SEO best practices – Link Exchange

In this article we will look at link exchange. We will look at what it is all about, why it is still good practice, how to go about exchanging links properly, and finally using of link building software.

What is Link Exchange?

Link exchange is an SEO technique that has been around since the earliest days of the Web and has been a method to increase your search engine rank. This strategy in essence is offering to link your website to another relevant website if that website will link back to your website. A common phrase associated with this method “You scratch my back and I will scratch yours”.

Is link exchange still good practice? 

Now here this! The link exchange technique is still a good practice and is a valid technique so long as you follow a few simple guidelines and use some common sense too.

Opinions on link exchange are divided because the SEO technique was a widely adopted and soon fell prey to people “gaming the system” and spamming. Now many experts are going round saying that the exchanging links technique is old fashioned, that it doesn't work, and that is it is harmful to SEO. This is usually because they are terrified of harming the position obtained in Google and other search engines.

Other experts say there is nothing harmful in it as long as it is long done a massive scale and done using all these “one hit wonders” that appear in SEO forums and pushed by SEO gurus.  

How to exchange links properly

In order to go about exchanging links follow these simple 9 guidelines.

  1. Find a potential link partner.
  2. Search for their details
  3. Choose only quality and relevant websites
  4. Place a link to the potential partner website on your website
  5. Email your link potential partner
  6. Remind the potential partner if they have not sent details back within a month.
  7. Delete the website if they haven’t made a link  to your website or don’t swap links
  8. Assuming your potential partner website has sent link details back to you; add the website to your records.
  9. Finally, verify that the link to your website is there.

Avoid the following techniques

  1. Buying or selling links that pass Page Rank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
  2. Excessive link exchanging ("Link to me and I'll link to you")
  3. Linking to web spammers or unrelated sites with the intent to manipulate Page Rank
  4. Building partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
  5. Using automated programs or services to create links to your site

Using Link Building Software

The above nine steps can be streamlined and can make the task easier to handle by using software such as Link Assistant.

Although using software can indeed help in building up links to your website, it is strongly recommended that you choose carefully before buying any tool that says it will help you with SEO.

There are too many automated “one hit wonder solutions” available now that have been pushed by SEO gurus which claim to boost rankings. So exercise caution and find out more about them before purchasing.