5. Years ago link exchange was really popular. Everybody knew he needs a lot of links to succeed, so he traded with others:
A gives link to B
B gives link to A
Links A ---> B and B ---> A are called reciprocal links.
Of course A and B could trade with C, D and so on and soon there was also automation available. Link exchanging is still alive, but is loosing popularity. You can be actually penalized if you participate in link exchange schemes. Most of it is made through java which is invisible to search engines so sites involved don't risk so much. But they are still in risk.
I think some link exchanging can be good for your on-line presence if it is done right but only if the reciprocal links are a part of link building strategy. In normal world it is cool to have connections with different people and web is trying to imitate real world.
And one more simple trick:
If you have more than one site (let's say A and B), you can improve link exchanging with somebody who also has more than one site (let's say C and D):
A gives link to C
D gives link to B
This way we don't have classic reciprocal links but two one way links which are in general more powerful than reciprocal links.
Just don't exaggerate...
Can you share with us another fact about links? Something from your experience?
You are right, WriterArtist, without good content you'll never get backlinks, but my experience is a bit different. With few links I managed to get initial traffic and only after that natural links came.
Backlinks require a lot of time, I would rather focus on good content.
I never used link wheels, sheilamarie.
They are very easy to spot and search engines officially don't like them anymore, although they can still bring results. I wouldn't recommend classic link wheel to anybody. Think about natural look of links - it should be chaotic. For instance A links to B, B links to C, D links to E, etc. and some of them (not all), in my opinion the ones with solid traffic and established positions, link to your main page. Please note another detail - this kind of linkage should not have closed chain, the last page (let's call it Z) should not be linked to A.
Another idea worth considering should be putting strength on your links, not on your main page. This means you should build links to pages which link your main page, not to main page itself. Again: find few already strong and relevant pages (with ranking and traffic) and put few links to them. Wait few weeks to see what happens. Then decide if you need more links to your main page, to your linking pages, or maybe you need some on-page tweaking (changing keywords in strategic places) or something else (more relevant content is always good bet in long term). SEO, especially the part dealing with links, is partly art, partly science. In both cases you should enjoy in this game;)
Some people use something called a link wheel: there's a main page, the hub, and then related pages. One related page points to another related page and to the hub, the second related page points to a third and the hub, the third points to a fourth and the hub, etc., and then the last page points back to the first. That way your internal links are not reciprocal. I have heard of this method and have intended to try it for a long time. I haven't been consistent in putting it into practice. Has anyone else tried it successfully?
You are welcome, WriterArtist. This is only basic info on links, for proper backlinking you'll need some patience and experience. Go slow and when you are in doubt, choose the less aggressive option.
Thanks for such good tips on backlinks.
I have not focused and worked for it before, now I should.
I 110 % agree on this one. In old times it was simple - more is better. Now we have three kinds of links: good, neutral and bad ones. And nobody - including the big G - knows what the future will bring. My rule of thumb would be: if real people click on the link and visit your page, this is a good link.
Links can actually deter your Google rank if they are not quality links
We all need some additional motivation. Mine came from my pages which are actually link lists with additional info (I call it meat on the skeleton). When search engines find them and see people like to click on the links, pages are boosted to the first positions for not so easy keywords. But without external links search engines can't find them...
So we need links pointing to landing page, landing page with good info (best info is in the form of a clickable link!) and some imagination:)
Me too, in fact working on external links is on my new year to do list. I'll be focusing on this vital component to traffic. I do realize the importance of it yet it is the one thing I often let fall to the way side. I'm on it now. Thanks for the motivation. :)K