Tips On Making Valuable Link Exchanges

When you start out with a new site, you want to try and get as many quality links pointing to your site as possible. As you probably already know, one of the best ways to do this is through link exchanges. However, some link exchanges may do more damage to your site than good. So here is a quick heads up on the types of link exchanges that you should be careful to avoid.

Don’t point to bad sites

Every time you link to a site, you are essentially ‘voting’ for that site. For example, if you did not know anything about SEO or the value of links when you started to build your site, you would only link to sites that you thought were useful. If you knew about a certain site that had some really great poker videos, you might decide to link to them from a part of your site so that your visitor could check out those interesting videos.

Therefore you will have linked to another site because you felt it was a valuable resource; which is essentially what linking is all about. Every time you link to another site, you are telling Google that you think that the site you are linking to has some value. So what do you think Google will think about your site if you are linking to low quality and worthless sites? They will think a lot less of your site if you are linking to other poor quality sites.

There is nothing wrong with link exchanges, but simply make sure that you link to quality sites, as you would do if you did not know anything about the value of links. Just as it doesn’t benefit you in life to hand around with the ‘wrong crowd’, make sure you choose your site’s friends carefully. It will do much better if you surround it with other successful sites.

Link with on-topic sites

When you exchange links with another site, make sure that site’s content is related to yours in some way. Seeing as you own a site related to poker, an exchange with another decent poker website or even a casino site will usually be fine. This way your links will appear natural, and will blend in well with rest of your site. If you start linking to gardening sites or whatever, Google is going to notice that something dodgy is taking place, and you may well get penalized.

Avoid 3-way link exchanges

A type of link exchange that many people like to think is useful is the 3 way link exchange. Instead of doing a basic link exchange between two sites, some webmasters like to get tricky and make a link exchange across 3 sites, so that none of the links are actually reciprocal.

For example, say your friend has websites A and B, and you own website C. A 3 way link exchange would be where site A points to your site C, and your site C points to your friend’s other site B. Therefore your site will be benefiting from the link from site A, whilst your friend benefits from the link to his site B from your site C, without their ever being any reciprocal linking taking place.

Whilst 3 way link exchanges aren’t the biggest taboo as far as SEO is concerned, they are basically trying to manipulate the way Google ranks websites, which Google is not going to like. 3 way linking is of course going to pop up naturally across websites, but Google will be able to easily spot when a site is doing it more often than what would be considered natural. So if Google catches you trying to manipulate your search engine rankings through 3 way linking, expect to be penalized.

Avoid 3-way exchanges with the big sites

Whilst you should try and avoid 3-way link exchanges anyway, this is a particular link exchange that is not going to be any benefit to your site whatsoever.

If your site has been online for long enough, you will start to get emails from link exchange companies or individuals working for some of the biggest poker sites. These people will often ask you for a link from your nice little site (preferably from the homepage or other major page on your site) pointing to their big site, in exchange for a link to your site from one of their very small sites that magically happens to have decent PR.

However, the problem with these deals is that the link you will be getting in return is usually worthless, because the site with already have numerous links to other sites, which will in turn decrease the value of the link you will be getting. So even though the site somehow has a decent PR, your link will be practically worthless because it will be coming from a low-content site that has been infested with links.

Many new affiliates are suckered into these 3 way deals because they see the nice PR on the site they will get a link from, and they are all too happy to give a nice link to the bigger site. But at the end of the day, the real winner is the bigger site, because they are getting a quality link from your nice new site whilst you get a pretty shit link in return.

If you get bored one day, try asking for a link from the big site itself, rather than the shit one that they offer. Watch as they reply in horror, or not even reply at all as you ask for your fair link exchange. They really won’t be interested at all from that point onwards.

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