Link Building Strategies: Why not Link Exchange?

Link BuildingI’m sure you’ve heard this before – link exchange. Ever had an email asking you to exchange links with them – Giving you the “You scratch my back, I scratch yours” kind of a deal?

Just make sure you don’t do more scratching than they’re giving you.

Swap Juice?

Link exchange has been a practice in the internet ever since. And it is a good practice too – if you do it right. Link exchange has a potential to positively impact site traffic and improve business relations.

I give you a link, you reciprocate, everyone’s happy, right? If only it were as easy as that.

Why you shouldn’t vouch for link exchange

There are a lot of factors why you shouldn’t really consider link exchange. Here are some of my personal reasons:

  • Their website is unrelated to my site niche. They’re asking for a link to Their kitchen utensils site and my site is about SEO. Hmmm Lemme think… Hell no.
  • Their website is crap. No valuable information. It looks like it was made just for being used as a third wheel for a 3-way link exchange request.
  • Their website has lots of outbound links because they have exchanged links with a lot of people while my site has only a few – meaning my links are highly valuable and theirs is a commodity.
  • Their website is new. No PR, no alexa presence, no compete presence – trash.
  • They give out nofollow links. Who the heck do they think they’re trying to exchange with?
  • Their website is horribly designed. Bad navigation. Disaligned divs. Horrible and unprofessional. No thanks.
  • Link exchange requests via e-mail  are spammy, impersonal and down-right annoying. It starts with “dear webmaster” and it doesn’t even mention your website’s name even once. Screw them.

There are a lot of other reasons why you shouldn’t do link exchange. But there are also some RARE CASES when you SHOULD consider it.

  • Their website can give you a lot of traffic
  • They have a good archive of information that is related to your website topic/niche
  • They are not in competition with your website
  • They are a high quality website
  • They appear in search results with the same (or approximately similar) keywords as yours

Link exchange helps but one-way links are the best. Exchanged links give a lot less link juice compared to one-way. I personally think it’s better to improve your site content and user-friendliness in order to get one-way links rather than investing your time asking around for link exchanges. It’s simply not worth it.


This entry is part of the SEO Hacker School series: Link Building Strategies

You can also check our comprehensive all-in-one guide about Effective link building strategies

About

Sean Si is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project...

About Sean

is a Filipino motivational speaker and a Leadership Speaker in the Philippines. He is the head honcho and editor-in-chief of SEO Hacker. He does SEO Services for companies in the Philippines and Abroad. Connect with him at Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Check out his new project, Aquascape Philippines.