There has been a huge debate on the credibility of link exchange, but if you practice link exchange with wisdom, you’ll be able to get most benefits and keep away from the downsides.
Where to Find Link Partners? – Your “Competitors”
Your “competitors” are not really your competitors, but those whose sites are so relevant that their websites’ keyword themes are similar to your site’s, their sites rank similar keywords to your site’s, and those sites will definitely drive the “most wanted” traffic to your website. This is something a non-competitor can never compare with.
In order to exchange links with “competitors”, both parties have to be open-minded. If both of your sites are of equally high quality, this exchange is a “win-win” strategy.
For those website owners whose revenue mostly relies on AdSense, driving only highly relevant traffic is the best approach. “Unwanted” traffic will affect your AdSense click through rate (CTR) and further affect your revenue compared with the time and resources consumed.
How to Find Relevant Link Partners?
To find those relevant partners, one of the best ways is to search relevant keywords in search engines and exchange links with those partners, because their sites are relevant and must also be of high quality, otherwise those sites won’t be ranked. I used to search keywords in search engines, and place links on those highly relevant sites in some ways, regardless of follow or nofollow, direct or indirect link, PR of the page my link is on; this simply worked great. Not only do those sites drive highly relevant traffic, my site’s keyword rank also increased soon.
Another good way to find relevant and quality partners is to exchange links with those listed in open directories (DMOZ) and Yahoo Directory.
Of course, you can also turn to link exchange sites, because not all of the sites mentioned above will be willing to link to you, and the sites registered on link exchange service providers will be more likely to link to you. However, this should be practiced cautiously, because many sites there are doing poor linking practice, linking to all sites.
Therefore, you save time on getting link partners who are willing to link to you, however, you spend more time on filtering those link partners to get some quality ones.
The best link exchange site for me is Link2Me.com, even though many websites there also have such poor practice mentioned above. As long as you spend some time reviewing partners, you’ll be able to get a few gems of link partners continuously. Link2me is better than other similar sites because it’s user friendly. Link partners are able to interact with each other towards the final exchange, in case either party does not wish to complete the exchange or can adjust to the other party’s requirement to make the previously impossible exchange finally happen.
Tools to Screen Link Partners
(Don’t tell me about PR; it’s a joke. What will a high PR bring you? – You can sell more links? Then you get penalized and lose PR.)
Alexa is not accurate when it’s the only measurement; however, it’s still a good tool to at least tell you whether a site has traffic at all. Even if a site has very high PR, Alexa may tell you that this site actually has little traffic. So will you exchange links with such a site? Unless it places your link on homepage probably.
On the other hand, high ranking Alexa doesn’t always translate into high relevant traffic. Some sites exchange links with all sites, so they get traffic from those link partners, but their link partners’ links are deep down buried in a subpage no one will ever visit.
There are a couple of complementary tools to help you make judgment:
This site provides one of the most accurate data about the ranked keywords of others’ sites. If a website has great Alexa ranking, you should use website.informer.com to verify its ranked keywords. If the keywords have no relation with your website, then such exchange is meaningless. Apart from the reason that such sites tend to exchange links with all sites, another reason could be that the site recently changed its content. Neither case will benefit you. website.informer.com also has traffic data you can refer to.
One more advice for you to screen link partners is to verify their link pages to preview their existing link partners. If a link page contains a never ending list of irrelevant link partners, then this exchange is useless.
Another OK link exchange site is Linkalizer.com. But due to the lack of interaction between members, it’s not as user friendly as link2me and the partners there are not of good quality as the ones on link2me. However, Linkalizer has one advantage. That is, the link back from it to your site weighs more than the one from link2me because of both sites’ linking structures and url formats. So it’s a good addition for webmasters to get a good link back.
In conclusion, link exchange is one of the methods to build links and like any other practice, exchanging links with wisdom will help your sites grow.
Min Min enjoys sharing her Internet Marketing tips.