It may seem self-serving for us to write about this topic since we
operate a banner exchange ourselves. But no body is more qualified
than us, an insider, to disclose the dirty secrets about this
industry. You can decide for yourself after reading.
We begin with a simple question: Do banner exchanges really work?
The answer is a cautious yes. Most of them DO NOT work. Although
they promise to display your banner at thousands of sites, in reality
that won't deliver a steady stream of visitors to your site. We will
use LinkExchange as an example.
LinkExchange with 200,000+ members, now owned by Microsoft, is the
biggest and oldest banner exchange around. It offers a fixed ratio of
2:1, which means for every two banners your site displays for
LinkExchange, your banner is displayed once at another site. In
effect, they stole 50% of your banner impressions!
To make matters worse, LinkExchange doesn't monitor its members
for cheating. Some members inflate their banner counters by
displaying banners at odd locations which are rarely seen. Or they
use special programs to simulate visitors to their sites. These
phantom visitors won't click on any banner. They only serve to
defraud other members. The end result is that your banner could
display 200-300 times before someone clicks on it. At the 2:1 ratio,
you need to display 400+ banners for LinkExchange before they will
send one visitor back to your site.
Indeed, most banner exchanges do not work. Even with the largest
member base like LinkExchange, it fails miserably when comes to
providing a useful service to its members. Other banner exchanges are
not much better. They all seem to be more interested in reaping
profits than in helping members gain visitors. That's why we started
We do everything that other banner exchanges are not doing. We set
strict rules about banner placement. We implement special spider
programs to catch members who are cheating. We also encourage members
to police themselves, offering rewards for reporting cheaters. We
also refrain from advertising ourselves in the banner network. Our
members show banners only for other members. Lastly and most
importantly, we use a merit-based system rather than a fixed ratio.
Our variable exchange ratio will reward members who bring visitors
to other members. The ratio begins at 3:2, which is already better
than the typical 2:1 ratio, but ours can increase to and exceed 1:1.
The goal is to send to each member almost as many visitors (80% and
more) as he/she sends to other members.
When you become a member, every time someone clicks on a banner
being displayed at your site you will earn 0.8 hit credit. More hit
credits means a higher exchange ratio. The ratio can even rise above
1:1, which means that we display more banners for you than you do for
other members. One hit credit is deducted when your site receives a
visitor from another member.
How does HitExchange stay in business? Our members have the
option of purchasing hit credits. But no matter how many hit credits
are sold, our hit-credit system guarantees that all members will
receive at least 80% of the visitors they send to others. Most of the
time though, members will receive back 100% of their visitors because
we only sell a few hit credits.
Our variable-ratio and hit-credit system make HitExchange an
efficient and effective banner exchange, without sacrificing quality
for profit. Join us!