If Link Exchange Isn’t Dead…
Written January 5th, 2010 by WebGuru
A long time ago (only 5-10 years really), exchanging links with a bunch of other web sites was a great way to build up your reputation and get bumped to the top of the search engines. But with the rise of Google and the evolution of the internet, it now takes much more to get results. But is link exchange really dead, as many internet marketers claim?
I know this has been discussed in many places across the web, but in my own opinion, I think link exchange still has value, just not as much as it used too. Now, you have to try many different marketing methods, each of which also only has a little value, but combined can bring traffic and raise rankings. So while exchanging links may have very little impact on your traffic and search engine rank, a little here and a little there still adds up.
So, if link exchange isn’t dead, how do you go about exchanging links? Personally, I use WordPress for all my web sites, and I install a great plugin called WP Link Directory
, from http://www.seanbluestone.com/wp-link-directory, to manage my link exchanges. Following is a rough outline of how I go about setting up this free plugin.
How about you? Do you believe traditional link exchanges are dead or alive?
LINK EXCHANGE SETUP
- WP Link Directory – settings located at bottom of admin navigation
- require reciprocal link from "everyone"
- you will probably want all requests to reciprocate
- some of your requests will not be recipricated (non-profit sites)
- in the end, you can still decide on each individual exchange
- you should probably optimize the reciprical link HTML
- optimize title with keywords
- provide longer description, place some keywords in description
- order links by "newest first"
- yes already default, but some say change it, i say it simulates changing content
- detailed info text is a matter of preference
- display page rank – no, i prefer not to, most users don’t know or care
- use nofollow, leave default no, defeats the purpose of reciprocating
- categories per row – I prefer 1 row, not 2, view page to see differences
- show counts – shows number of links next to categories, your preference
- require approval for all links, there is spam and scams here like everywhere else on the internet
- extra fields required, if you want to be able to communicate with them
- captcha – definitly, but secureimage vs captchas.net, dunno that one
- secureimage did not work for me, captchas.net is hard to read sometimes, both have audio backup
- style file – this plugin is css friendly and accepts a style sheet
- if you know css, have fun making it look like you want it
- if not, I can do it for a small price
- permalinks – since we are using permalinks, fill this in
- some permalink structures can be defined here
- but with our prior settings, we will actually leave it blank
- strike the rest of this, it was to get subdirectory categories, doesn’t work with ".html on pages" plugin
- acts as a sub-directory structure where link exchange pages are located
- i prefer "resources" (no quotes)
- track hits in – you may want to turn this on
- this way you can see which exchanges are generating traffic
- Edit Categories
- setup a few general categories, 3-5 is good, you may or may not add more later
- could possibly closely resemble blog categories
- provide description, keep to similar lengths, but the bigger the better here
- long description can help seo by providing more content to search on pages full of link exchanges
- in addition to normal link exchanges, also add non profit sites
- it is rumored that google favors sites with one-way links out to non-profit sites
- i think scattering non-profit sites in your link exchanges serves two purposes
- google likes you more, and resource pages have more resources, meaning more content
- better resources means visitors browse them more which ends up good for everyone
- non-profit sites usually end as .edu and .org, some as .com, but usually link is not reciprocated
- Premium Links – a matter of preference and subject for another article
- Tagging is for multi-author blogs, where users provide your content and links can be tagged/flagged bad, etc.
- Having an assortment of resources provide some additional content while your blog is new.
- Add non-profit sites to your link exchanges
- unless they clearly have a link exchange area, don’t bother asking for reciprocal links
- don’t bother exchanging links until you have some content, at least 5 posts
- Link Exchange Page
- this plugin is viewed as a page on your blog, create it and see is the easiest way to understand
- make a new page, I like to name mine Resources, switch to code view, add [ wplinkdir ], without spaces
- Page Lists Plus – uncheck Include bo
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