Backlink exchanges are sites that offer other sites to add their links, and in exchange, those sites add links of others. The purpose of this is to create a reciprocal link program which works on the “I’ll add you if you add me” model.
Link exchange programs are a quick and easy way to drive traffic and improve search engine results. Bloggers like link exchanges because they increase their site’s rankings in the eyes of search engines with little effort. This provides traffic from other sites, possible readers, and more page views.
But this all works on a short-term basis!
And there are some serious risks involved.
Let me explain…
What Google Says About Blog Link Exchanges
First, let me be very clear and tell you what Google says about this:
..Excessive link exchanges, could “negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results.”
Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
…some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results. Examples of link schemes can include:
* Links intended to manipulate PageRank
* Links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web
* Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)
* Buying or selling links that pass PageRank
Risks of Link Exchange Programs
The risk comes in when you participate in excessive link exchanges. In this way, you end up decreasing your reputation in Google’s index. If you go around accepting blog link exchange requests blindly, you never know the quality and content of the site that you’re adding.
Linking to a site that already has no importance from Google will lower down your importance in Google’s eyes. This means bad links linking to and/or from your site can harm the ranking of your site.
Since 2012, Google has also devalued all links coming from private blog networks and low-quality spammy links. This is yet another good reason why you should avoid backlink exchanges.
Ok, let me ask you a question:
- Have you ever seen a link exchange program on blogs of successful bloggers?
No? Then how did they do it? How did they become so successful? What did they do to get to the top of the search rankings?
Well, the answer is simple:
It’s the trust that they give to their readers that makes them so powerful. They write quality content, and readers trust that they’ll offer high-quality information.
The best way to get other sites to createto your website (i.e. backlinking) is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the internet community. The more useful your content is, the higher the chances are that another blogger will find that information valuable and link to it (sending you more interested readers).
A link from a link exchange list might send new readers to your site, but they are only going to keep reading your site if they TRUST that you will continually produce great content.
- The outgoing links from your site are part of the content.
By linking to another site, you tell your readers that this link is of good quality and if they visit this site, they’ll find something valuable.
If your reader visits a link from your link exchange list which takes them to a site cluttered with irrelevant ads for making money online, or home loans, or Viagra, or that link leads them to a blog that has really bad content, then the reader is going to question your judgment and you will lose their trust.
What’s the alternative to a Link Exchange Program?
Link exchanges are now an outdated way of getting love from a search engine.
Although the links to your site are still counted, there’s always a risk of getting bad links if you actively participate in backlink exchange programs.
Today is an era of social networking sites. They are the biggest source of traffic for any site.
Digg, Twitter, Facebook, and StumbleUpon (among many) are powerful enough to drive traffic in the millions to your blog… but only if you write something unique, new, and/or very interesting for readers.
Your content can spread in seconds, and thousands of readers from around the world can follow a link from these social media sites.
The bottom line:
If you want to increase your readership, focus on creating good quality content that is unique (or at least interesting for readers).
Create backlinks and avoid backlink exchanges
To really be successful in the backlink game, create networks with other bloggers. This way you’ll not only learn from them, but you’ll also find other quality content. If you like any of their articles, then you’ll be happy and satisfied to link back to them because you TRUST the site and the author.
Get active on social networking and bookmarking sites and increase your followers.
Instead of wasting time on populating your site with spam-filled untrusted links, focus more on your writing. The time you will spend finding sites or getting into partnership with other webmasters, you can come up with better articles.
The better your articles are, the higher the chances that you’ll get quality links back from other popular blogs.
So let me know: What are some methods you use to create backlinks? Share your tips in the comments below!
Also check out:
- What Is Link Building In SEO & What Are The Benefits Of Building Links?
- 7 Link Building Mistakes To Avoid While Building Backlinks
- Why You Should Never Buy CRAP Backlinks : An Experiment
- 7 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks
- 12 Best Practices To Generate Backlinks To Your Website
- 101 Ways To Get Quality Backlinks To Your Blog In 2016
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