Why Link Exchange Is A Waste Of Your Valuable Time

If you want to get traffic to your site, it’s all about backlinks. These are links back to your site that you get through article marketing, posting comments on blogs, web directory postings and other means. One of the ways to do this is link exchange, also known as reciprocal linking. This is an old method for getting backlinks, but it’s got some serious flaws. I want to go over the main reasons why you link exchange really isn’t worth your time.

A Myth Exposed

First of all, link exchanges are not as valuable in the eyes of search engines as they used to be. To put it bluntly, they know that link exchanging is just a way to get back links, so they assign a lower value to these kinds of links. It used to get more traffic, but now it has lost its impact. Let’s face it: we can’t fool Google anymore.

I still remember the years where web designers would stuff pages with keywords same color with the background so that only Google would see them and rank the site higher. Internet has expanded a million times since then and many things had to be changed for the sake of more credible results.

Link Exchange

If you link to quality sites, you might get some more traffic and attention from the search engines. But linking to junk sites just to get backlinks won’t do you any good. They won’t be worth anything to the search engines or your readers, and so they’ll be useless.

You might get link exchange requests from total junk sites that are nothing but a list of links. This is even more worthless than the above case. They’ve got maybe thousands of links on their site and you’ve just put a link to them on your site.

Another drawback of this technique is that some websites will never add your link. Or they may add it and take it off in a couple of days. Then, you’ve given them a link but they haven’t done anything at all for you. Total waste of your time.

Even worse than that, you might have a competitor wanting to exchange links with you so that they can link your site to their junk/spam site. This will not help you at all and may actually lower your site’s value in the search engines.

Lots of times, you have no control over what anchor text they use for the link. They might use a word or phrase that has nothing to do with your site. This isn’t going to help you get visitors or raise your ranking for targeted keywords in the search engines.

There’s a pretty common scam where someone will contact you for link exchange showing you that their site’s ranked on the first page of the SERPs. Then, after you exchange links with them, they bury it on their links page under a keywords phrase that has nothing to do with our site.

To Be Fair – The Benefits Of Link Exchange

Since we want to paint a fair picture, here are a few of the things that are good about link exchanges:

  • Reciprocal links will still at least give you a backlink. It may not be worth what it used to be, but the search engines will still recognize it.
  • Link exchange is free, or at least it should be. Never pay for someone to exchange links with you.
  • You might be able to choose your link text or “anchor” text, which will help with your SEO strategy. You can make it one of your keywords and this will raise your site’s ranking for that keyword.

To wrap it up, keep in mind this general rule: Be careful whom you are linked too. None of these things are going to destroy your blog, and it’s even possible that crummy links are going to help your SEO just a little bit.

From the experience I acquired from my Software Reviews and Coupons blog, link exchange isn’t worth the time and hustle when there are so many much easier and much more effective ways to raise your site’s rank in the search engines and get traffic. Try constructive commenting, for example, or quality guest blogging. Good luck!

  • Earl

    Eh well whats the alternative? All in black hat tools? X rumer blasts? Blatant bot spamming peoples comments. Google needs to get real. If they make links valuable people will trade in them.

    • http://verybestsoftware.net steven papas

      that’s right: Google needs to get real, that’s why they change and improve their algorithms every once in a while. Bloggers who really add value to others and give solutions to existing needs without fooling around are those who get better rankings, eventually.

  • http://www.youlovecoupons.com Delena Silverfox

    Hi Steven,

    I remember those days when designers would hide keywords in the same background colors! There was a bunch of cheesy advice like that back in the day, but things weren’t as sophisticated as they are now.

    Building backlinks really is much the same as you would build your own reputation. If you want to put links on low-quality sites, then you’ll get associated with low-quality as far as the search engines are concerned. Same with groups of people. Who would you want to associate with?

    True, especially with Google’s Panda Update, backlinks aren’t what they used to be. But they still count for something; just as long as you’re choosing your online company as wisely as you would your real live company.


    • http://verybestsoftware.net steven papas

      Hi Delena, good to see you here. Thanks for adding your comment. I like what you say about reputation building through backlinking. These Google algorithm changes were essential in order to give more trustworthy search results. Of course now, backlinking is getting more and more demanding and requires hard work. Let’s face it, submitting an article to a 100 of Ezines isn’t much of a quality backlinking, is it? Guest posting, on the other hand, on high PR blogs and replying to dozens of comments, creates much more value to blogosphere; and it is highly appreciated.

  • Malik

    Hey friends,
    These Google algorithm changes were essential in order to give more trustworthy search results. Of course now, backlinking is getting more and more demanding and requires hard work.