Link exchanges have been a popular mechanism to create permanent inbound links to websites. Though this might increase the link popularity, it may not always result in traffic to your site. A free of cost mechanism to drive traffic to your website is the ad exchange programs.
How does it work?
If you want to drive free ad based traffic to your website, all that you need to do is to sign up with one of those free ad services – rather ad exchange sites. Basically it is a barter system whereby you allow your co-advertisers to display their ads on your site while they display your ads. These ads are rotated and recorded by the free ad service site and provide a detailed report on the number of impressions and clicks realized for your site.
Ads are mostly text link ads and decent looking ones so that it can be blended well with your content. Also the size of the ad and its location will determine the hits you might get back in your favor.
AdLeaf and AdGridWork
AdLeaf and AdGridWork are two such free ad service providers. I personally tried both and found that there is some realistic traffic resulting from these services.
In the case of AdLeaf your site’s free impressions per day is restricted to 2000 whereas AdGridWork does not have such a restriction. AdLeaf offers your ad to be customizable (unfortunately your ad alone and not how others’ ads appear on your site) in terms of text colors whereas AdGridWork is not customizable and hence has uniform looks. AdGridWork also provides an AdSpy which shows on real time who all are displaying whose ads. Your site is ranked with respect to the ad size, popularity etc and hence higher ranked sites get displayed more often than others.
Pros and cons
Compared to Link Exchanges where you have to put many permanent links to get a few inbound links, ad exchanges may require only one or two signups. It does not require too many ugly links to be present here and there but only one or two dedicated decent looking ad spaces.
There are not too many disadvantages with ad exchange programs as long as they keep offering these services as free. However, I have noticed that some crooks actually display their Google Adsense code etc instead of their own site ads – It is only a short term issue as most of them get banned immediately.
Happy FREE advertising!