Surf and the timers.

Today we will be talking about surf timers in the Traffic Exchange Business. People argue back and forth over whether or not a shorter timer is better or if a longer timer is better. To face the facts, short timers get you high volume whereas longer timers get good volume but better results. It’s the age old battle of quality over quantity. I hope you enjoy the video I have prepared for you today.

Please comment and add your thoughts and feelings.

*** no changes to any upgraded member level ***

31 Responses

  1. Marcy McManaway
    Marcy McManaway at | | Reply

    You are right… What are traffic exchanges for? Results!! Owners have put that down the list to making their own stats look good. A 3 second timer? really? Do you really think you are getting good results from that? A real advertiser will know you are not… Let’s get traffic exchanges back to working well for the advertiser, and in the end it will bring better results for the owner… Great post and awesome for taking a stand.

  2. Catherine White
    Catherine White at | | Reply

    Finding the perfect surf timer is a challenge for any owner. I commend you for enacting what you believe will bring better results for your members. It’s tough to take a stand and buck the current trend of shorter is better. As you mention, some of the owners which have reduced their timers have tripled or quadrupled the site volume which may sound good but, in reality, is giving a false sense of increased results.
    The bottom line is each site owner has to do what is best for their own membership. I love your challenge of purchasing a 1000 credits and testing it for yourself. I hope you get a huge response to it.

  3. Nancy Radlinger
    Nancy Radlinger at | | Reply

    Well I can understand what you are saying as I know years ago when I started using traffic exchanges the timers were higher and ran from 12 – 20 BUT having said that things have changed – everything is more fast paced on the internet and thus the fast timers – people are busy with offline things, they have many sites they want to get to and lot other reasons and that is why personally feel that it’s not just the site owners responsibility to make the results happen.

    What I mean by that is that people that put in the same ole same ole ad all the time and expect results – they are not going to get them and why I preach – be different. You have to have that ad that is going to stop that surfer in his tracks – it’s no different than ads in the newspapers, magazines, etc. – you have to get their attention and make them want to click on what you are offering.

    As a surfer that surfs 1000’s of pages in a day when you see the same pages all the time you do not need to set their and view a page for 12 seconds because you have seen it 1000’s of times already. Also with tab surfing these days – it really don’t matter what the timers are at actually for that type of surfer.

    As a site owner – I can’t say the results are not there – as I get great results in all the places that I promote – but you also don’t see me using the same ole page that everyone is using. I also track my results and when I don’t see any results from a site that I have been using – then it’s time for me to get a fresh page in there

    Just my opinion – great post and topic

  4. Douglas Nelson
    Douglas Nelson at | | Reply

    I agree 100% with what you are saying. There was a time I remember when the longer surf timer was the promo that owners used to draw more serious marketers/surfers to their site over others.
    Today in chat I was invited to a surf session with a 1sec timer! Even a 3 sec timer makes me wonder why not just use auto-surf sites and save the ‘toil’ of clicking every 3 secs!
    I feel tabbed browsing has played a role in this scenario too, making it almost redundant how long the timer is, as long as it’s ready to click when I get back to that tab.

    I admire your convictions James, and that you are willing to stand by them. Now we will see how many members will stand by you in this, imho, bold endeavor.

  5. Patti Boquist
    Patti Boquist at | | Reply


    Someone who likes to think for themselves and follow through!!!-nice job, James!

    I both agree and disagree with some of what Nancy mentioned…sorry friend!

    Why are people in such a hurry?

    To get onto the next site to get their promo prizes?

    Or because they are receiving results?

    Do Members consider Promo Prizes to BE results?

    Why are people using Traffic Exchanges?

    For advertising? or for Income from Surfing?

    Love these discussions! Thank you for allowing me to comment!

    1. Nancy Radlinger
      Nancy Radlinger at | | Reply

      good questions Patti and I feel that the lifestyle today people are just busy – no I don’t think it’s all just the promo prizes – if you have a person that is still working and have a life (like some of us don’t and live on here) then their time is limited. They want to surf to get credits to keep their sites showing but it’s a time factor for them.

      I do feel that results are different for different people and that people surf for different reasons and that is why there are so many TE’s out there. AND the answers to your question does boil down to what are you looking for.

