This page provides tips and suggestions to users from us. These are
not to be construed as rules or requirements, merely suggestions.
Banner Exchange Issues
Banner exchanges are for banners. We've had a few people put
sites into the banner exchange, so we want to clarify: banner exchanges are
for banners. You can either link to your banner, or upload it into our
system, but the record must refer to a banner.
Banner exchange members need 2 settings: To put banners on the
exchange, you need:
- One or more banner entries with the "Banner Exchange" flag set to
- You can use the same banner entry that you use on the main traffic
exchange, just change the setting
- Your own user record must be marked "Use Banner Exchange" as "Yes"
- This is a safeguard, so you can start or stop all of your banners
that are marked for the exchange at one time
You do not have to have banners on the exchange to Earn Tokens: If
you put the script on your website's pages, you will earn tokens.
There are no settings required for this to happen.
If you are earning through the exchange: We have a request: We'd
like to compile a list of participating websites.
Send an email containing the page where you've placed exchange, a brief
description of the site, and a preferred landing page, and we'll create the
list. This provides a hard link to your site from Castle Surf, which will
help your ratings on other search engines, as well.
General Site Suggestions
Download times: This is a traffic exchange, and the main goal here
is to get other members to view your sites as conveniently as possible.
Also, remember that you are paying for bandwidth on your site. With
that in mind, try to keep the eye-popping graphics to a minimum.
Remember that some users have a 20-second timer, so if it takes 10 seconds
to load your big-honking page, they will have probably less than 10 seconds
left to read what you're trying to say.
There are some 'post-card' traffic
exchanges out there. While they are a great idea, many people starting
with an affiliate site have to use what their company gives them.
blues: In the same vein, realize that it is more effective to put up a
reasonably short text ad describing your site. Save the graphics for those
who click-through TO your home page. Putting your home page up in rotation
(if you've got big, nifty graphics or multimedia content) costs you bandwidth,
and your viewer's time.
Spelling really does count: This is not
specific to traffic exchanges. There are thousands of spell check
programs, and most HTML editors offer a spell check function built in... use it.
Nothing spells "sloppy site" better than "click heer".
Relative links: We just got zinged on this one - when building a link on a
page for display, don't assume the user knows what site and what folder
you're in. If your link reads "<a href="../mypage.htm">, it won't work on
several of the browser scenarios. This is also true for images and style
sheet references. Always use the absolute reference (i.e.: <a href="http://mysite.dom/directory/mypage.htm">,
so that it works consistently.
Banner dimensions: For ease of viewing, banners should be no more
than 468 wide and 60 high. Your banner may get put into 'warning' if
it exceeds those dimensions.
Banner size: Just like the download
times above, banners cost you bandwidth, and slow the viewer's experience down.
(Remember: This is the Internet... slow is bad.) Please keep your banners
to a reasonable size... with gif and jpeg compression, most banners can be kept
under 60 Kb. We don't have an official size limit, but if we get enough
complaints, we will institute one. Remember that banners aren't for
paragraphs... they are for sentences.
Remember you can upload
your banners: This is especially important for people on slow/overloaded
servers... you can upload your banner file, as a .gif, .jpg, .jpeg or .png file
(and we do have a 60Kb limit locally), which means your banners will
appear at Castle Surf speeds. This also can save your site some bandwidth.
To upload a banner, edit a banner record and blank out the "graphic URL" field,
and you will be prompted on the next screen for the file on your computer to