Are Link Exchanges still useful?
Article title: Link exchange
If you own a website or a blog, you want traffic. More traffic means more exposure and more popularity. And, if you're trying to use your website to sell products, more traffic means more clicks and more money. You can't sell unless a lot of people know what you have to offer.
So you can understand why many Internet marketers and bloggers spend so much time trying to get more traffic. One technique that's still being used today is the link exchange, where two webmasters add a link to each other's website on their page. While a link exchange isn't as effective for placing in the search engines as it's used to be, it can still be a valuable way to feed traffic to your site.
There are hundreds of websites that regulate link exchanges between webmasters. Go ahead and Google "link exchange". Feel free to reel a bit. After you sign up with these sites, they point out websites related to your niche that you might be interested in exchanging with. They also handle the exchanging process and make sure both sites set up a link to each other. (It's all too easy to promise someone to set up a link to their site and never deliver.) You can consider submitting your website to websites such as ALE5 link exchange and reciprocal link exchange.
Of course, a link exchange strategy often focuses around signing up for a lot of these websites, and few people do that by hand. Instead, they rely on link exchange software to automate and manage their link campaign. You'll find loads of link exchange software if you Google that as well. Besides software, you can also set up scripts on your website using PHP. This can allow a webmaster to, for example, fill out a form with his link, and the script can automatically add his link to your site as soon as the webmaster adds yours on his end. If you'd like a free PHP script in order to set up a link exchange form on your site, check out my FREE Link Manager script.
Link exchanging does have its share of problems. First off, many links offered in these link exchange programs are poor quality. If you don't manually check these sites out-which can eat a lot of time-then linking to a poor site will only serve to hamper your credibility. Furthermore, it's very easy to automate the whole process and generates tons of links, sending out emails to practically any interested party. Not only will a mindless email strategy draw Google's ire, but without checking the sites you request links from, you'll probably come off like a spammer anyway. After all, if you just fire off an email to a vegan website and request a link with your barbeque-related site, who's to blame if you get ignored?
Link exchanges aren't a totally worthless practice, mind you. You just have to think a bit more clearly. Rather than trying to secure loads of links, target your efforts by focusing on the high-quality sites in your niche. Request to link to sites that you like, or sites you think your readers would like to visit. Go ahead and set up some automated scripts and software to streamline the process, but use your head above all. Your readers and Google will thank you for it.
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