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3 years ago

Are link exchanges still an effective way of SEO? – A guild to link building.

Apr 25th 2012 at 11:21 AM

Anyone that owns an online business will know how difficult it can be to drive traffic and sales to their site but are they really using the core principles of the internet to achieve this? One way of gaining traffic is getting similar websites like your own to link to you. By having a link on another site pointing to your URL, describing a major keyword for your business acts like a vote towards the importance of your site within search engine ranking and positions. The internet from the very beginning was all about linking of information and resources and this is still true today with a greater emphasis being on quality and usefulness of content, but it is still a machine governed by algorithms and mechanical code. So it is still important to consider how the content you place on other sites is used and interpreted within these mechanics.

Getting back links to your site is important for your SEO efforts as it puts content relevant to your business on other sites. This makes your site look more attractive and relevant within your industry and increases the amount of traffic your site receives both from searches and from the linked sites individually.
Not all links can be beneficial to you however as you should try to have links from sites that have similar content and subject matter as your own. For example if you are an online florist you should look for other online florists to partner with your own, having a link from jewellery sellers won’t do you any good. This is because search engines place you within its results pages in relation to other florists that are your competitors all after the same customers a link from somewhere else will be seen as irrelevant.

Here are some popular mistakes when implementing a link exchange campaign. Will having hundreds if not thousands of backlinks increase my PageRank? No – this is where quality verses quantity counts! The rank, quality of content and relevancy of content of the site linking to you makes all the difference. You may be tempted to just find a program that would submit your keywords to hundreds of blogs, directories, feeds and forums with one click but your efforts will be seen as spam and may even be banned from listings. Organic submission (that what looks like it has been done by a human being) will give you the best returns so it is best you research into the sites you are putting content on. Will having a link from a really popular site that has nothing to do with my own help? To some extent it will be the result will be diluted in comparison to a popular site in your own industry. There are three types of linking you will encounter, a one way link which is probably the best type but these kinds of links are hard to get and you may have to pay for them. A reciprocal link exchange, where the two sites link to one another is the most popular and in most cases is free to undertake. These are a good link to have as content is shared between the sites and is seen in the search engines as such. Another less desirable and yet popular link type is a three way link where your site will link to a site that links to a third site that links to you. These are extremely unreliable as you don’t always know the quality of the other site linking to you so you should try to stay away if you can.

There are a few things to look out for when choosing link partnerships as not all sites are friendly and helpful for doing this. Look at how search engine friendly a site is and check if a site has a “nofollow” tag in its html meta head content, this means that links are found on a page but not associated with another page. Find out if the page where you are linking from is directly accessible from the home page of the site, a standalone page probably has no PageRank of its own and certainly doesn’t get importance propagated from the sites main page, therefore of no practical use to you for SEO. Try to develop a professional relationship with your link partners where it is in your mutual interest to link together otherwise you might find them removing your link after only a short span of time. Fail to do this and you will find yourself having to check your links regularly and we are sure you have more important things to do with your time.

The best thing to remember is to take your time with your campaigns even though they seem to take forever, but what you will get out of them will set your site within a commanding position within your industry into the future.

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