  6. Kaye Towne
    Kaye Towne at | | Reply

    Bravo James! Well said I agree my sites are set to 10 seconds for free members down to 7 seconds for upgraded members. I agree the results are better with more time for the viewer to actually “engage” in reading some content on an add.

    I mean honestly all of us spend so much time creating splashes and banners with text on them therefore, we should be making sure each viewer has enough time for a splashpage to load and the content on it absorbed.

    This cant be done in less than 6 seconds even for a speed reader like myself.

    And you absolutely 100% correct about human nature coming into play. Think about it, we can cook the same item in an over or on the stove in 5 minutes but we continually opt for the 1-2 minutes in the microwave.

    Why? Because its in our nature to find the quickest and easiest way to accomplish any task. Therefore, if you give someone the ability to surf fast and never even look at an ad so that they can then get more advertising themselves, the average person will NOT connect the dots and realize everyone viewing their ads is doing the Exact Same Thing.

    You end up with a bunch of people surfing for nothing. No one is viewing anyone’s ads, no one is getting results, eventually with no results they will either stop using traffic exchanges or those that have too short a time or no timer at all or they will quit the online biz entirely.

    By not paying attention to the Quality we provide our members/customers we ourselves are hurting our own business.

    Ok im done ranting

    Great post James, glad i put on my headset to

  7. Jackie O
    Jackie O at | | Reply

    Excellent post James, and you know I love that you do things differently. 🙂

    I agree and disagree at the same time (I know that doesn’t shock you LOL).
    While I do agree with you that 3 seconds or less is ridiculously fast (some
    splash pages don’t even load in 3 seconds), I don’t think there’s much of a difference
    between 6 seconds and 12 seconds, as far as results go. (and I mean “actionable” results, where
    a person has clicked or signed up).

    However, based on my tracking, I have definitely noticed that 3 seconds and below have
    netted ZERO results…..I mean nonexistant….not only no sign ups, but not even any clicks!
    And I do believe part if it is that “human nature” factoring in where people want to surf as fast
    as humanly possible, whether it’s to accumulate credits, or cash or prizes or whatever.

    Yet the sites that have 6 seconds and above have brought me results…..actually sites with 6-8 seconds
    have done the best, oddly enough. Is that the timer? Or is it the owner of those sites that actually care about the QUALITY of traffic that they’re delivering, versus just moving and selling a boatload of credits? Maybe a combination of both?

    I do agree it’s time to take steps to bringing actionable results back to TEs. Is a longer timer the answer? Not sure, but kudos to you for stepping up and bucking the trend of shorter & shorter timers. 🙂

  8. Brian Rickert
    Brian Rickert at | | Reply

    Hi James,

    Seems like the sub-number sites you’ll only get people trying to stock pile credits that will be wasted there or they get prizes for being the top surfer. No balance at all. But here comes my two cents…

    Ahhh, Human Nature! Just like Mother Nature… All rivers, streams, and brooks flow through the path of least resistance. Electrons flow through the path of least resistance – Electricity and conductivity to it! Gravity, Force etc. Humans are no different because it’s a part of the Whole of Nature.

    Now… for your next trick: Find out the balance between the time and the results. Where do results start? 6 seconds? 8 seconds? 10? 12? Where is the line where people will stay surfing because it’s not too long and stay promoting because it gets results?

    That’s my million dollar question for you. 🙂

    ~Brian R.

  9. veronica smith
    veronica smith at | | Reply

    I agree with you James, quality is important. I used to like the really short timers, but you can’t really review the page as much as you should.

    So I agree with the longer timers. I stand behind you.

    The video was awesome.

    Veronica Smith
    Lady V

  10. John Bell
    John Bell at | | Reply

    the majority of surfers are looking at it for 1-2 seconds, regardless of what your timer is..

    results are improved by increasing engagement within your own site, keeping people on the page, and that’s not done by increasing a timer — if the ad fails to gain my interest, then it failed to gain my interest… if I somehow have the patience to stare at it for 30 seconds I may find something that catches my eye, but I don’t have that patience, instead I will switching to another tab, looking at my email, checking facebook, getting a skype message, getting distracted by my dog.. and by now I forgot I was even surfing to begin with…

    In fact from my own personal tracking of over 3.5 million splash page views would indicate that the shorter timers are actually more effective..


