Link exchange

David Kusserow

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Link exchange is the agreed, mutual linking of one’s own website by another site. It is a simple link building measure in the context of the OffPage optimization of a website.

Definition

In the field of search engine optimization (SEO), a link exchange is a means of building backlinks by which two or more websites exchange links with each other. Such an exchange is agreed upon beforehand and should bring advantages to both partners in the form of advertising.

It is a simple means of link building. Because this is a voluntary agreement, such a link exchange is often free and a win-win situation.

Risks of link exchange

A backlink is a linking of one page by another. Search engines like Google, Bing and Co. take into account the backlinks, their number and their quality when assessing the page rank. Qualitative factors include domain authority or the thematic relevance of the linking page.Google Webmaster Central explicitly warns against manipulation of linking by so-called
Black Hat SEO
. Backlinks should be built naturally, that is, through compelling content so that users recommend the site to others. Therefore, a link exchange is a violation of Google’s guidelines for webmasters.Even if not every link exchange is evaluated negatively, you should be aware of the risk. In extreme cases, Google deletes pages from its index. This effectively prevents the website from being found by search engine users. Since Google offers the market-leading search engine in most countries – including Germany – this should be avoided at all costs.

Mutual link exchange or building a network

Link exchange is usually done in two different ways. Either it is a mutual link exchange. In such a case, two or more webmasters make an agreement and install a corresponding link on their website to that of the partner. With such a link exchange, a website operator can select and target a suitable site with a good domain rating.

This way, he can ensure that a good backlink is created. With different tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs you can analyze the domain rating of a site and avoid placing a backlink in a Bad Neighbourhood.

Another variant is the cooperation with several partners, with which a link network can be built up.

There are various platforms for link exchange. Via chats, blogs or forums link exchange can happen for free. A direct request to websites is also a possibility.

Conclusion

In link exchange, two or more partners voluntarily exchange backlinks with each other. In doing so, you have to remember that Google actually sees this means of link building as a violation of its guidelines. Also, make sure you don’t place backlinks from a Bad Neighbourhood. Because there are various forums or blogs to exchange links for free, this is a relatively easy OffPage measure.

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