Link Building & Exchanges For SEO Purposes

PETER WAKEMAN
Managing Director

29 / Nov / 2010

If you have, or are considering exchanging links with someone that has contacted you via email for SEO purposes, then this is a must read post.

Everyday we get emails from other “webmasters” or “SEOS” wishing to exchange links with one of our many websites. The reason why they’re doing this is because they want to build back links into their website to improve their own Search Engine rankings. Now if you are not already aware, incoming links into your website play a vital role in search engine optimization and how your website is positioned in the search engine rankings. There are a couple of reasons for this, for example if you have two websites, both with quality content, both are equally optimized, then the only way to tell which site is of higher quality is by the number of incoming links. Remember Google wants to provide the BEST result to their customers. Each link is like a vote coming into your website, but not all links are equal.

You can determine the value of a link by checking the page rank of the page that you are trying to acquire a link from. Page Rank is determined by the number of incoming links, websites content, and traffic. Websites with a high page rank are considered authority websites and a link by them is definitely going to boost your own websites value. Also when looking to build links you need to be aware of the ratio of incoming to external links is. If there is an excessive amount of external links on the website then the value of the link decreases.

Years ago link exchanges use to work very well and many websites participated. Because the popularity in exchanging links with many websites purely to increase your own websites rankings, Google massively devalued weight how exchanged, reciprocal links contribute to your rankings.

Here is an example of a a typical email, and website wishing to exchange a links.

Now when we view one of his websites, Evolving(.)biz we can check out really if this is a good site to exchange links with, bearing in mind reciprocal links don’t carry much weight to begin with.

You can see there is over 600 external links on the home page (and probably every other page) and there is just a few internal links within the website. Upon further investigation using the site: command with Google we can also see that whilst maybe he has a Page Rank of 4, none of his pages are index in Google.

This sets off a huge alarm bells in my head, this site could potentially be blacklisted by Google. Also, because there are no pages index by Google, that means the search bot is not crawling this particular website so in fact will NEVER find your link on this site. There are many ways to trick the Page Rank counter too.

So based on all of this information if you proceeded to exchange links with this website then you’ll be getting an awful deal that could potentially drop value on your pages containing links to this website. There are a lot of people operating website link exchange programs like this, a lot of SEO companies.

The trick they’re doing is,

  • 1: Setup a dodgy, spammy website with an incorrectly based Page Rank
  • 2: Add your website’s link and then email you
  • 3: You link to one of their clients, not to the websites mentioned in the email
  • 4: Their client benefits from your one way link into their site, whilst the link from the dodgy site to your site doesn’t do anything

Don’t fall for link exchanges, only exchange links that will actually benefit you i.e from a popular, relevant website of a friend.

For more information on link building and SEO you can take our 3 day hands-on SEO training course, or check out our current SEO plans and let Marketing Bangkok take care of your search engine optimization.

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