The Value of Links & Exchanges.

by admin on February 15, 2006

Links are still critical to any site. The gold standard of links in to your site is one-way links from respected “authority” sites. A quality one-way link is often unsolicited, and is something you can usually only get by having great content or information to which others actually want to link.

Search Engine experts generally agree that 2-way reciprocal links aren’t as important as they used to be. Some believe they still have some value if they are with quality site, while others believe that reciprocal links have little to no search engine value.

A 3-way link is when you get a link from one site in exchange for a link to another site, the theory being that each link will look like a one-way link. However, many experts believe this scheme is easily detectable by the search engines. These links may be penalized or devalued even further , since they clearly exist only to “game the system”.

When considering any SEO “trick”, a good rule of thumb is “am I doing this to help the user experience, or only for the benefit of search engine rankings?” Though most reciprocal linking is search engine driven, there are legitimate reasons for agreeing to direct traffic between other related, quality sites. When you go to a 3 way link scheme pretending to be a 1 way link, I think you’ve clearly crossed that line.

My current philosophy with link exchanges is that I will exchange with high quality, related sites, which ends up being is a very small percentage of the requests I get. I won’t do 3 way links, links with off-topic sites, links with sites that have too many links on their links page, or links that are buried many levels down in the site.

I also won’t link with sites that clearly only exist to pick up traffic to redirect to their adsense ads. There are a large number of these pure ad spam sites that have an Adsense box up at the top, and content via newsfeeds, site scraping or blog spam. If your site has no unique value to your visitors, then you are wasting everyone’s time.

About Dave Matson

Dave Matson is the owner and operator of High Steppin' Searches. Dave Matson on g+

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