November 5th, 2007 - by Golgotha

Like you, I get the occasional email asking if I would be interested in swapping links. I usually politely decline. But that’s not to say that I’m against link swapping. I think there is one situation where link swapping can be a good idea. This article will look at when to swap links and when not to swap links.

Don’t Swap Links When…

Things just aren’t fair
Making a name for a new website amongst the already heavily saturated field can be hard and leave you frustrated. It can leave you feeling like Earl Boykins trying to get a rebound against Shaquille O’Neal. It seems insurmountable at times. Shaq isn’t going to just let five-foot-five-inch Earl Boykins have the rebound because he feels sorry for him; it doesn’t work that way. Shaq’s going to make him earn it — and no big dog website is just going to link to you out of sympathy; you’re going to have to earn it.

If it’s just about the PageRank
I don’t believe in swapping links solely for the purpose of passing link juice from site-to-site. Swapping juices is alright if you’re with a lady, but it doesn’t make much sense to me if I give you some of my juice in return for some of yours. That’s called a push and nobody wins. And if the sites don’t have the same PageRank then someone wins and someone loseWeight Exercises. That’s just not fair (see above).

No link farms
Link farms seem to be a thing of the past because nowadays everybody knows to avoid them like the plague.

Swap Links When…

It’s a win-win situation
So when do I think a link swap is a good idea? When both websites benefit. I believe this can only happen between two already established sites that share the same topic of interest. The principal behind this is that both websites have a steady stream of traffic and so site A says to its loyal viewers, “Hey, check out website B, you might like it!” and in return, website B says to its loyal viewers, “Hey, check out website A, you might like it!” Both websites can then gain new readership — this is a win-win situation. If either website A or B has no viewers then it won’t work because you can’t send viewers to another website until you have viewers to send. It goes without saying that if both A and B have no viewers then what’s the point – zero from zero is zero.

So a link exchange can work if both websites have a steady stream of viewers. Each website should also share the same topic. It wouldn’t be polite to send your viewers to a site they have no interest in. That’s just being rude to your viewers. If they come to your website to learn about ASP.net and you recommend them to a site about gambling then you’re wasting their time.

Lastly, if you’re going to ask for a link swap you might consider only asking for a temporary swap; perhaps just a six month swap? That’s sufficient time to introduce your viewers to the other site and the other site to introduce its viewers to your site. After that, move on and swap links with another site. Just remember, it’s not about passing PageRank. It’s about both websites gaining new readership.

21 Responses to “Link Swapping – Should You Do It?”

1 Virtual Impax

GREAT ADVICE!!!

I advise clients to think about any link exchange from JUST this point of view (thinking of the visitor, not the search engines). Instead of link juice, think “leaving bread crumb trails” for real live people who are in need of the services/solutions you offer.

When you think about the REAL LIVE PEOPLE who are reading your web site (instead of focusing on the spiders and bots), it changes the way you manage your web presence… FOR THE BETTER!

2 Jack @ The Tech Teapot

I get link requests too and haven’t done one for a very long time. The people who do link requests are usually some SEO company performing a link building exercise for a client. I don’t want to get into a SEO neighbourhood.

I might look more kindly on it if the real site owner asked though.

I do link to sites, lots and lots of them. Quite often with no expectation of a link in return.

3 Golgotha

@Jack –

“I do link to sites, lots and lots of them. Quite often with no expectation of a link in return.”

That’s a good point Jack. So does Search-This. There’s well over a dozen links on the homepage alone that we link to simply because we like those sites.

Sometimes a link is just a link :)

4 Jack @ The Tech Teapot

@Golgotha – [good name BTW...I've been there]
Blogrolls are a much under appreciated blogging tool. I use them quite often to find related blogs. And I like you have a number of sites in the blogroll too. And more are added when I find relevant reading material for me and my readers. I am sure you do the same.

5 video izle

@Golgotha – nice article here, i use blogroll to show related blogs in my English blog. However i see many blog owners r listing paid sponsors there.

6 Golgotha

@Jack and video izle – I’m a big fan of the blogroll too. I like to see where other people spend their time.

7 TOMAS

I just added a contribute section to my blog where I direct individuals who ask for a link swap. So far, it seems to weed out the individuals who really have something valuable to share (which in turn will eventually land them on my BlogRoll) versus those who just want to get linked to for SEO/PR purposes.

8 Jack @ The Tech Teapot

@Tomas – I’d be careful who you link to. If you wouldn’t link to them anywhere else why link to them at all? Most of the people doing the asking are SEOs so it can get you into some bad neighbourhoods.

9 dismet

@Jack, totally agree, its always welcome to link what you read inside your posts, not only in blogrolls.

10 Derrick Tan

What a good piece of article. You have really explain the core of link exchange. Way to go! Thanks!

11 Patrick Burt

With you guys sitting at a PR7.. I can only imagine how many email offers you get. :)

12 TOMAS

If you wouldn’t link to them anywhere else why link to them at all? Most of the people doing the asking are SEOs so it can get you into some bad neighbourhoods.

@Jack – I completely agree, and that’s why I have final say on what gets posted to my blog. If someone submits an article that links to spam sites, is a copy of another post, or doesn’t fit within the spirit of my blog then I won’t post it – it’s as simple as that.

Ultimately there are individuals who really do have something good to share and just need some visibility, and I’m totally cool with helping out an up-and-coming blogger + sharing some great content on my blog while keeping the spammers at bay.

13 Golgotha

@TOMAS –

I’m totally cool with helping out an up-and-coming blogger…

Props to that Tomas – wish there was more people with that attitude.

14 trademark registration

Another thing to keep in mind is that Google does not rank websites based only upon the number of links that point to the site. Google caught onto the link swapping fad years ago. I think content is where it’s at nowadays. But who knows.

15 house clearance london

Good article and interesting comments! Many thanks!

16 Lublin ogłoszenia

Good article. Thanks for the information and discussion.

17 camu

Hello there, I’ve translated this article in Italian, it will be published at the end of June on my website. Also the original English version has been used, along with a link to this page :) Great advice.

18 Johnnie B

In searching for a suitable link exchange i came across this article and im glade i did before making a mistake that i would regret in the future i have not linked to any page because none i found related to me or the potential readers so the question comes Where dose one start with no readers?

19 Technology Blogged

Link exhanges are fine, its where they put them. If you are built on wordpress or something then having them on a blogroll can benefit them more than you being on just their home page – if you have 100+ indexed pages then they will get 100+ backlinks.

Only go for it if you benefit the same as the other person.

20 Sylwester w Górach

for me linking have to be natural you should not do it just when you have benefits, when you are to muth focused on salling links something may go wrong and you have a lot of problems.

21 Smykker Online

I think oneway links are best, seo wize

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