Please Note: A few people have expressed concern about how this post sounded lumping together penny clicking and gamification. I would like to point out I included a OR in the post to mean they was different things however both reasons for TE change. In the future posts that this serves as an introduction for it will explain what is meant by they are both changes and clarify that I did not mean they was the same thing and just two different niches and ways some exchanges have gone.


People keep using the word change and mentioning how traffic exchanges have moved on with the times and moving on is something I cant deny has happened but is it for the better?

You will notice a lot of traffic exchanges have ways to encourage people to surf and then surf some more and this is one of the big things that has changed.

Gamification a lot of people call it.

While I think it is very important to have some games and little contest things while surfing like prize pages and stuff I think it is also very important to remember why we are here. Traffic Exchanges came from a load of advertisers wanting to swap ad views, A sort of you show me yours and I will show you mine attitude to websites.

This became a time where members could either purchase views of their sites or view sites in exchange for views.

Some people purchased loads of credits while others exchanged their time for the traffic they needed.

However todays gamified TE world is focussed slightly differently now. I see lots of people coming into training programs etc who are surfing for pennies or just as something to do, collecting trinkets along the way and being part of a team. Then they get sold on a service or a money making site that they can promote and that is what they use the traffic generated for.

You see a big number are not coming here looking to exchange traffic, they are here for the get cash to surf or the collect trinkets to win a team contest etc. This is a reason traffic exchange credit prices have fallen and highly gamified exchanges now sell credits at crazy prices like 8k for $8 etc. Why, It is because no one wants the traffic, it is not really what they are there for.

These TE’s hardly sell traffic or if they do its for pennies to mainly other owners trying to get some of those surfers into their sites. Their focus is now on surfer upgrades, you know the get a 2 second timer and other random benefits to surf faster.

Anyway I just wanted to highlight what I have seen happening over the years and why you wont find them trinket collection team point bribes and cash for surfing on my TE’s. I have always believed in a Traffic Exchanges primary focus should be on exchanging traffic with other like minded people.

This will form the basis for a host of blog posts relating to this over the coming weeks…

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  1. I would say the people who do the majority of the surfing are not here to promote a business. They are fine being an affiliate marketer and if they make a little money along the way, they are happy. The big draw is being part of a community. This is more of a hobby for that kind of surfer and the ability to make a little cash along the way is a bonus not a priority. Like you said…times have changed.
    With that said, there are still some very serious marketers. These marketers avoid the sites with 2 second timers and look for quality traffic exchanges which still focus, at least is some respect, on delivering quality traffic.

  2. John Bell says:

    Gamification and cash rewards are two completely different things. Gamification is literally, using points, leaderboards, and badges, to motivate actions.

    Giving away money actually contradicts the theories of Gamification.. putting them into the same category discredits your argument, in my opinion.

    I do agree that there are “penny surfers” but it has all to do with how the traffic exchange targets members – quite obviously, if you target your site using things like ‘get x signup bonus’ ‘get paid to surf x pages’ ‘get rewarded to join’ then you are clearly going to attract people who’s primary focus is getting the signup bonus, getting the rewards, and getting paid to surf.

    You get what you attract, if you don’t want “those people” in your traffic exchange, then don’t target it towards them.

    Anybody can get 1,000 people to join their site by giving them $1 each to join, but is it worth it?

    It’s up to you to determine who your audience is, and to target them specifically, you can’t blame the fact that there are “penny surfers” if you’re giving them pennies to surf.

    You attract what you reward.

    I personally get some incredible results Traffic Swirl, which is heavily gamified.. but it’s also not paying people to join, or paying them to surf.

    • Steve Ayling says:

      Please see the note I added to the top of the post, I did not mean them to be considered the same thing just 2 changes that have happened.

  3. Ryan Hogan says:

    Nailed it, Catherine!

  4. Jeff Dionne says:

    I figure open the door to all types
    don’t close one door.
    One example: I have ctp badges
    some don’t like that but some do.
    Those badges are for a certain percentage
    for those that collect them and those that do
    have been great members and even upgraded.
    Is it perfect not at all does it have faults(For sure)
    but it works.
    I do agree with steve
    so i have tried to balance

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