Link exchange can be an effective part of the overall formula for SEO that a business uses to gain ranking. However, it shouldn’t be the primary method and it certainly shouldn’t be the only method. An efficient SEO strategy has to have many angles to it that continually drive new traffic and get the search engine robots to index materials.
Why Consider Free Link Exchange?
Keeping overhead costs low should be a primary concern of any business. The overall profits of the business aren’t what matters, it is what is left after all of the expenses have been paid. Free link exchange, as the name implies, won’t cost you anything. It allows you to place links to your business on the websites of other businesses that offer similar but not the same products or services.
In exchange for them doing so, you agree to do the same thing for them. Keep in mind that you only want to take part in this on a limited basis. Too many links can be distracting to those looking around on your website. You also want to be very selective when it comes to the overall quality of those other businesses. They need to have a good reputation, reliable product or service, and plenty of traffic.
How does SEO Link Exchange Promote more Traffic?
When someone clicks on links that you have out there, it improves your power in the rankings for the search engines. Yet you can’t just rely on the fact that people will stumble upon your website. When someone clicks on yours though from another location through SEO link exchange, the search engines take notice of this. It improves the overall ranking placement you have within that search engine.
The traffic that site has coming their direction is going to be possible or you to gain too. A percentage of those viewers are going to click the conveniently placed on that site and be redirected to your site. This is fast and easy for them and since there is no cost to you, every conversion from it is an increase in overall profits.
Link Exchange Can Be Effective
You can’t spend your time trying to guess the overall formula and design for SEO criteria within the search engines. They are all a bit different and they change often to keep people from manipulating them. When you have a great SEO link exchange in place as part of your overall strategy, you continue to get better placement. It also means that when you are placed high, you have a better chance of staying there.
SEO efforts should always be moving forward, never being stagnant. The overall strategy should include many streams of effort. They should include keywords, article directories, adding new information to the website regularly, press releases, and free link exchange. Combined, such efforts can make a huge impact on that placement within the various search engines.
Has it Worked for you?
What is your own experience with the use of free link exchanges for SEO purposes? Have you taken part in using reciprocal link exchanges? Sharing your information about how it worked for you is a great way to help others. They can learn from your mistakes and also find value in your success.
Link exchange sites were popular in the 1990s mainly because search engines like Google used the quality and quantity of the websites’ links in their rankings. These sites were a collection of websites with a central organization running the exchanges. The webmasters registered their sites and then received HTML codes that can be inserted into their web pages, said codes of which caused the display of banner advertisements.
Benefits of Link Exchange Sites Then
The arrangement worked for the benefit of all members as their advertisements are displayed on more websites, thus, increasing the visibility and credibility of the member websites. This is, in effect, using a cost-efficient and results-effective SEO link exchange program with specific benefits including:
• Bringing in targeted readers to the website since all the members in the link exchange websites have similar purposes;
• Increasing the website’s link popularity; and
• Providing a relatively stable method of creating hyperlinks, the most important part of all hypertext systems such as the World Wide Web.
Basically, membership in the link exchange sites was part and parcel of an effective and efficient SEO plan since the website was perceived as more visible and credible by the search engines and the target audience.
But with the constant changes in algorithms made by Google, link building may just be a dying art for SEO purposes. This seems especially true with the recent rollout of Penguin 2.0, Google’s algorithm update in relation to web spam; said update occurred on 22 May 2013. Or is it?
What then will happen with your SEO link exchange plans considering the Penguin 2.0 update? To understand its impact on SEO, a few things must be discussed about the changes including:
• Authority. Considered as the biggest change in the algorithm, Google wants the websites to be authorities in their niche instead of just spam websites and the like. Tip: Use the Author Rank feature. Use social sharing, Google+ and rich snippets.
• Anchor text. Google will look closer at the website’s anchor text to determine relevance. If the anchor text is rich in keywords, the search engine can deem it unnatural and, thus, lower your webpage’s ranking; your website will not be affected per se. Tip: Diversify your anchor text. Focus on branded variations on the link exchange sites.
• Advertorials. These are places where the links were clearly neither sold nor earned by the company. Keep in mind that Google will not condone selling links because this is akin to tricking the bots.
• Hacked CMS. Content management systems have been used for hacking purposes, which will lower the website’s ranking. Google now provides its webmaster the opportunity to resolve the issue before being penalized.
With these changes in mind, here are the tips to taking advantage of the Penguin 2.0 updates and, thus, proving that link building and link exchange are not dead in the SEO universe:
• Perform a link audit. The links that should be removed such as links from domains absent in Google’s index, links with malware, and links to unrelated websites can be identified and removed/disavowed.
• Keep the links relevant. Google ranks websites according to the relation and relevance of the links.
• Start using white hat tactics instead of black hat tactics. Not only will the website escape penalty but it will also rank better and longer on the search engine results pages.
So, should you still avail of the services of link exchange sites for SEO purposes? Of course, you should but be sure to adopt the right techniques!
During the early days of the internet, reciprocal linking was considered a great idea. Owners of various websites would exchange information and would create a reciprocal link URL to help each other. Back in 1998, this was known as a web ring and both websites would benefit. Over time, link farming and other black hat tricks to boost your website were attempted and Google put an end to it.
Reciprocal Links : A Little Background
Today, reciprocal linking is still used and while it can help to boost your online visibility, having a reciprocal link that involves you and an unrelated website, can actually harm your ranking in your niche. Google is regularly changing their algorithms to weed out irrelevant websites linking to each other and catch suspicious reciprocal links. This can cause a penalty on a website, whereas good solid links can actually help to increase your visibility.
The important thing to understand is that Google now looks at reciprocal linking as having little to no authority. When determining the popularity and value of your website, it will not consider most backlinks that take place. The exception to this would be highly regarded digital authorities posting a link to you in a particular article and you linking to that article on your website.
Not All Links are Bad
This latter version of the link to your website is often called a resource link. In this section, they are referring back to your website for more information. In this section, the individual who is posting information about you has a link that goes back suggesting that you are an authority on the topic. This helps to build placement and can actually help you to increase traffic and web results.
Keep in mind that while this type of reciprocal linking can help you, the relevancy is still important. If you are selling diet pills and the link lists you as a resource on how to make cabbage soup, the impact won’t be nearly as strong.
What Does the Future Hold?
Of course, with more people finding the loop holes, Google there will be new requirements in place, when the next Google Algorithm is released. Knowing that it can have a negative impact on your business, it will be important for you to take a few moments to think about the stance that Google has already taken in the past and focus on building your online presence. This includes not only toning down on reciprocal linking, but also slowing down on the places you leave your link.
Keep in mind that the third party search engines that people have never heard of paid directories that no one uses and even posting comments on hundreds of websites all at once are going to hurt your rankings in the long run. Knowing this now, the best approach may be to continue to build your website and increase your visibility as an authority in your niche. As people link to your useful pages, you may just find that the boost you have been looking for is found in your own personal knowledge and expertise.
So what do you think about the current state of reciprocal linking? Do you feel that Google is going too far in policing the internet, or are they keeping everyone honest? Sound off in the section comment below.