What is traffic arbitrage?

Traffic arbitrage is the practice of buying cheap traffic and selling it for a better price. Media buyers who practice traffic arbitrage assume some sort of risk as in any campaign but for different reasons. 

Traffic arbitrage is the name of the process where publishers earn on the spread between the buy price and the selling price, the same as any other business venture. 

Traffic arbitrage is usually practiced by website owners who monetize their website via the bigger SSPs and are looking to maximize their existing inventory with paid inventory that is cheaply priced. 

Even though traffic arbitrage looks similar to many other deal models, all of which are for ROI, it’s definitely not for new buyers. There are a lot of factors other than traffic quality that is required when practicing traffic arbitrage due to the low margins and high ad serving costs involved.


How does traffic arbitrage work?

Traffic arbitrage involves control of both good supply and demand sources and the ad serving technology to make it work. In order to run traffic arbitrage campaigns one would need: 

    1. Website
    2. Publisher account with a monetization platform
    3. Self-serve DSP access
    4. affiliate tracker solution (read our reviews on Skro, Trackier, Voluum, PeerClick, CPV Lab Pro, RedTrack, Ads Bridge)
    5. advertising budget

In addition, professional media buyers usually employ traffic monitoring services such as cleartrust.co which allows them to filter out non-performing traffic segments automatically. 

Once a website is built and the monetization platform banner ad network script is integrated within that site, then it’s time to turn on the media buy campaigns and monitor ROI through your tracking platform. 

We’ll go over all these steps in detail in this article, keep reading. 

Table of Contents

Is traffic arbitrage for beginners?

Not really, but it doesn’t take much to learn. Other than controlling your ROI when practicing traffic arbitrage you need to maintain the quality of the inventory you receive to satisfy your advertiser’s demands and need for conversions. 

In order to buy cheap popunder traffic, you need to ascertain the level of quality to make sure your campaign isn’t short-lived and that might take some insights and experience new affiliate marketers haven’t gained yet. 

What does traffic arbitrage have to do with affiliate marketing?

The same it does for any other deal model. Affiliate networks are different from most marketing deals online in how they pay for success or conversions. Affiliate networks usually pay per performance such as pay-per-install, or pay-per-lead or sale, etc. If your publisher works for the same deal model and all you have to do is manage the difference or the profit you generate then this deal is perfectly lined up with any other traffic arbitrage deals. 

For example, if you receive $3 per install from a certain affiliate network and a publisher you’re connected to will provide you with installs for $2 per install then you’re affectively earning from traffic arbitrage just in this case it’s based on installs and not impressions or clicks. 

How do you generate traffic you can sell on arbitrage?

There are a couple of ways to generate traffic for traffic arbitrage campaigns: 

  1. Buying targeted traffic
  2. Buy cheap popunder traffic
  3. Generate traffic with SEO
  4. Networking 

Buying targeted traffic

You can easily set up campaigns with the most extensive ad popunder networks such as Facebook, Google, Taboola, and Outbrain to quickly traffic your campaigns or content to generate premium users for your desired websites and offers.

Buying cheap pop traffic

One of the ways to scale the inventory of your website is to simply register an advertiser account with self-serve ad networks and pump cheap pop traffic to your website, which will get more users viewing your ads and clicking your banners which will increase your payout. 

Generate traffic with SEO

if your niche is not so competitive you can opt-in to write a few articles that will rank on organic user searches. This way you trade your time of producing articles to win bids with organic traffic that works well with the offers you’re promoting. 


Sometimes you don’t even have to have traffic, if you have a good connection with an affiliate network and also with publishers all you need to do is to provide a connection between the two and start generating profit for managing the deal and connection between the 2 parties. 

How to choose an effective vertical for traffic arbitrage?

Choosing a vertical isn’t as complex as we make it to be. Before choosing a vertical make sure you’re connected to companies that are big enough to treat your account well and advise you on what works best for them, then go and work according to the companies you trust to pay you at the end of the month. Vertical is not as important as making sure payments reach you on time. 

Consider using spy tools such as Anstrex or Spyover to get an understanding of what type of creatives and campaigns do well on your preferred traffic source. In addition to spy tools, you should also get ready to sign with a tracking partner such as Bemob, Skro, Adsbridge, or CPV Lab Pro to be able to track your results and view detailed marketing reports. 

Why even try traffic arbitrage?

It’s a great way to practice and earn from media buying without developing a product from scratch. Traffic arbitrage provides you with a low-risk opportunity to generate profit based on the traffic you have access to therefore it’s not much different than any other deal you can do online. 

How to find traffic arbitrage sites

Use industry forums that specialize in black hat SEO or just search for traffic arbitrage-related keywords on Google Search.

But if you’re looking for faster response from your traffic sources you should consider social and native media traffic as a start.

Today we have companies such as Taboola and Outbrain who provide excellent solutions for content writers to shine a light on their website content. This works the same for arbitrage buyers who are looking to promote their websites. 

How much can I earn with traffic arbitrage?

With traffic arbitrage, it might be harder to scale because you’re dependent on publishers and advertisers that are not your own, but once you find steady sources of traffic matching them with well-converting deals is the easier part of the process. If you’re committed to staying up to date with the publisher’s needs and are also connected with enough popup ad networks and affiliate networks that can supply those needs then all that’s left is acting on that potential as fast as you can. 

earn money with traffic arbitrage

How to use popunders for traffic arbitrage?

Easy. That’s how. Once bought traffic is directed to your website, it will convert to ad impressions, click-through rates (CTR), and ultimately revenue generated via the ad network.

Here are the steps to launch your first popunder campaign for traffic arbitrage. 

  1. Register an advertiser account with EZmob
  2. Verify your account 
  3. Fund your account
  4. Setup a popunder campaign with your demand source URLs and targeting needs
  5. Launch campaign

Read more on our blog to check out case studies and helpful content on how to set up pop or push notification ads campaigns on our platform. Although pop ads are the natural start due to their low bids and amazing volumes, media buyers also like to promote content with push notification ads. 

Does Google Adsense allow traffic arbitrage?

Google can block your Adsense account for many reasons, sometimes without an explanation. Google Adsense content guidelines are only as clear as Google wants them to be and they’re open for publisher interpretation. 

Google actually supplies a quick guide on publishers who are looking to promote their sites with paid traffic sources, you can read about it here. One of the main users google will block you is for traffic quality so make sure you do your part to fight bots.

Monitor Your Paid Traffic Arbitration Sources

Buying cheap traffic can fluctuate in volumes and quality; stay on top of your publisher’s inventory daily and check that quality and volumes don’t change too often, as in daily, as. that’s not the natural behavior of an organic website and might trigger unwanted questions from your demand sources.

Read our article about how to optimize your popunder campaigns with SubID optimization. 

The bottom line

Traffic arbitrage is a popular monetization method with publishers and media buyers. Use the experience you’ve gained from promoting affiliate offers to act as a mediator in some of your online pop campaigns and generate more ROI on your existing traffic. 

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