Every day I get a dozen or so email offers for reciprocal link trades, which mostly offer me the short end of the stick. These emails are quickly deleted. But, there generally are a couple during the week that will pass the test of being truly reciprocal. So, I’m letting you know what I look for in a quality reciprocal link trade by telling you what to look out for first.
Let me say, upfront, that I have never been offered a quality 3-way link trade. I’m sure some people have and they are out there, but I’ve only been offered a link in some third rate directory in exchange for a link from my site to someone’s prime homepage. These I delete quickly.
Second, a link page doesn’t have to have PR in order for my site’s link to be upon it, but it has to have the potential for Page Rank. Some webmasters will do all they can to hide this page from the search engines.
Some of the things to look out for are orphaned link pages, links with a nofollow tag upon them or links (or pages) with redirects upon them that mean that PR will never be passed from their web page to mine.
There are some webmasters who will conduct a linking campaign and a month later orphan the links page, put on nofollow or redirects or use other methods to taint the reciprocal link. So, it’s important to check on these links on a regular schedule to see that they are still intact.
Some software will check to see that links are still on the links page, but may miss orphaned pages. This is true if the software only checks to see if the link is at the specific URL.
Now, since I’ve just stated what to look out for in link exchanges, here’s what I look for when trading links. Is the web page relevant to my site? I only trade links with relevant sites. Does the page have PR or the potential for PR? Is the site itself well indexed and will it bring in direct traffic? If the search engines did not exist, would this be a good trade?
Be picky about whom you link to and who links to you. Remember, your link is a vote for another site. If you trade links with a few relevant sites, you have the potential to trade targeted traffic for years. And, this is a good situation to be in.