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Who Wants to Swap Links?

Finally someone pushed me over the edge. I have lost count of the number of times I see this tweeted in a week! “I am looking for people to exchange links with” or “Who wants to swap links with me?” So because of the fact we are in the industry of love I am going to tell you every time someone asks it a fairy dies! And there is no “I do believe in fairies, I do I do!” (thank you to my 3 year old niece for filling me in on that) to bring them back to life!

If you don’t believe me then see what the big G themselves have to say on link exchanges and reciprocal linking at Google Webmaster Central where it clearly states that it is a violation of the Webmaster Guidelines.

Don’t get me wrong you are more than welcome to have a partners page where you can easily add the people you deal with on a regular basis, and even a testimonials page that links across to the work you have done, should it be on the internet, but there is no need what so ever to have a links page that gives people a link purely for the reason of giving a reciprocal link.

It is like me giving you a fiver and you giving me a fiver back only for Google to take all ten quid of it back.

Building links isn’t voodoo, it isn’t some mystical mystery that you need to employ the help of Scooby and Shaggy to find out, cause I can tell you now it is the old caretaker at the graveyard. Link building is a number of different things:

1. Get out there and talk about your business online. Simple really isn’t it? I mean this is what you do, live, breath and think about most of the time anyway so why not talk about it online?
2. Publish good quality content on your website and on other peoples website. A good blog post (you are blogging aren’t you?) will pick up links as people link to it and discuss what you have said. Claire at English Wedding is brilliant at writing blog posts that get attention, go read her blog and get some tips from the method that she writes.
3. Make good contacts and good relationships with your suppliers, that way you won’t need to ask for a link they will be proud to work with you and give you a link.
4. I did mention blogging already didn’t I? Get blogging when you post new content out on the web there are methods such as Ping and RSS submission which will help you get links back to your website.
5. Don’t obsess over analytics! I mentioned this in a previous blog post but I know Analytics are a fantastic thing but if you only check your traffic once a day, do it last thing at night as your eyes physically can’t take any more then you will spend less time worrying about the figures and more time getting the clients and results.
6. The field of dreams method of getting links and traffic to your website is a myth unless you are selling something EVERYONE wants! The field of dreams method is “if you build it they will come” don’t bet your life savings on this. Following the steps above will get you links and increase awareness of your website sitting around waiting for it to happen won’t!

That’s all your getting! Seriously there is enough information here for you to never have to ask or beg for link exchanges ever again. And if you want to test to see if I am right, then Google Sandbox where websites end up if they are caught breaking the rules, is a complete pain in the back side to get out of! You have been warned!

So there you go, hard work and talking about your business gets you links!

And if you didn’t spot it hard work and regular blogging gets Claire at English Wedding links for being a good example…….are you seeing the trend here??????

5 Comments

  1. Emma Muir on February 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Fabulous! I was having a conversation with someone about this only last week… I couldn’t “back-up” the argument of “Not doing reciprocal links”… Thanks Steve, now I can point him in the direction of your blog post!

    p.s. Please, please, please listen to what Steve is telling you guy’s!!!!

  2. Josie on February 6, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I don’t even reply to these requests anymore! More often than not the person asking doesn’t know anything about my business anyway so being ‘linked’ from their site would be a total waste of time anyway!

  3. Adam Leyton on February 7, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Another cracking article Steve!

    Yes, there are PLENTY of other ways to get some great links without bothering with link exchanges, three-way linking, multi-way linking or whatever they want to call it these days. I’ll put my hand up and admit to still having a “links” page, but for me it’s just a historical thing that’s left over from when I didn’t know any better and I think I’m just too nervous to remove it altogether!

    I almost wonder though if it’s actually worth having a few of these reciprocal links. As so many people engage in link exchanges (hopefully with relevant/related sites), perhaps not having any will trigger a flag in the big G’s algorithm of a site with an unnatural link profile. 😉

  4. Debbie @ Mia Rose Tiaras on February 16, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I am so glad it read this article! I have only ever had links to a handful of wedding related companies that I as a consumer would be happy to use myself.

    After a recent chat with a friend, I was persuaded to sign up with a free link directory to try and increase links back to my site. I’m going to be removing it tomorrow morning after reading this as i knew my gut feeling to this sort of activity was correct. Links for links sake suck! I’m sick and tired of random companies sending me bulk emails telling me how great my site is and do I want to exchange links? The most random being a company from the usa who only ship within the usa? What use is that to my british bridal audience.

    Get article, great site…..now where do I sign up for this website review again??

    • WeddingSEO on February 16, 2011 at 1:26 am

      Hi Debbie,

      Thank you for your comment. You are absolutely correct link exchange schemes never benefit the right parties and there are so many scammers out there that will take advantage. As a rule if you need to add anything to your site in order to get a link from a directory or anywhere else then it just isn’t worth it. Besides that there are SEO experts out there that will see linking schemes and report them to Google. This can have all number of knock on effects. In my opinion it just isn’t worth it.

      If you would like a site review drop me an email steve@ukweddingseo.co.uk and I will get straight back to you :o)

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