Link Exchanges Don't Work, Make Them Work For You

19 February

Link Exchanges Don't Work, Make Them Work For You

I usually enjoy the SEOptimize blog a great deal, but I was sifting through my RSS reader today and noticed a post from Patrick Altoft that I couldn’t agree with less, ‘Link Exchange in 2008'.

I am not sure if I disagree with the blog as much as I disagree with what was left out of the blog.

I agree that exchanging links with similar sites is a great way to kick off the link building process for a new site, but I think if you do so in the traditional reciprocal fashion your labor will be fruitless.

The issue goes beyond the buzz word, link juice.

The real issue here has to do with what used to be called supplemental results. Links coming from these pages are worthless, even if they only have a few outbound links, because they are not likely to get continually indexed. Your link is worthless on a supplemental page, and that is the true problem with exchanging links. In fact, link exchanging is the reason the supplemental index was created.

Perhaps you believe that the supplemental index went mainstream, perhaps you believe it never did. Either way one thing is clear, if the page isn’t getting hit by the spiders your link is worth less than nothing.

It is a loss, due to your time and effort.

So, onto the possitve.

How do you go about making sure your exchanged link is worth something?

• Find a page on the site you are getting the link from that has been cached recently (use SEO for Firefox) and ask for the link placement within the content of that page.

• Create a custom piece of content, with your link embedded, for the site to attach directly to a page that has quality link equity and few outbound links. Make sure the page with the link equity has also been cached recently and is not a part of the supplemental index.

• Guest blog.

These are only a few ideas, and obviously each will need to be reciprocated for the exchange to be complete.

This takes me on to my initiative for 2008, social link building.

No, this has nothing to do with social media, but it has everything to do with human interaction.

For 2008, I plan on creating human to human connection with as many people in my perspective markets as possible. Publishers, bloggers, marketers, and property owners of all kinds. By creating these connections, I feel I will be able to guide my links to quality locations on sites and not have to deal with my coveted content and link lying on a page with the URL; which is nothing more than a kick me sign on the back of a web site.

By creating these connections, keeping links embedded in content, and creating other quality inbound links in a well balanced portfolio, link exchanging can be a good tool. However, going about it blindly could be a waste of hours upon hours of link building labor.

And I don't know about you, but I'm already working 25 hours a day.