Exchanging Links – Get the right sites to link to your website
Why is it important that other sites link to yours? It can be seen as a sort of confirmation that one site values the content of another site. When you find a site on the net that is useful because it has good content that you are interested in you normally save it as a favorite. The same principle applies to website links. The more sites link to your site the higher the perceived value of your site on the net and that has a direct impact on your site’s ranking.
There are many sites on the internet that exist for only one reason and that is to show webmasters how they can improve their search engine rankings by using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques. I do not want to comment too much on SEO sites except to say that although there are some very good SEO sites on the net I have found most of them to have no value at all. However, one thing that most SEO sites agree upon is the importance of having incoming links to your site in order to improve your site’s rankings in the search engines.
I am often surprised at how many people follow the advice of SEO sites on how they can improve their site’s ranking in Google™ without even considering what Google™ has to say on this topic. Nevertheless, Google™ is very clear on the importance of incoming links.
Take the time to read the “Webmaster Guidelines” issued by Google™. You can find these valuable guidelines at www.google.com/support/webmasters and then click on “Webmaster Guidelines”. They are very clear.
In principle, links should come from sites with content that is relevant to your own site. It can be similar or complementary. These sites should link to your site because they find your site’s content valuable and consider it to be useful for their own visitors
There are mainly two ways of soliciting links from other webmasters:
The one is by looking for sites with content that is relevant to your own site and requesting these webmasters to post a link to your site. You normally need to give them your site’s title, website address and a short description of what your site is all about in order for them to consider adding your link on their site. It is normal that they often request you to first post a link on your site linking back to their site (and provide them with the link address to verify you have placed the link) before considering linking to yours. Many of these sites will invite other webmasters on their home page to link to their site or inform other webmasters that they are open to exchange links (called reciprocal links) with suitable sites.
The above method is the correct method of getting other webmasters to link to your site. I like to refer to is as the straight and narrow road – Not always easy and certainly time-consuming but the best method.
The second method that webmasters often use to get other sites to link to them is to visit so-called “link farms”. These sites normally place adverts like: “Get thousands of other sites to link to your site for the low price of only $ 10”, or “Exchange links now with thousands of other sites”, etc. Sounds good? Sure it does. It is the easy way. However, it is not the correct way. The intention of these sites is to mislead the search engines by creating the impression that your site is very popular. Companies like Google™ are fully aware of these “tricks”. They will know if you get your incoming links from link farms and these type of links will certainly not help your site’s credibility as far as search engines are concerned. Avoid link farms at all cost!
Please note that not all webmasters are prepared to exchange links. Some of the very popular sites receive so many requests to exchange reciprocal links that they either refuse to post any new links or insist that your site must have a certain Google™ page rank before they will consider exchanging links. Some of these sites will even charge you a monthly fee for having your link on their site. Do not get discouraged. There are many good websites that will gladly exchange links with your site at no cost.
In case you are wondering, Google™ ranks website pages from 1 up to 10, where a page rank of 10 is an indication that Google™ considers it as very important. Most website pages on the internet do not have a page rank at all. It takes time to get a page rank. It can take years to get a high page rank. There are many sites that offer a free page rank checker. I can recommend www.prchecker.info. Try to exchange links with sites that have a high page rank, at least higher than your own website’s home page. Having incoming links from “important” sites are always an advantage.
Lastly, it is easy to check how many sites are linking to your site. Once again there are many sites that offer this service for free. I can recommend www.webmaster-toolkit.com.
Do not try to convince too many sites to exchange links with your site. Take your time and do not force anything. Having excellent content on your own site is the best incentive for any webmaster to link to your site. Do not make the mistake of chasing after links while neglecting the content of your site. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. It takes time to become a money maker and build a successful internet home based business.
About the Author: Francois du Toit is the owner of http://www.money-maker-advice.com, a website designed to help new entrepreneurs succeed by offering free advice, help and guidance on how to become a successful money maker with the right business opportunity or opportunities while working from the comfort of your own home. Visit http://www.money-maker-advice.com to subscribe to the FREE Newsletter and receive a FREE copy of The Affiliate Masters Course, and 10 Powerful Secrets to Make Money with Adsense in 2007.