In this post I want to make a detailed look at the area of search engine optimization (SEO) focussing on link exchanges targeted towards small businesses owners & webmasters and anyone new to the world of web design and search engine optimization (SEO).
The second article in this series focused on link building and that theme will continue in this 3rd article as I will take a more detailed look at the topic of link building including the benefits, suitability of the reciprocal website and the golden rules of link exchanges.
My assumption at this point is that you have an SEO friendly website and have decided on the objectives of your link building strategy:
1. Generate Traffic;
2. Build Backlinks;
3. A combination of generating traffic & building backlinks;
As discussed in the previous article the criteria for link building strategy objectives including geographical location of you business, products and services offered, website facilities, target audience etc.
In the first instance I’ll take a look at reciprocal links. A reciprocal link describes an exchange of links between two websites for the mutual benefit of both. Historically reciprocal links have been used to improve search engines rankings as opposed to traffic generation though their popularity has being steadily decreasing over the last few years owing to their use by spammers, unscrupulous SEO companies etc.
There does appear to some evidence that search engines such as Google no longer consider reciprocal links as a major factor when calculating a website’s ranking. The conclusion we can probably draw the conclusion that the practice of link exchanges between companies with no discernable connection should be discontinued. An example of this would be a construction company in Madrid exchanging links with a bicycle shop in Toronto.
Here are three golden rules of link exchanges:
1. Only exchange links when a discernable connection exists between your website and reciprocal website. A good example would be exchanging links with your suppliers.
2. Never accept link exchanges from unsolicited email messages. In most case these are scams where you given the illusion that the third party has provided you with a link on their website.
3. For every outgoing link you give away on your website you must have at least 4 incoming backlinks i.e. only a maximum of 25% of your incoming backlinks should allocated to link exchanges.