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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TRADING LINKS

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There are many different reasons and ways that trading links increases traffic to your site so it just made sense to cover it. First of all, each link that is pointing to your site opens a new gateway for people to find you as they surf the web. That is why so many affiliates seek to do it in the first place.

Secondly, trading links gives you better chances of getting listed in paid submission search engines for free.
THAT’S RIGHT FOR FREE! When you are ranking your site, the search engines do link analysis as part of their algorithms. Your search engine rankings and link analysis score steadily increases as proportionally as the number of relevant quality links back to your
site increases.

How Search Engines Evaluate Links:


In order to be able to figure out how search engine evaluate your links, you have to ask yourself these key questions first:

How many sites do you have linking to your site right now?

What is the "Page Rank" of the site that links to yours?

Are the links reciprocal or one way?

Does your site [or the site that links to you] have links that are relevant
to the content in the site?

Are these valuable links or is this link a part of a "Link Farm"?

Just for the record Reciprocal Links are the easiest to obtain and will aid in gaining better placement on the search engines, but they are not as valuable as One Way Links because you have to look for a link on their Home page to their Links page. The most common name to find it under is usually called "
Links", but "Resources" is also quite popular.

If you cannot find this link or if they don't have a link that is easily found, you may want to skip them all together. If you can't find their reciprocal links, chances are no one else, including the search engines, will find them either, so you don’t have to panic about it.

You will want to be sure that their reciprocal links exist in the same domain as their site. There is no point to having a link to your site on a site other than the one in which you want to exchange links with. Why would you? You have to check and see how they have their reciprocal links configured. To do that, ask yourself these questions: Are there categories? Are the listings in alphabetical order within the categories? Is it just a free-for-all
(another term for "link farm") or are the other links somewhat relevant? You want your link to be in a relevant category that can easily be found.

Explore their content


It wouldn’t make any sense to share or trade links with another site without knowing first what their site has in it. Is there anything that your average visitor would find objectionable? Is their site in working order? After all, you will be placing a link on your site to this site and it will reflect you too.

Place the other website's link on your site first & test the response

If the site that you are thinking of linking has passed your inspection, as a show of good faith, you can place a link to your potential partner's website on your site first. During your visit, you should have found some sort of information regarding their site's title and description as well as the category or theme that they would prefer. If this is not clear, you should be able to write a little something for them. Remember it should be a theme that matches your own.

Properly contact the other website merchant

While you are visiting the website, you should have discovered how they want to be contacted for a link exchange. If they have a form to fill out, be sure that you use it. Read and follow their directions properly. Typically, they will then ask you for a link to their site first. If you have been following my tips, you have already done that. Do not tell them you have placed a link to their website before you actually do. Many of these people are quick to look and see. If it's not there, your request may be ignored or at least will take a lot longer.

E-mailing your request

When you are looking to request a link trade, you should see if there are specific ways to go about it by email. If they don't have a form, look for a specific e-mail address they want used for such inquiries. No matter who you e-mail, be brief and to the point. If they have already included a subject line in their e-mail link, don't change it. If they haven’t, simply have it say, "Link exchange" or "Link request." A subject line that isn't clear is bound to be deleted as spam without being read. You must also make sure that you don't use attachments unless specifically asked to do so. In your e-mail introduce yourself and the website you represent. Include the full

URL: http://www.anynameyouwant.com

This will make it easier for the webmaster to copy-and-paste your linking information if it is approved. You must also let the other party know that you have visited their site. A good way to do this is to complement them on something unique to their website that would require a bit of surfing to see.

Simply saying you were impressed with their site is not unique. Telling them that you liked their black and gold eagle logo is unique.

Let them know that you have already placed a link to their site and give them the full URL: http://www.johndoe.com/links/widget.html

From here, you must politely request a link from them. Give them a specific and brief title, and not simply a list of keywords. Next, include your website's description and again Be brief. Their current links will give you an idea of what they are willing to accept. Be sure to use a category/theme for your site that you have found specifically on their site's link pages. Finally, thank them and invite them to e-mail you with any changes they wish to have made their link.

When you are Receiving link requests

The first step in receiving requests of your own is the same: Visit the other site and explore it. If it meets your standards, then place the other website's link on your site and reply that you have done it. In your reply, be sure to thank them and also give them the full URL of where their link can be found. Usually, the one requesting a link has already placed a link to your site. If there is something you want changed, just ask. Most are eager to please as they will want the same treatment in return.

Declining a link request

There will be some days where you will not want to trade links with the other site for things like content or maybe your site is simply full. In this case, you must reply with a brief, but polite reason. Even if you think their website is the worst thing you have ever seen, you can merely say, "Thank you for the offer, but we are currently not accepting any new links."

On the other hand, if there is a specific reason for turning them down such as relevancy, a good reply is, "Thank you for your interest in exchanging links. To be mutually beneficial, our websites need to relevant to one another." Still others may completely acceptable, except for a technical reason such as no link to their Links page from their Home page. A polite reply to this type of situation would go something like this, "Thank you for your interest in exchanging links. We require that your Links page be directly accessible from your Home page. If circumstances change or we have overlooked something, please contact us again."

