Mention reciprocal linking on any
internet marketing forum and you will be sure to get a
barrage of heated replies. There is a continual debate
about the advantages and disadvantages involved in
reciprocal linking and both sides make convincing
statements. So, should you or should you not get involved
in reciprocal linking? Ultimately, the decision is yours
but here are some guidelines:
1. The main goal of any linking strategy is to get more
traffic to a website. Reciprocal linking can work for or
against you in this matter depending on the site that you
exchange links with. If you exchange links with sites that
receive a lot of traffic, some of that traffic may be
diverted to your site. On the other hand, if you exchange
links with a low traffic site, you may divert some of your
traffic to the other site without seeing a similar return.
The solution is to exchange reciprocal links with a site
with a page rank no lower than one level below yours and
to try to exchange links with many sites with a higher
page rank. Ideally, you would seek to exchange links with
sites that have at least a PR 4.
2. Don't exchange links with everybody that asks. What
advantage is there in exchanging links with a site that
sells wedding favors when your site is about dog training?
Anyone that visits the wedding favor site will be looking
for information concerning weddings, not dog training, and
very few will click on your link regardless of how high
the page rank is for the wedding site. The key here is to
exchange links only with sites that are relevant to your
site or to your keywords.
3. Avoid exchanging links with sites that have a huge link
directory. If your site is listed on page 43 in your
category of another site's link directory, few people will
ever see your link. Although a link will be generated to
your site for the search engines, you will not receive
much traffic from the link exchange. Try to exchange links
with sites where your link will be displayed on the first,
or at the most, the second page of another site's link
4. Build online relationships. Exchanging links with other
relevant websites is a great way to start building
partnerships with other website owners and may open the
door for future joint venture requests.
5. Build your link popularity. Most search engines view
sites that have many links to them as being important. So,
the more sites that link to your site, the higher your
site might rank. But again, make sure that all reciprocal
links are relevant to your site or the search engines will
If you do decide to get involved in reciprocal linking,
join only well established link exchanges that allow you
to approve or disapprove the link. Avoid link farms or
link exchanges that will automatically exchange your link
with their entire database regardless of the relevancy to
The optimum way to set up a link page is to enter all
links manually. Yes, it is time consuming but when you are
starting out, this is the best way to do it.
You would first need to set up a page on your website just
for your link categories. You can call this page anything
you like such as Links, My Partners, Link Partners, My
Link Partners, etc. Set up this page with the major
categories and subcategories that are relevant to your
site. Then, set up a page for each subcategory that will
contain the actual links. Test to be sure that whenever
anyone clicks on a subcategory that they are taken to the
appropriate link page.
Prepare a short 3 - 5 line ad about your website or your
product and include the URL to your website. This should
be in HTML code for easy uploading. Each linking company
has their own procedure, but generally, each time you ask
to exchange links, you'll need to copy and paste the other
website's HTML code onto your link page under the correct
category and subcategory. You will then need to upload the
updated page to your website.
Once this is done, let the other website know on which of
your pages they can find their link. If the other website
owner approves the link exchange, they should add your
link to their link page and inform you on exactly what
page you can find it.
Check to make sure that your link has been added to their
site. If they have not added your link, you have the
option of contacting the website owner as to why or of
removing their link from your site.