So, you've added Adsense to your site and you are getting a few clicks. You could be thinking to yourself, How do I get a massive amount of visitors to bump up my earnings? If you're anything like me, you hear those stories about webmasters that have added Adsense and are already earning five figure incomes per month, and you start to see the dollar signs.
So you start brainstorming. You come up with a few ideas: email marketing, ebooks, trial software, etc. The thirst for Adsense dollars (and maybe a few affiliate dollars) is your main drive. Pushing massive amounts of traffic through your site can give you quite a thrill ride.
Then along comes the well known email that markets the traffic exchanges. If you aren't familiar with traffic exchanges, it's really very simple. You see, you sign up for their service (which often times is free) and your website is put in a list. The way the free traffic works is that you surf the web using their browser, browsing sites that are in their directory (or list) and every 30 seconds you can refresh to a new site. As you continue to do this, it builds up credits for your account that you use for other people who are using their browser to see your site.
It's a cyclical service. You see their site, they see yours. And since you can have as many browsers going (among the many traffic exchanges) as your computer can handle, you can theoretically build up a large quantity of hits on your site in a relatively small period of time.
It seems like a great thing, and for many it fills a very necessary niche, so I can't say that the traffic exchanges are a bad service. I would use them in anything else that I am doing. I would, however, make a very big distinction.
First, I know and respect the tech's at Google and I know that when they make a new program for their visitors and webmasters to use, they make it for the benefit of everyone. That is the case with their Adwords and Adsense programs, both targeted to helping webmasters make money through advertising (albeit the opoosite ends of the scale).
So when I put an ad on my website, I know that I am offering a service to the advertiser (through Google) to reach their target market. And ethically, I should only be paid when I provide that service (someone clicks through that ad to their site). There are extreme ethical problems if you were to use traffic exchanges with the Adsense program to try and cheat the advertiser out of his hard earned dollars.
Plus, if you haven't figured out by now, Google knows what you are doing. They have specific ways of knowing what is a legitimate impression, versus what is a hit generated by a traffic exchange. Your numbers quickly dwindle if you use a hit exchange and you run the risk of being kicked off the program.
Plus, often times you have to go through two websites wasting a full minute of your time before you get one hit directed to your website. Building up over time, it eventually it all adds up.
Take, for instance, the "surf contests". This is where they tell you who has racked up the most surfing in the week. These numbers are huge... up to 10,000 page loads. When you add it up, that's over 84 hours of one week that is taken up trying to earn an extra 1,000 hits on your site. Not very worth it to me.
The best way to use the Adsense program is with a website that you have that is established and has a constant stream of visitors going through it. That's the goal of the program, make money off of an existing site and its content.