    Do it anyway! Don’t take what I say or what someone else says as a guide to run your business, run your business the best YOU can, and keep doing everything you can that you think will improve it, that’s the only way we grow, so regardless of whether or not I agree with it, I’m happy to see you taking the risk and going for it!

  11. Don Lambert
    Don Lambert at | | Reply

    Not an owner but a 6 second timer looks good to me.Time to read and realize what you have read.Still time to view others.

  12. Linda Basta
    Linda Basta at | | Reply

    Thanks. i really enjoyed reading your post as well as all the comments.
    i myself getting very impatient if it’s over 12 second and usually stop using the exchange. Six seconds is considerate of our time…and enough time to decide if we want to click and learn more.

  13. susan boston
    susan boston at | | Reply

    I have never tested this type of thing and I have been on both sides of the fence as a surfer and a business person.

    I can see where the surfer would want a short timer and a business owner a longer one. Now considering you are trying to better your site then you need to placate the business person because they are the ones that are your meat and potato’s. At least I would think they would be I mean I realize that surfers have the membership options but doesn’t most of those stay on the free where as business people I would think would be more likely to spend more money with you.

    As a site owner I would think your business advertisers would rather have the longer surf because like you said of the better results from longer retention.

    I think you made a good business decision even though I really hate sitting through many of the same pages I’ve seen a lot lol I do understand and as an advertiser I am going to go and check out your site 🙂

    Susan J. Boston

  14. The Rising Tides of Traffic Exchanges - MarcyMcManaway

    […] James Dias made a great video post on surf timers. You can read it here: Click Here To View […]

  15. Being Different – Taking your convictions to the next level | ADOne-TenEvents.Com

    […] Our #1 priority tho, is results for our members, so we should always be evaluating what works and what doesn’t. James is doing that now with his surf timers and explains that on his blog here: […]

  16. Randy Fountain
    Randy Fountain at | | Reply

    Good video James, and Good on ya for doing what You feel is best for IT247, The Dance and Your Members. I was not a fan of timers getting shorter, I guess cause it wasn’t what I was used to. So I firgured I’d just accept the shortened timers with an open mind, and just see what the effect would be.

    I don’t have as sophisticated tracking as you do lol, But my percentage of signups per credits used is FAR better at longer timer TEs like TrafficG and EasyHits.
    I just went and looked at a few TE’s with 3 sec. timers or less. The % Clicked is absolutely horrible. One Zero timer site, ranked extremely high on a ranker that measures fake traffic, Burned up Over 100,000 banner impressions and got NO clicks – Not One Single Click. pretty pathetic :s
    Huh, guess it ain’t all in your head Dias!
    Some of this could be due to sites are offering Cash per X # of pages surfed, Plus the 43 New TE’s that seem to open every 6 days.

    But we each have our Own businesses to run. IF I were in favor of supershort timer (and I’m NOT) and JimBob wanted 20sec. for his site, so what?
    Go for it man, that’s cool with me. 🙂 YOU run your business like You see best and I’ll do the same for mine.
    James you’re making an intelligent decision and taking action based on the FACTS your stats have proven to you.
    But short timer, long timer, no timer… who cares do what the heck an owner does?
    One thing I will be sure and fuss about tho, and that’s when an owner is being unethical.

    On Lighter Note:
    For Pete’s sake, I don’t see why there’s sooo much stinkin drama in this business. Where owners are worrying about what someone else is doing. I am accountable to Myself, My Business and My Members, but NOT You, Sue, or Boo.
    So Go On… Why don’t You just Whine, Moan n Groan, tear other people down, then throw Your immature hissy fits cause it makes you feel better about your insecure self esteem.
    btw… You meaning anyone not you James lol.
    Keep Tellin it like it is Brotha!

  17. Philippe Moisan
    Philippe Moisan at | | Reply

    Hello James,

    I see your name a lot in some of the Skype rooms where I chat or lurk.

    Nancy Radlinger showed me a post you wrote recently, and it got me to check your blog. She enjoyed it when I told her Zaney Clicks is no. 23 on your Top TE list. 🙂

    I’m really happy to have stumbled on this discussion here. Lots of comments by experienced TE people, many of them I know and trust. I like the fact it’s a real discussion, not “great post James”, with every one agreeing on everything. It makes for instructive reading.

    I look forward to more awesome posts and info, James. I will share this particular post right here right now.



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