Just a Quick Summary:


Visit the other site

Make sure their Links page is accessible from their Home page

Their Links page should be in the same domain as their site

Be sure that it is not a "link-farm"

Be sure that the other site is relevant to yours

Place a link to the other site first

Follow their linking instructions

When e-mailing, be polite, brief and specific

Make sure your website follows the same standards you expect from others

One Way Links
One Way Link Building Secures Long Term Ranking Results
One-way link building is a great way to improve your link popularity and ranking in the search engines. One-way links are more difficult to obtain than traditional reciprocal links, but they also pay off more in securing solid long-term search engine ranking results.

Why Are One-Way Links Helpful?


Link building in general is an important part of making sure your site ranks well in the search engines. Google and many of the other major search engines include link popularity as part of the way they evaluate the web pages that they include in the search engine databases. Links are generally seen as a positive "vote" towards the quality of the web page.

Each page actually acquires its link popularity based on the number pages that link to it. Google and Yahoo both have tool bars showing the page rank of pages you visit, so you can use these tools to get a good estimate of your pages' link popularity. It is not necessary to get caught up in the which types of links from which types of pages are the most important.

Basically it works like this: By acquiring links pointing back to your website, particularly links from sites covering the same or related topics as your site, it is helpful in the overall scheme of search engine ranking.

The big bonus to one-way links is that you don't have to worry about linking back to a "bad neighborhood". If your site has links that point back to sites that serve as "link farms" or "free-for-all" sites, you may not gain, and could actually lose page rank. These sites are rarely focused, and tend to have links to and from all different sorts of sites.

Since there is no particular topical emphasis here, it is then made obvious to Google and the other search engines that the sole purpose of these sites is to artificially increase the number of links that are pointing to your site. Since there is no value added for the search engine's users, they in turn give no value to these links.

Another advantage to these focused, one-way links is that they will tend to stay in the same spot over time. A website that features a link to your site probably does it because that site's owner thinks that their visitors will benefit from the content your site has to offer. Rather than simply trying to manipulate search results, they want to add to the experience of their visitors; which allows you to benefit from having a long term link in place. Sites featuring reciprocal links may simply drop your link when it no longer suits their linking strategy.

Getting Natural Links

Building good content helps to interest your visitors and keeps them on your website rather than going somewhere else. By becoming an authority on your topic, you will attract more visitors. When another website in essence "votes" for the quality of your website by placing a link pointing back to it, you are obtaining natural linking. The more you can build upon helpful articles, FAQs and white papers, etc., the better reason for visitors to link back to your website because of the quality content.

One-Way Linking Sources


There are quite a few ways that you can use to get links from other sites back to yours. The most important principle to keep in mind is that you will get the most links when you offer something significant to link to. Think of what you can provide that people will want to link to if you want things to run smoothly:

Natural links given from topic-related websites that like your website

Providing free content (as mentioned before), such as access to articles, e-books, FAQ's and white papers

Directory links, listed under the category related to your topic

Business directory links, listed under the category that is directly related or ‘like’ to your topic

Blogs, submitted to a blog directory and archived online

Create Business associations, listed under the category related to your topic

Newsletter and ezine text ads promoting your business, archived online at topic-related websites

Creating Original articles, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites

Designing Original press releases, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites

Original newsletters, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites that re regularly updated

White papers, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites

Selling or offering free E-books, submitted to and archived online at topic-related websites

Free software tools and downloads can be provided with required link back to website

For each of these types of content that you can add, you will want to have an active link that is pointing back to your site. Of course, when you are creating your own original content, you must always archive your own work on your website to build your content and increase your own link popularity by growing the number of pages on your website.

The extra value that you can get out of one-way links is the fact that you are also promoting your website from the listing as well as the active link. Articles, newsletters, white papers, directory and business association links may bring in traffic from visitors who are interested in the what the description is of your website listing.

Recognizing Valid Links


In order for you to gain the most benefit from your links, the link back to your web page should be the one that can be followed and detected by the search engine robots. Plain text links and image links can usually be followed by the search engine robots. However, more exotic types of links, like JavaScript links, cannot typically be followed by the search engine robots.

When you offer up suggested linking code, the easier you keep it the better. Don't be afraid to suggest different linking formats to the owners of sites that link to you. The types of links that serve your purposes best will generally provide their visitors with the best experience as well.

You also have to check to see if the page where the link will be located can be found in the search engine results. You can search yourself by using the entire website or by individual page. Different search engines use different syntax in looking for individual pages and links; you must refer to the advanced search function for each search engine for details.

If the page you are looking for is listed in the search engine results, this means the page has been indexed by the search engine robots. This means the web page is valid for indexing and that your link will be picked up as well. That wasn’t too difficult was it?

Research and Quality Content = Success


One-way link building means hard work and long term determination to achieve good link popularity. By improving the quality of your website, you improve the chance to obtain good quality natural links. You need to spend a set amount of time each week to seek out quality one-way links to achieve your goal. In order to do this, you will have to take your time to do it. By using this long-term game plan you will be able to safely build links for optimum link popularity success. Whew!


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