Link Exchange (getting your links on other sites in lieu of their links on your site) to increase the page rank of your site on the search engines is one of the time tested techniques, which has withstood the onslaught of time. Although its importance has diminished a bit as compared to what it was in the nascent years of SEO, it is still one
of the best methods to improve upon the search engine rankings, and jack up the PR (page rank).
Link Exchange or Link Building methods are mainly centered around quality and relevancy. The websites with which the links are being exchanged, should be the established ones, with a high page rank and good incoming links. The sites should be related to your own site. For example, if you own an insurance site, then you should target to exchange links with motor insurance, personal insurance or financial websites.
The following steps need to be taken to build up an effective Link Exchange Campaign:
Researching for Appropriate Keywords: Selection of the relevant keywords, which can help the web surfers find your site is very important. For this purpose, you may start with a generalized list of keywords related to your site, and expand the same with the keywords
related to the neighboring niches. If you have an insurance site, the most relevant keywords for you could be motor insurance, auto insurance, personal insurance, general insurance, finance, personal finance, financial websites etc. You may take the help of keyword research tools, to build up your exclusive list of keywords.
How to search for Link Partners: The easiest way to look for good related link partners, is to run a “search” on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN etc using different keywords. Don’t focus on just the first page, coz the sites already appearing on the top pages, may not be interested in exchanging links with you. You will get the best results from the sites appearing on the deeper pages
Selection of the best Link Partners: After compiling a list of sites related to yours, it is time to weed out the useless ones, and focus on the good ones. Getting incoming links from .gov or .edu sites are more beneficial than getting links from the free hosting sites.
Don’t focus on just the PR of the prospective link partners, although it is also one of the prime factors affecting the rankings of your site. Also never link to the dubious sites and link farms.
Sending out the Link Exchange Requests: Before you send out the link requests to the prospective link partners, it would be better, if you set up an exclusive Links Page or a Links Directory. And do make a mention of the exact url where you would be putting up their links, while corresponding with them. Likewise also don’t forget to mention your own anchor text, the url to which the anchor text should point to, and the brief description of your website, preferably not more than 250 characters.
Effective management of the Link Exchange Campaign: Once you have got your link in place on the other website, it is very important to ensure that the link does not get deleted, and remains permanent with the correct anchor text and the accompanying description. There are several tools on the internet, some of them absolutely free, with which you can effectively manage the incoming links to your site. One such tool which I have been using for over three years is the “Web CEO”. It is a very compact tool for doing the Keyword
Research, Finding Prospective Link Partners, Managing Correspondence, Monitoring the Incoming Links and lots of other features.