The Biggest Mistake in Traffic Exchange Rankings

Early this morning, just after 4 A.M. I opened the email at the top of my list which was from Traffic Funnel. Inside I found the Traffic Exchange Rankings for this week. That got me to thinking about a whole lot of things about what ranking services measure that lead to the rankings, in this case votes.

These rankings measure votes. But take a closer look at the results and you can see a wide disparity in new members enrolled. If you ranked that way the standings change dramatically. In essence this is a popularity contest. If you wanted to make informed decisions based on this list about the best traffic exchanges to use for your advertising budget this isn’t a good list to choose.

However, judging anything on new members is a flawed way to measure the effectiveness of a Traffic Exchange as well. Some of those new members will come from pay to sign-up pages which again skews the data and muddies the water.

Alexa rankings might be a better indicator of traffic if you are evaluating a TE in terms of driving traffic to your site.

However as an advertiser, the statistic I would be most interested in is the ratio between free members and upgraded members.

This is important for two reasons.

1. As an advertising I am looking for committed buyers, those who actually spend money.

2. As a business owner I want to maximize my ROI and put my money in traffic exchanges that have a proven track record of upgrading free members because upgrades earn me commissions.

Commissions earned from upgraded members in traffic exchanges is an income stream. That’s not the main reason I use a Traffic Exchanges but having a trickle of income from my time and effort is a big plus to me. For many people this is their primary focus. In which case I would really want to know the Traffic Exchanges that have the best conversion rate of free members to upgraded members.

Unfortunately getting those numbers isn’t easy. As far as I know there isn’t a data stream that could measure that statistic.

One way to find out is to ask TE owners what their ratio is between free and upgraded members.

As an example the percentage of upgraded members in my program Learn with Nick (which is not a traffic exchange) is 9.81% or almost one in ten. I am not sure how that measures up or what a good standard would be but for honesty in reporting I thought I would include that number here.

The statistic isn’t  too hard to generate as in  most LMFTE scripts it’s a simple calculation.

Suppose then that you had $100 dollars to invest in advertising and an upgrade at a traffic exchange an supposing surf ratios are similar or the same, if  Traffic Exchange A had a ratio of 2 upgraded members to ten free members and Traffic Exchange B had a ratio of .5 for every ten, then the odds of getting a better ROI rests with Traffic Exchange A.

If you built your business around commissions earned from TE’s then  this would, I think, become an overriding consideration.

The catch in all of this of course is the willingness of the owner to share that statistic with you.

And a corollary to that is the accessibility of the owners of Traffic Exchanges.

While we are think about all of this, (an that’s what I am doing:  musing out loud and hoping I get some good feedback to this), I wanted to throw out some interesting data from my surfing habits.

  1. I surf but I am not fanatical
  2. Of the top twelve TE’s I surf on a regular basis I am an upgraded member in all of them . In other words I rarely surf a TE I am not upgraded in.
  3. Of those twelve TE’s all the owners are very active and visible (Is there a ranking for that?)
  4. Finally my biggest consistent income earning TE’s are Legacy Hits, Surf Skeleton and Site Explosion. And Legacy hits is way out in front. [ (I expect that to change with Kore 4, but more about that in a moment.) Is there a ranking based on commissions paid out?]

So by any measure what is measured by Traffic Exchange ranking vehicles, is not really relevant to either an advertiser or an affiliate member bent on earning income from TE commission.

That leads me to the biggest mistake in traffic exchange rankings as they are currently structured: their relevancy to you and me is very limited at best, and ignoring them totally wouldn’t  effect your effectiveness in the least.

You’d be better off asking fellow surfers, and owners directly than wasting any time perusing ranking systems except for traffic figures from Alexa .

Now the game changer to my personal results could be Kore4.

Kore4 pushes away from the “free mentality” of 97% of surfers, and offers a viable way to achieve a healthier ROI  based on being upgrading in 4 core exchanges, in this case TimTech TE’s linked through Click Track Profit. It maybe a struggle at first to see success in this program because you are battling the “free” or “poverty” mentality. But I think with persistence over time this program offers one of the best ways of increasing income from Traffic Exchanges.

You can join me at Kore4 by clicking this link: KORE4

Then together we can figure out how to tap its potential while others spent time chasing TE rankings.


Look for my next post in the series coming very soon. You can make sure you get notified by signing up to my list here|:


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  • Wow! Great post, Nick! I think there is a spider in your head, too!

    For the record, TrackeryMe is in the 7.5% range for upgraded members.

    I surf at roughly 10 exchanges and advertise at about 20. It’s all I can really keep track of. I also use Dr. Traffic and Legacy Team Co Op to get exposure at more places than that…

    Thanks for a super post, Nick!
    Tom Wacker recently posted…Advertising AdvertisingMy Profile

  • Great expression of opinion, Nick. It is one I with which
    I must agree… do voting sites even indicate popularity or
    is it just the repetitive beckoning of the owner to vote for
    their exchange. I very rarely mention it in emails, and the
    ‘voting box’ isn’t in your face when you login. They all
    reside in the footer of he site.

    My current upgrade percentage is just over 5% for just under
    12k members. While I was calculating, I became curious about
    the OTO conversion percentage… signup is just over 7% and a
    90 day OTO which is at 2%. Thanks for making me look at those
    numbers. It has been a long while since I have done so…

    As the top referrer in my own program, I am also the top
    commission earner (yes, they do go hand in hand). I have
    paid myself better than 3000.00. I say this as proof you can
    earn commissions promoting traffic exchanges. Imagine
    that times 10…20… or more exchanges.

  • Tom thanks for your comments and thank you for sharing your upgrade percentage. It helps me understand where we are as an industry and what actions might impact those numbers.


  • DA, thanks for the comments and for sharing your upgrade percentage and for taking a look at other stats as well. Your commission proof certainly proves the point that making money with a TE is possible, though there will be those who dismiss you achievement because you are a privileged owner. And you also prove another point. You invested to get that return, in both money and time, especially for a traffic exchange like 1 Modern Solution which offers a vast array of options and certainly not a cookie cutter site.

    Now imagine convincing more people to invest rather than playing safe as free.


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