There are many different ways of ranking traffic exchanges, each with their pros and cons. I’ll go over a few ways here and give my opinion on them. In the end, it comes down to results which you must track for yourself. But the problem many owners face is members who don’t track their own results, and instead rely on ranking schemes. Maybe by the end of this post you’ll have little faith in all of the ranking methods, start tracking your results, and see them as a bit of fun rather than the list to surf.
Ranking by Votes
So Jon Olson and Paul Kinder recently launched on Affiliate Funnel that allows members to vote. While this has been done before, it hasn’t been done in such a visible way. With these two behind it, it’s catching on. So much so that yes, I stuck their little vote icon on my navigation bar!
The pros of this method is it’s based off what you and I think, not what one person thinks. It’s good old fashioned democracy.
The cons of this method is that it’s based off what you and I think. LOL no really, how many people have you heard say “I get really good results from XY exchanges, and I surf Z because I like the look of the surfbar”. I’ve heard it many times. In reality, people will vote for who they like or whatever appeals to them, not necessarily which works the best. On top of that, each person has a different rating scheme. Do you give a 10 for only the best, or for all the ones you like. Do you give an exchange that’s OK a 5 or a 1? Whatever way you do it, I bet the others aren’t doing it the same!
Ranking by Page Views
This was recently done with the Top Traffic Exchanges on StartXchange, and has been done in other variations by other top sites (Traffic Ranker anyone?). The twist on this one is that it only tracks members logging in, rather than overall page views.
The pros of this method is that you can see how active an exchange is. The more people logging in, the more eyes that are there to see your site.
The cons of this method is it can’t tell you if they are doing the once a month check if their hits were delivered activity. There could be an exchange which shows high activity, but really the members aren’t surfing because their hits aren’t being delivered. It also can’t tell you squat about results. It doesn’t know if those members are all looking at your site, or if they are speed surfing, or if they even are interested in what you have to offer.
Ranking by Traffic Delivered
This is the more traditional way of ranking exchanges. Traffic Exchange List publishes weekly reports free for all to see. You can find out a good chunk of information about the people on an exchange by analyzing the traffic.
The pros of this method is that you can see the type of traffic being delivered. If it’s the same person over and over, or if a variety of people are viewing sites.
The cons of this method is it can be skewed dramatically. There isn’t a way to track ALL traffic unless there was a tracker on the surfbar, and the way it is tracked could be tracking more from some exchanges than others on a different scale than the activity of one over another. The results also don’t tell you squat about results either, as it is based off tracking of the views, not if they clicked. It doesn’t tell you if the person is looking at your site, speed surfing, or if they are interested.
Ranking by Results
The best method of ranking is by tracking results. And you’ll also need to track your own results, as what you are offering will be different from another. So unless you are advertising the same exact program as someone else, take their results with a grain of salt.
The pros of this method is accuracy. You’ll know what works best and increase your ROI.
The cons of this method is difficulty. It can be hard starting out, and it takes more time. It is also tempting to take someone else’s “Top 10 Based on Results” and use it as your Top 10. But remember your results will differ! It’s also easy to make your Top 10 once, and stick to it for life. But exchanges are constantly getting new members, and dropping members, so over time that Top 10 might change!
Track your Results and have fun with the Rankings! If you are just starting out, take the top 20 of each of the different ranking schemes and then start tracking from those.Â Then once you’ve got your own Top 10, use them the most while periodically checking back with the others. And don’t be afraid to try a new exchange every once in a while, some of my highest CTR has been in exchanges never mentioned on any of the lists (for my particular ads of course =P)