Link Exchanging Guide.

by Dave

Obtaining vital links is a long process but a necessary one, unless you want to spend a fortune buying them. For most though that's not an option. 

So this basic guide is to learn how to do this the proper way and get new sites off to a flying start. 

Linking for Traffic: 

Traffic is the most important and the main reason for linking. At the end of the day a website needs traffic to build more traffic, sales, reputation and presence on the web, and swapping links is the best way of doing it. For one thing it's free and the only cost is the time it takes to perform the exchange. The benefits are that links get spidered and can generate additional links, some sites will approach you and some will just link without your immediate knowledge. But not all links are equal in PR or traffic levels, so any unknown links may be untargeted and not favorable. 

Try and get links on targeted sites as this will provide both sets of visitors with useful information and make life a bit easier for everyone. I'm always thankful for webmasters who go to the trouble of setting up a few pages of extra links that point me in the right direction and your visitors will like this too. 

Approaching and asking for links: 

This is quite easy, well the approaching bit anyway - but it's harder to convince the bigger sites to link with you, if they are more established. Good sites just don't always link easily, and why should they give you a link when they can charge for it. 

If you managed to get a few PR6's to link with you, then I say that's an achievement, but it's near impossible to get PR 7 and above to grant you that favor, especially when you are the new site on the block! As earlier stated, PR is given according to the time a site has spent on the web, so a new site can't expect to be a PR 4 status right away - it has to pay it's dues and EARN that PR. 

How to approach webmasters: 

All you need is a simple email. Just ask politely saying their site is nice looking, targeted and would be useful to your needs and place a link to their site first. This normally does the trick - I've gotten hundreds of exchanges this way, and it works very well. 

But some will refuse, or insist that your PR be higher before they exchange (even though their site has lower value), and some will even insist they get a homepage link in return for a reciprocal page placement from them (yes, these parasites do exist) but most webmasters are kind hearted folks and are usually chuffed you approached them! 

A word of warning though - DON'T use link exchanges paid or free! They only ever send untargeted and desperate pleas for links that won't provide decent traffic or referrals, and once signed up with these exchanges, it's very tough to cancel or unsubscribe from the emails and offers. 

Link For Presence:

Always, always see links as 'branding'. In my experience many webby folks feel that because a single link (put on a high rank site) should and will automatically force tons of traffic, link swaps and instant fame to their site. Er, this isn't so, and people without experience of the web are just deluding themselves thinking this way. 

Links are actually 'paths' or 'access points' that lead to more information, sites etc etc - and nothing more at this point!

I say nothing more because, that's all a link is at that 'point' - a piece of web coding that allows travel. But links are seen as gold, yet what you should realize is it's the resource or site that's the real gold, and not the link. People go to view sites and for the information - not the link - so build a quality website and your link suddenly becomes valuable to the internet world. Of course, it's not that simple and many man hours are needed to even start such a popular site, and then some after that.......

You actually want to build 'popularity', and ensure visitors return time and time again. Do that to a large enough scale and links will come automatically and easily. 

About the Author: None

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