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What Is Link Exchange And Is It Bad For Your Website

Posted by on Tue, May 14, 2013


This technique was used very commonly in the early days of SEO, when Google was on its way to becoming a search engine giant as it is right now. As the name implies, Link exchange means the trade of links to other websites. This method was very common in the SEO field from the year 2000 to 2002 but after the launch of Google’s sophisticated algorithm, this practice was halted because many of the blogs and websites suffered with penalties.

Why do Link Exchange

The main purpose behind this activity was to achieve increased traffic. Webmasters use the most common method of contacting each other by visiting a site and contacting its respective webmaster through the contact us page. In their polite request, they would offer the opportunity that will be beneficial to both parties in the form of link exchange that would increase the traffic of both websites. The webmaster who receives such request would then assess the traffic and site relevancy of the other party and if the odds are in his favor and, he would agree to the proposal, if not then he will say no to the request in a polite and professional way.

Why Does Google Penalize Sites involved in Link Exchange

There is a misconception that Google will always penalize the websites that are involved in Link Exchange. The fact is that Google only penalizes those websites, which are involved in manipulative link exchange rather than organic and original linking. Consider this example, If I have a website about dogs and pet animals then any link such as weight loss or computers or anything that do not relate to the content on my website will be considered as manipulative by Google and thus both webs involved will be penalized. However, if I exchange links with a website that has the relevancy to my website and its content such as dog trainers, then it will be considered as organic and natural linking.

How to do Natural Link Exchange

It is very simple actually. Anything that you do with the concept of helping the users and providing useful information about what they are looking for is all right with Google. You must exchange links with those sites or blogs that are high quality and relative to your niche. You can exchange links to improve your site navigation by exchanging your link to a website that has the similar content. But remember, if you exchange links only to improve your rankings through excessive and irrelevant usage of keywords, tag clouds, optimized anchors or any other black hat trick, then you can be penalized or worse, banned for good.

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