Reciprocal Links: Quality is
as important as Quantity
popularity, the number of incoming links to your website,
plays an important part in determining your siteís ranking
in a search engine. But, before you rush off to try and get
any and all sites to link to you there are a few things to
consider, and one of them is that the quality of the links are
as important as the quantity.
If you get a
link to your site from Yahoo, then your own siteís ranking
in various search engines will be enhanced, as Yahoo is one of
the most popular sites on the Internet. Ranking of course is
not a precise term, and varies from search engine to search
engine. But if you want to be consistent, you can use the
Google Toolbar, and the Google page ranking, shown in the
toolbar, as way of judging how well you are doing. Google
ranks a page from 0-10, and a site with a 0 ranking will not
do well in searches, especially in very competitive
categories. So when it comes to finding link partners one
guideline is to find sites that have a Google ranking that is
equal to or higher than yours.
A site with a
0 ranking will not help you. Also, sometimes a site has a
relatively good page ranking but its links page is 0, and this
is the page that links to you, thus it is very important. So
the question is why is the links page 0 when the rest of the
site is OK? Some sites use robotic tools to create what are
known as ďlink farms. Link farms are huge collections of
links, a giant directory that dwarfs the original web site.
These were set up by people hoping to increase their
link popularity very fast. However search engines got wise to
this, and do not give any importance to such directories,
hence you will see a 0 ranking for them.
So, if it is
a link farm, donít participate in a link exchange with that
site. It will not help you, and some observers say that a link
from a ďlink farmĒ will actually harm your standing. I am
not sure if it will harm you, but it is definitely not going
to help you.
important thing to consider is whether the links page or
directory on the other site is visible to the public. This
might seem elementary, but some people like to get reciprocal
links but donít really display them fairly, because they
donít want people leaving their site through the reciprocal
links. The links page should be linked to at least one of the
major pages of the site, if it is not, then donít puruse the
link. One time, I noticed this on another site and objected.
The webmaster acknowledged my point and changed the site to
properly display the links page.
your link on the other site will be in sea of hundreds of
unsorted links, like on the free-for-all links pages, this is
not valuable to you, because such a site has little chance of
sending you any traffic.
What are the
best sites to link to? A
site that has good content, a site that your web visitors will
think is a valuable resource. While you canít take responsibility for everything that is
on the other personís website, you shouldnít knowingly
send your web visitors to a low-quality website. So be
selective in pursuing reciprocal links, and in responding to
requests for links. Visit the other site and see what it is
all about before jumping to link with them.
link partner should be a site thematically related to yours,
with the kind of visitors who will also be interested in your
site. It should give your link the kind of prominence that
will enable you to get some traffic, and finally, the site
should have a decent page ranking. If you get all of these
factors together, you can be sure that it is a quality link
and worth your effort in making the contact and setting up the
link exchange. Check your logs from time to time and see which
links are performing well, and then try to find similar link
linking takes time if you want to do it correctly, but the
targeted traffic that it can generate coupled with the
enhancement of your page ranking that it can provide, makes it
an important part of overall website promotion.
Be sure to
read these related articles:
Your Site's Link Popularity and Search Engine Ranking
to Choose Your Link Partners
to Get Non-Reciprocal Links, and Improve Your Page Rank
Nelson is a web developer, editor and social worker. He has
been working on the Internet since 1995, and is currently the
director of A1-Optimization (http://www.a1-optimization.com),
a firm providing low cost search engine optimization,
submission and web promotion services.
© Copyright 2003, Donald Nelson, all rights