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.
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!