It’s been long that SEOs have been discussing whether Link exchange stills works and if it is a safe way to build links. While a major group of SEO professionals would keep away from it and doesn’t even think of link exchange as a valid link building method any more, there are enough SEOs and particularly newbies who still trust link exchange.
Recently an article published on CNN has again stirred the discussion with their clear approval of link exchange as a valid method for building links. You can read the article at http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/07/14/cnet.google.link.exchange/index.html. CNN article clearly says,
“exchanging links without offering payment, or crossing obvious lines such as breaking captchas and posting spam links in guestbooks or comment forums, they’re following the spirit of Google’s Webmaster guidelines.”
and points to the fact the Google webmaster guidelines mentions that they do not approve of “Excessive link exchanging” but doesn’t define what they mean by “excessive”. Like all things Google, there is always a subjective parameter that you will have to keep guessing.
With the above logic in place selective link exchange might still work and now that an article like this have hit CNN, I am sure the number of link exchange enthusiasts are going to get a boost.
I personally do not prefer link exchange for link building ( but still I keep getting at least 5 emails a week, saying add my id to Gtalk for link exchange – bunch of F****** Spammers – and yes, I take this opportunity to mention, MEGRISOFT leads them all – I received 7 emails from different guys in this company in last 1 week for link exchange) and prefer other ways of building one way links. However, I do understand that absolutely new sites, particularly the e-commerce websites face immense difficulty in building links and link exchange is probably an easy way to get some initial boost.
In case you resort to link exchange, take care of the following points..
a) Ensure that the partner site is related to your website
b) Check that the website is not having a penalty or ban from Google and are not associated with any link farm or FFA
c) It is good to check the PR of the page that links to you, but PR is not the ultimate. A PR 2 page today can become PR 6 tomorrow, so try to understand the potential of the page and the website.
d) Try not to get links from those traditional links.html / links.php pages with thousands of links. Links from content pages are much better
Having mentioned all these points, I must also add, Link exchange should not be your only way for link building, bring diversity in your back link profile by getting various types of links.