Exchanging Links: How to get Answers

By: Paul Easton


After sending my weekly newsletter, I got this message from one of my readers:

>My name is Andre. I run a site that promotes support and encouragement for those with genetic anomalies. As I am not a stranger with cold calls, I can easily go to a site and ask them to submit my link on theirs and they on mine. The only problem is that I don't get many answers.

Are you able to help with this? Thanks, --------------

Always like to help

I asked for more details in how the sites were contacted -he send me the details of the email he used to make the first contact:

>>My name is Andre and I run a site and I have been referred to your site through members who frequent your site and I wondered if you could put my link into yours.

mysite.com was conceived by a curiosity of different conditions such as Turner's syndrome, Klinefelter's Syndrome, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, more so the similarities we share amongst us.

The site is informative, certainly that is what is needed at all times because when we turn off the computer, we are met with the world that we live with day to day. It would be preferable to look at that in a positive way and mysite.com aims towards that.

I invite you to look at the site and see if it fits in your site under the links, I will certainly put yours into mine once it has been accepted.

Thanks Andre

So, from the email, we can see he is looking to exchange links.

Lets look at the sites we should contact to exchange links first. I use this check list:

1. They have Page Rank -Page Rank is Googles way of saying that the site is trust worthy. Page Rank ranges from 0-10 with 10 being the highest.

The reason I would only exchange links with sites that have some Page Rank is it means they have done "something" to promote there site and it has been online a while- more likely to be around in the future.

2. A links page - Do they have a page or area with out going links on it?

3. They have a clear exchange links policy- This can be as simple as a note to please contact us here, to a detailed list of terms and conditions as to what sites they will and will not exchange links with.

So how do you find these sites? - someone smart said "There is plenty of traffic out there...just get in front of it".....so how a do we find sites that are specific to exchanging links. Here are a few:

www.DigitalAwol.com/links www.linkpartners.com/ www.linkalizer.com

I have been doing some work in the linkalizer.com area and have found it very easy to use- I have the Paid version- which I recommend as it does most of the work for you.

I have around 100 requests for exchanges pending (those wanting to exchange links with me) and am doing me best to get through them - doing an hour per day.

I have completed 32 exchanges in a few days- the system verifies the link back to you, and shows you the link on the other site.

Before you join up I do recommend that you have a directory type system for exchanging links as it better for more content for your site (it creates more pages) and it makes your site look like a directory of resources.

Break the links down into pages of approx 20 (Google recommends 50, but I am on the cautious side)

The best way to run this is software based, installed on your web hosting, I use autolinks pro which has a great interface for adding sites, plus can manage anybody applying at your site.

You can see it running here:

http://www.DigitalAwol.com/links

Autolinks is a paid program, and really well priced- more details and full demo here: Autolinkspro.com

With this type of program, make sure you have it installed so it forms a normal looking part of the site, not something of a "Add on".

So now are you ready to ask for links?....not quite. Have you every been to a online discussion forum to find only a few discussions going on? If it were a room it would echo....

You need to avoid those you are looking to exchange links to arrive at the site and see it empty...so place a few links in each area- at least 5 to make sure it looks active- they don't have to be exchanged links, just helpful sites.

Ok now you are ready....to ask for links. Once you have found a site that you want to exchange links.

In Andre's approach above, what he did was tell the owner all about his own website and it doing this, he missed a vital point- the WIIFM -The webmaster reads an email (or a website) and is thinking- what's in it for me? (W I I F M)

Why should I take an action?

So the first action you need to take is put a link to the owners site FIRST and then contact him something like this:

Hi, I just visited your site and I can see you have done a lot of work and have great content - I especially like the information on (a subject) - very helpful. Well done!

My website is on a similar subject, but not competing. I can see my visitors would benefit from your content and I have linked to you here:

http://www.yoursite.com/page.htm

Please let me know if you are happy to exchange links. My details are below

Best Regards (your name) http://www.yoursite.com/

(name of site)

This is the short version, but you get the idea. You could include the html you want him to link to you and a link to a page on your site with the details.

If you don't here from them in a week- you can send a follow up, saying that you know that sometimes email goes missing and asking if they got the message and insert a copy of the previous message.

If you still don't here from them - delete the link and carry on. With any marketing, it is a numbers game - The real key to exchanging link is simply focused effort.

Google has said that reciprocal links do count however to not be "excessive" .

To what exactly excessive is - I use this concept: don't exchange links with everybody and every subject.

I prefer to avoid subject like gambling, dating - anything that may not be enjoyed by my visitors.

I guess the most important thing to ask is does it work?

On one site which I been very active in only exchanging links it has increased 4 places in the last 24 hours- No other promotion has been done so I can presume its starting to have some effect.

Inch by Inch with search engine ranking -It works if you do ;)

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Paul Easton is an SEO Training tutor, and the owner of SEOTrainingLive.com, A site for helping webmasters make sense of SEO natural results. You can easily get A Free SEO Training Course to your website by visitin

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