09 December 2012 ~ 2 Comments

Scandal! Drama! Intrigue! Results?

The Fact.

About a week or so ago Jeff Parker did what no one had expected – he changed the timer on his traffic exchange to 0 seconds, effectively having no timer.

Like with every tiny piece of potentially controversial action that happens in TE Land, the names took to social media and made sure the world knew what they thought about it.

There were two fairly clear sides of the debate, one saying that it will increase results or not effect them then the other side saying that it will destroy results everyone will cheat and it will destroy the ad. medium.

In the case of cheaters, there are people who cheat a traffic exchange regardless of what the timer is, so will people exploit the 0 timer? Absolutely, will people not exploit it? Absolutely.


The Opinion.


My opinion on the matter is essentially clear – People who experience good results with the type of advertising currently – still will.  If your page is great, pulls attention, is fast, and sells – it won’t matter if you stare at it for 5 minutes or 5 seconds or .5 seconds.  If your advertising sucks, your results will go down.  A long timer, at the very best, only forces your viewer to stare bored at your lame sales page for an extra period of time, most will switch tabs and do something else, with a little luck they’ll see a glimmer of something hopeful on your ad if they stare at it long enough and might click.

The fact of the matter is this, for people who claim to be “internet MARKETERS” what I saw, on all sides of the argument, was a total lack of actual understanding of marketing.  What I heard a lot of is “When I surf…”   “When I see a page…”  – and then what followed was horse manure.  Without going in to too much details, if you are one of these people – do some research.  The way advertising effects your brain is nothing to what your conscious reaction to it is, and this is a wide-spread problem, I see it everywhere – people mistaking feedback for results.  I don’t care if you like my ads, I care if they work.  You may hate me, hate my sites, hate my ads, but one thing I can guarantee to you is that every time you see the colors or the logo, you know what the ad is without even having to read it, if you instantly think to yourself “ah crap, this guy” and roll your eyes and move on without reading the ad – then my ad was clearly successful.  If you don’t see how that is, then call off the search party because we found the cause.

When I hear people say that the results of Traffic Exchanges are declining, and I look at my business and my results and the results of my affiliates, I always kind of chuckle.  The world around us is evolving, very rapidly, and if you are a person who doesn’t understand the way advertising works, you’re right – your results are falling. You’re advertising based on what you see other people do, on what you are told works, on what is supposed to work — not on what does.  You are mistaking feedback for results.

I know all this might sound a bit malevolent, but seriously.. look at it objectively – you say that results decline, but then you stick to the same old thing for year after year after year… if something isn’t working right, then change it!  This should sound like common sense, but someone changes their surf timer on THEIR OWN TE and it’s like the world is ending – without even spending a second to test it, to see if it works.  If you are advertising the same way, the same style now as you were 5 years ago, 2 years ago, 6 months ago – then yes, you’re right – you’re results are declining.

So why No Timer?  What made Jeff come to the theory to use no timer?  I have no idea, what his motives were.  To me it seems obvious that the more organic the traffic is, the better your results from it will be.  If you force me to build a fence and I can’t stand building fences – then I probably won’t do a very good job building it, or put much care into building it.  If I love to build fences – I’m going to seek out fences to build, and I will do a great job at it.  The same goes for advertising, the best conversion rates I get are traffic from Search Queries obviously, because people are looking for my product.  So the idea of the zero second TE is that people will see your site if they want to, and if they don’t, they won’t.

The execution is the only place I question it – from where I stand, changing the timer isn’t going to effect the quality of traffic.  People are still being forced to do it.  Despite now being able to choose how long they spend building the fence (weeding out the real fence builders from those who hate it), the people who don’t like building are still required to do it.  What’s forcing them to build the fence?  Not the time they spend doing it, but the money they get for it.  In my opinion – if you want to remove a timer then you need to remove the incentivization also, credits, cash, etc.. the motivation for the visit.

If you’re just scrolling through the paragraphs – the TLDR version:  My Opinion – A timer won’t decrease results, but in my opinion (OPINION, NOT PROVEN TEST) a better result would be to remove the credits instead of the timer.


The Results.


So what happened with the zero-timer anyway?   I took a single splash page that has had overall about a quarter of a million hits.  I made a brand new tracker just for this TE so I wouldn’t confuse it with any pre-timer results.

For the Disclaimer, I only purchased 6,000 credits at Traffic Fugitive for the test, which to me is much to small of an overall sample size but does give a decent idea of direction.  Of course the  next 10 hits could have all generated signups, or maybe the next 15,000 wouldn’t generate any at all.  That  being said, the results… The same.

The same splash page on the 0 second timer generated just barely slightly less (less than a tenth of a percent) then the average in both clicks AND conversions.

SURPRISE!  It didn’t really effect much at all.


The Final Word.


So now that the fire is out, the lackluster increase or decrease in results should sort of muffle most of the obnoxious outliers, I have a couple of other things for consideration of the zero-timer TE.

First of all – many TE owners talk about TE’s as having a bad reputation for advertising, the opponents say that much of the traffic is bad or non-targeted or automated.
When you approach someone who may have these oppinions of TE’s, how will you convince them that it is good traffic, while telling them that their ads have 0 second minimum view?

When people surf, they may tend to stare  at the timer to watch it countdown, increasing exposure to the things around it – including text and banner ads.
What do you think the results will be to Text and Banner ads in  a 0 timer environment?  Has anyone tested the results?


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