Text Link, Picture link, Banner Link Swapping

A site that is recommending link exchanges (listening to SEO tips) as a way to get ranks, was good advice until just recently. Here's how swapping links usually work in the web site or blog world:

a. A webmaster launches a new site and learns that Google is the best way to get traffic;
b. Wanting traffic, the webmaster searches out how to get Google rankings;
c. Many of the popular SEO communities & free SEO guides suggest swapping links with other site owners in the same category;
d. Each new link is placed on a "links", "Friends" page;
e. The webmaster gets a little higher in rankings - or do they?

What is really happening to this webmaster is a clear violation of Google's (old and new) guidelines. Google won't look at you in a better light because you just traded links with other webmasters for the purpose of higher rankings. There is a thin line drawn because there may be other webmasters who have a relationship and genuinely want to endorse the services each webmaster provide. Around the internet, this happens naturally all the time, but how do you get Google to respect these links?

1. Limit the volume of links. It's not a huge deal to link to 10 (maybe 15) of your friends from the industry. But when you place (maybe) 50 links on a page, things start looking pretty suspicious.

2. Instead of creating a "links.html" page, or grouping them together on a sidebar, spread the links around the site (blog) and limit the amount on each page. If you have a blog, then create a 200-word post that describes the link-to site. If you have a web site, then create a 200-word page that describes the link-to site.

So be careful with swapping links. Don't just swap links to "swap links". Instead, go with #2 and play it safe. Place the "links" page idea in the trash.

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