One of the most important factors to improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is gaining quality links that point to your website. The practice of link exchanges can help achieve these backlinks.
Obtaining Links to a Website
There are 3 primary ways of obtaining links to your site.
- 1. Organic or natural growth
- This is the best type of backlink. A natural backlink is when another website links to your website or web page without being solicited to do so. The higher the websites rank, the more potent the link is for you.
- 2. Link Exchanges
- A reciprocal link exchange is an agreement between two bloggers or website administrators to place the other’s link on their site. The link is often placed in a blogroll or a links page, which is a web page dedicated solely to linking to your buddies or similar sites.
- 3. Purchased Links
- A purchased backlink is when a website administrator pays to have another website link to their site. These link building strategies are extremely popular, due to the recognized understanding that backlinks are the most important factor in improving your SEO. There are many different strategies for link placements, so I won’t talk about them here.
Link exchanges are one of the first steps in building a blogger’s online presence. A reciprocal link exchange works best if you exchange with bloggers or websites that are related to the topic your blog discusses. In regards to SEO, it’s not the best link to obtain, but it does possess several benefits.
Benefits of Link Exchanges
- It’s a Backlink
- A link exchange is considered an inbound link, also known as a backlink. This is important for improving your search engine ranking.
- It’s Free
- It costs nothing to obtain a link on fellow blogger’s site.
- It’s networking
- It’s an opportunity to introduce yourself and your blog to the community of like minded people. Don’t just send an email to another blogger without reviewing their website. Make sure they allow link exchanges by searching for a links page or a blogroll. Inform the website admin of your blog niche and make it known that you have perused their blog.
- It’s Traffic
- It may not be a significant SEO benefit, but it can result in some quality visitors to your blog. If a reader is looking at another blogger’s links page, they are looking for another resource. They have a specific topic they are seeking and a click on your link will most likely result in a reader spending quality time on your website.
- Get on Quality, Well Known Sites
- It’s your opportunity as a newbie blogger to have a link placed on a high ranking, well known blogger’s website. Find the most popular bloggers in your niche and if they have a links page or blogroll, introduce yourself immediately.
Link exchanges aren’t the most effective way to build quality backlinks, but they have too many benefits to ignore. If you want to get more creative, consider a 3-way link where you (blog A) link to blog B, blog B links to blog C, and blog C links back to you (blog A). Another idea is to provide a link to one of your pages instead of the home page. Switching things up is always encouraged to boost your blog search ranking.
Link Exchanges with Businesses
This is where things get more complicating. Eventually, you will get an email from an organization, usually related to your blog’s category, asking for a link exchange or just a link on your links page. I consider a business as not being an independent blogger.
You will hear me say this often, nothing should be for free. Sometimes the payment isn’t always in dollars, but there should be some measured benefit.
A company will suggest you add their link to your links page because your readers will benefit from the additional resource. Nope, don’t fall for it. If they want a link on your site, charge them. This is how you make money.
If the business wants to offer a link exchange, the choice is yours to make. Consider how deep the page is on their site and how well it ranks (Google PageRank). A link on another blogger’s page might be clicked on more often than from a links page of a business blog. You are willing to putting another blogger’s link on your links page because it’s also a resource for your readers. Is this link to this business a resource too?
I personally don’t add company links to my links page. I prefer to keep them all as independent bloggers. If a business or company wants a link to my site, even if it’s a link exchange request, I politely respond that I don’t offer free link exchanges with companies, but they might want to consider purchasing a link on my site for X amount of dollars.
If you are just beginning your blog, check out other bloggers’ links pages to get to know your community. It’s not only a great resource for readers, it’s also a great resource for other bloggers.