Saturday, September 02, 2006



If you want to make money on the web, you must get traffic to your website. If you want to get traffic to your website, you must have a high rank in google's search results. Google ranks websites based upon the number of links that point to the site.

Many novice webmasters believe they can trick Google into giving their website a high rank by swapping links with other webmasters. One reason they believe this, is because "wanna-be" web marketing "experts" keep spouting that trash.

It's only partially true that Google ranks websites based upon the number of links that point to the site. Google uses a highly sophisticated page ranking formula that keeps changing and evolving all the time. Google caught onto the link swapping trick years ago.

Novice webmasters put all their link swaps on one gigantically long page referred to as a "link farm". When Google's robot finds a link farm, their ranking formula penalizes the websites listed in the link farm. If Google finds the same site listed in many link farms, they remove that site from their search engine.

Every webmaster that wants to do link swap has a website with zero traffic. Even if Google didn't penalize websites for being listed in a link farm, why would I want to send traffic away from my website to a website that can't return any traffic?

Not only are these novice webmasters not experienced in the way of the web, they seem inexperienced in the way of the world. The first rule of the universe is "you never get a
free lunch". If you want your website to rank high in Google, you have to pay them. If you can't afford to pay them, you have to do the work.

It's hard work to get traffic to your website. There is only one method I know that works: put valuable, original content on your website. Other websites, blogs, and forums will post links to the valuable content on your website, not with a link swap, but as a resource to their audience.

When someone places a legitimate link to valuable content on their webpage, the webpage has low link density. Google's page ranking formula gives the page a high score. If a link to your webpage is found on a high scoring webpage, that raises the rank of your webpage.

On the other hand, a page with a high link density, with hundreds of links and little other content, gets a negative score from Google. If a link to your webpage is found on a
webpage with a negative score, that lowers the rank of your webpage.

Don't try to scam Google by swapping links, and don't cooperate with foolish webmasters who think there is a "free lunch". If you want to get a higher ranking in Google, resulting in more traffic to your website, there is only one way - good old fashion hard work.

Link exchange has to be managed wisely!

links swap management is not an easy task, but if done properly, it might significantly boost your website's ranking.

First, you should build a link exchange page for your website. If you swap links heavily, you should consider links categorization, and you should create a separate page for each sub-category. It is very annoying for surfers to see huge links pages, with hundreds of non-categorized links, even if they are theme-related. ANY category can be sub-categorized, and you should do that.

Second, you should include your link exchange information in a very clear manner. Some webmasters give the HTML code to be included for the link, and this is a great idea! Anyway, you should provide at least you URL, your link text (your keyphrases to be included!) and a short description of your website (again, your keyphrases to be included!). If you want, you can provide a small image or banner, but keep in mind that text links are more valuable than graphical links. If you provide an image for linking, don't forget to provide also the "alt" text for that image! An email address for link swap is also needed. If you actively do link swap, it is a good idea to have a special email address just for this purpose.

Third, you may want to take a closer look at the website you are swapping links with. If they use a third-party service for link exchange management, then you will get a link back from the website of the third-party service, NOT from the website you are trading links with! Those links are not very precious, because the third-party website, by managing the links of hundreds of different websites, might look to the search engines like a "link farm". Basically, you are "giving" a link to somebody's website, but "receiving back" a link from somebody else's website. To check that, just visit their links page, and watch for an URL change in the address bar of your browser. If the URL does not begin with their domain name, they are using a third party service for links management, and the link you are getting in exchange for yours does not worth too much in terms of page ranking. Many webmasters avoid to trade links with websites that do not host their links page in the same place with their website, but on third-party sites. Anyway, the link that you are getting back might still generate direct traffic for your website. If you need a better understanding of all of the above, you should try a closer look on how the PageRank algorithm works.
Finally, it is a good idea to visit some forums dedicated to links swap and/or link popularity. Many good things can be learned from other people involved in this activity. Knowledge is power, and practical experience is valuable knowledge! Keep that in mind...
How Do I Swap Links?

There is no standard procedure, but a logical recipe for links swapwould look like:

  • Find a link exchange partner
  • Send an email and ask for a link swap
  • If you get a positive reply, add a link from your website to the partner's website
  • Send an email to let them know, and to ask for a feed-back when they will add the link to your website

A shorter recipe for link swapwould be:

  • Find a link exchange partner and add a link from your website to that website
  • Send an email to let them know, and ask for a link back
  • If the answer is negative, delete the link you added

Although the second way looks shorter, it is often less efficient, especially if you want to swap linkswith a large number of link partners in a short time. If this is the case, than you might waste much more time tracking negative-answering partners and deleting their links...

You should also periodically check if the link from the partner's website to your website is still there!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?