Link Exchange Primer.
Swapping links with other high ranking web sites is an important tool in web promotion. While improving your search engine ranking is important, this should however not be the only goal of your link exchange strategy. The ranking algorithms used by the major search engines do change regularly and as a result your web site traffic from these search engines can suffer dramatically if your linking strategy has been too restricted.
Link exchange with a good partner should not only improve your search engine ranking, it will also bring you direct targeted traffic from your link exchange partner's site. Insist that your link is on a main page with only a few links to other web sites. If your link is in a massive link directory with many similar links, you will never get any direct traffic, and neither will you get a significant boost to your page ranking.
How to find link exchanges.
If you have a new site, you'll have to start by requesting link exchanges from other sites. Find some sites with a similar topic, and have a look if they have a link exchange page. If your site has good content, you'll find that other web sites are happy to link to you. Make sure that you write a personal email that refers to the title and content of the particular web site that you would like to exchange links with. When the other web master realizes that you have visited and looked at their web site, they'll take your request for a reciprocal link exchange much more seriously.
Adding a link exchange page to your own web site with the title "add your URL" can also be an important tool in your quest for quality link swaps. Make it clear that you are not looking for any link swap and will only consider an equivalent link exchange from quality sites.
Many of the requests you will receive for a link exchange will, however, be worthless. A lot of commercial sites trick unsuspecting webmasters by creating massive link directories that have almost no ranking in the major search engines. Always use a page ranking tool to check the page rank of your exchange partner's link page.
Be aware of tricks, do not accept links from FFA sites and web sites with automatic link exchange scripts. Make sure your URL is visible in the return link and always check that the page with your link on it can be found in the search engines, as some web masters will have blocked the search engines from crawling their link pages.
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