring traffic to your site, we don’t recommend using them, as they may lead to invalid clicks or impressions and result in your account being disabled.”
“We also advise against using third-party tools or services to increase your site traffic, as they may also result in similar invalid activity and your account being disabled. We realize that you may have questions about a specific service and whether it could potentially create invalid impressions or clicks. However, please understand that we’re unable to comment on any particular third-party service.”
Here are a few other link exchanges, if you want to try a few out:
I’ve been using it with great success. Though I would still pay attention to what is being reported on the internet in regards to Google and their stance on these sites. As it is always possible that it will fly for awhile and then change.
It’s also recommended to stay alert to which of the site are hotter at the moment so that you are getting your best traffic solution
We also welcome reps from the sites themselves to comment on issues or questions that others might have