educational

Revisiting Banner Swaps, Traffic Exchanges

Stephen Yagielowicz

The Internet as we know it today was built on the interlinking of websites, a process that began as a manual exchange between webmasters, often via e-mail. Then, as now, swapping links or banners doesn’t mean the other guy will leave his up, introducing high levels of fraud into the system, along with an unnecessary maintenance burden.

Enter third party gatekeepers that provided independent monitoring of link status —and a central clearinghouse for folks that wanted to swap banners; this made exchanges easier, more trustworthy and more productive — and traffic trading grew from there.

It may not be the best or most profitable fit for every ad zone, but all adult operators can make use of this traffic source.

As the popularity of traditional banner ads as an advertising mechanism waned, these exchanges declined in popularity; to the point where some webmasters may not be aware of their existence — or are more familiar with the process of buying and selling banner spots via a traffic broker, rather than dealing directly with other owners looking to trade.

But are straight forward adult banner exchanges still a worthwhile traffic source, or has the breed evolved into more popular tools such as Linkspun; or more sophisticated tools such as PlugRush; and other rich-media capable ad systems, without looking back?

A quick run through of the Banner Exchange section of the Adult Business Directory at XBIZ.com reveals a variety of these services, providing an initial indication that adult banner swap sites are far from obsolete. For example, Adult Banners.co.uk (www.adultbanners.co.uk) offers a British-based exchange, while Adult Dating Traffic (www.adultdatingtraffic.com) provides a service targeting adult dating sites. HQA Traffic (www.hqa-traffic.com) delivers traffic to clients through a range of services, bolstering its banner exchange with links and tube marketing; while XXX Banner Swap (www.xxxbannerswap.com) sticks to the basics, with a focus on sending high quality traffic through its network.

While adult banner swaps and traffic exchanges might have seen their heyday, for the website owner seeking every available visitor, this is a way to get a one-to-one swap of surfers and is easy enough to do with modern tools; putting swapped banners into rotation in lieu of “house ads” or other creatives; then using them to leverage your traffic mix.

It may not be the best or most profitable fit for every ad zone, but all adult operators can make use of this traffic source: try it for yourself and see.

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