Thursday, 18 August 2011

How to get reciprocal links

Reciprocal links are arranged when two web sites agree to link to each other.

Reciprocal links are also known as "link swaps", "link exchanges" and "link partners".

A common misspelling is "reciprical links".

Reciprocal links help you in two ways:

1. They increase your web site traffic, from people who click on the links.

2. Reciprocal links also play a major role in boosting your rankings in search engines.

Warning: Late in 2005, Google's Matt Cutts made it clear that it's possible to "overdo" reciprocal links. Getting good, solid, reciprocal links should be part of your links strategy, not your total marketing strategy.

When ranking sites, the major search engines take into account the number and quality of the sites that link to you.

Persuading good quality, relevant sites to link to you can be tedious, time-consuming and frustrating. Here are some tips to increase your chances of success.

One way to find link partners is to do searches in major search engines such as Google and Yahoo! to find sites which complement yours but are not direct competitors.

Many sites also link to direct competitors, figuring that the benefits outweigh any disadvantages.

Examine their links pages

A refinement of this strategy is to visit your competitors' sites and complementary sites and examine their links pages or resources pages.

The sites you'll find there are potential reciprocal links partners. They should be linking to you.

Now visit THEIR links pages and examine them, and so on down the chain.

You should end up with a long list of good sites with which to exchange links.

How to set up reciprocal links

  • Find GOOD QUALITY, complementary sites.
  • Place a link to them on your site.
  • Only AFTER you've placed a link to them, email the owner of the site a short, friendly note. Address him or her by name. (If the name isn't on the site, you may be able to find it at
  • Genuinely praise something on the site. If you can't find something worth praising, delete the site from your list.
  • Tell the web site owner you've linked to their site, giving them the URL of the page where you've place your link.
  • Ask for a link back to your site, suggesting a page where the link would be appropriate.
  • Three weeks later, if there's been no reply, send a brief, polite reminder. It's easy for emails to be lost or overlooked.
  • Use the phone and/or snail mail. A link from a good site is a very valuable thing. If you can't get noticed by email, consider trying a phone call or posting a letter. They're more expensive but also more likely to attract the answer you want.
  • Keep an alphabetical record of sites you've linked to and requested links from. You need to know who you've contacted and who you haven't.

Want links from pages with high PageRank?

To boost their PageRank, some webmasters concentrate on getting links only from sites that have high PageRank. (If we all did this, no new site would ever get reciprocal links.)

If you want to try this approach, SEChat's PageRank Search is a useful free search tool to use. It gives you Google search results PLUS their PageRank. You type in a key phrase and can quickly see the PageRank of pages optimized for that phrase.

Really serious ways of getting links

You can arrange newsletter article exchanges with other newsletter publishers in your niche, preferably with newsletters which are archived online.

Some webmasters also arrange "article swaps". You write an article to be published on their website and they write an article for your site. This gives you an in-context link, which is much more effective than a mere link on a links page.

Reciprocal links websites

You can search in Google for link exchange websites which publish directories of website owners who actively exchange links with each other. As a general rule, the easier and more automated link exchanging is, the more risky it is that you'll be doing something which the search engines don't like. For example, you don't want to get involved in link farms which link to totally unrelated websites.

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