An Effective Link Exchange Program

Written By: Stephen Scott
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Recognizing, identifying and requesting reciprocal links is a bit more complicated than it used to be in the past. A main ingredient to a successful reciprocal link exchange program is increasing the quantity (and quality) of web sites providing reciprocal links to your site.

Web sites with related and similar content will provide more benefit to your own site's rankings than will several links from less relevant sources, which proves again the importance of link and content relevancy.

The key to successful link exchanging is in identifying relevant pages that will link to your site, effectively yielding you quality, inbound links. Be careful to not fall into the ever-growing quantity of link farms or web sites that offer little, if any content that is of value to your site visitors or to the engines.

Getting Started

Begin your reciprocal link exchange program by developing a site theme, topic or title that you will use as part of your link exchange request. Many sites limit the length of this variable so try to keep it short, ideally less than 25 characters and make it directly relevant to your site's content.

Because most sites use this theme or title to hyperlink to your site, be sure to include the one or two keywords or a short phrase that is of the most value to your optimization program.

The exact keywords that link to your site are just as valuable as the link itself when determining the overall impact on your sites search engine rankings. Develop a site description in a manner similar to that above. Keep your description under 150 characters as some online submission sites will delete some of your most important keywords after that point.

When writing your site's description, try not to make 'sales pitch' type statements and don't risk sounding spammy by simply listing some keywords placed here and there.

Selecting Link Exchange Partners

To find the most appropriate content-related and industry-related web sites that will link with your site, begin by browsing the Site Achieve Directory and submit link exchange request to websites whose visitors could benefit from your websites information, product or services. Remember, your website content must be relevant to each visitor or they will most likely never visit your site again.

Create a Link Exchange Page on Your Website

With each successful link exchange request you will need to place your link partners reciprocal link somewhere on your website. The simplest and most effective solution is to create a links page on your website. This is the page where you will place all of your reciprocal links. I suggest using a simple URL for your links page (e.g. http://www.YourSite.com/reciprocal_links.html).

Important: Make sure you include a link to your Link Exchange page somewhere on your website so search engines can find it and add it to their directory.

The last step is your most important: Click the 'send message' link next to your link exchange partners Site Achieve directory listing and send them a message personally thanking them for accepting your link exchange request. Regardless of any frustration or confusion you may encounter in the process of your link exchange program, always remember that other websites are actually doing you a favor by posting your link, even if you post their's on your site.

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