Finding link partners and link exchanges

Link exchanges are one of the most popular ways to gain links today, but the thing I do not understand is why people waste their time creating useless exchanges.  If you are going to do a link exchange, then do yourself a favor and don’t make it obvious to Google by creating a “links” page and sticking your partners on there.  The value to your partner from this will be abysmal at best, and will also draw the gaze of Google.  People doing these types of exchanges are also more likely to back out of a link exchange without mentioning it, so make sure to check up on them to see that your links are still present.

So that’s the way most people do it, but what are better ways to create link exchanges?  Well first start off by finding reputable sources in the same niche as you that work as complements rather than competitors.  If you find them by searching for the keyword you are aiming for, then it would be stupid to expect an anchor text that will help you rank for that term.   Do a search of semi-relevant terms, such as when I want links for my “online money making” website, I would look for people in the “paid surveys” niche as the content keywords will match very closely and I get great conversions on my survey products.

One alternative to a direct link exchange is a 3-way link exchange, which are somewhat better received by Google.  These involve you linking to one site, they will link to another site, and that site will link back to you.  For my time, these aren’t worth it simply due to the additional effort in coordinating two other people not to mention finding three websites in the same niche, with similar traffic and backlinks, that will work with you.

Googles headquarters (Wikipedia)

Google's headquarters (Wikipedia)

For bloggers, the link exchange world opens up even more.  Links are the currency of the web, and as a result if you find a blog you like, then you can put them on your blogroll then post a few comments on their blog and see if they notice themselves.  This is the informal form of a link exchange, because many times they will give you a link back, as a result you each have sitewide links bouncing between each other as well as related traffic.  While I do occasionally get requests via email for link exchanges, I would prefer these informal gestures, and they are also what I do on my other blogs.  By actually becoming friends with other bloggers in your niche you will find that blogging becomes more enjoyable, and based on game theory it will also be more profitable for each of you to work together.

Moral of the story: play fair with others and it will help your reputation, and if you do nice things online, then people will often be kind in return.


  1. David says:

    Haha, I think you must of looked at my blog since I just put one of those pages up yesterday. Guess what, I took it down after reading your article. Putting those link pages up are a blatant way to try to get attention – but you are right. Most of the links will not be “good” and many will back out. Anyway, good post. Liking you ebook too.

  2. Dan mihaliak says:

    Thank you for sharing that info. I believe like you do that Google can recognize obvious link exchanging and frowns on it!

  3. proson says:

    hi James, I agree with you in some point about link exchange, but I will rather build one ways links since they have more credentials than 2 ways or even 3 ways links exchange.


  4. James says:

    Hey Proson,

    I am not advocating the use of creating nothing but link exchanges, if you will notice I only use one-way links for this site as well. I am simply trying to improve on the tactic for those that use link exchanges.


  5. James, hi,

    I used to be a member of Jon Leger’s 3-Way-Links program but pulled out about 6 months ago because it was not benefitting my traffic at all.

    I don’t now actively go out looking for links – I focus more on content. That’s not to say I think links aren’t important – they are. But focusing on links, rather than on content that’s attractive to readers, is the wrong focus.

    If the content is good enough to pull readers it will also pull links.



  6. nino says:

    Thanks, this information was quite helpful, as I am looking for some good link exchanges.

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