In a previous article we discuss what really matter in SEO when talking about backlinks, giving also some advices on how to grow in numbers and most important what to avoid.
Today I want to provide a basic SEO strategy on how to build an healthy link exchange without incurring into a penalization. I have first to confess that this process will be a little bit time consuming but it won’t cost any money and if it is done right it will help you in growing organically your website visibility. Of course this is just one task in a Seo Strategy for what concern the Off-line SEO. You still have to focus on areas of the On-page SEO, so do not rely only on this. Also it is not the latest Seo Technique, probably an old school SEO, but still working where other new techniques have fallen.
Is link exchange demonized by Google? Well, it all depends on what are you meaning for link exchange. If you mean to have your website URL in some remote location in the World and in a niche totally different from your business, yes!
Starting Points: Thinks to keep in mind
- Avoid searching for websites who are not into your niche or area of expertise: If you are selling building supplies don’t ask a local nail bar to put your link on their website. Doesn’t have any sense, Just having it for the sake or getting the juice it won’t help. You need conversion. The same applies to the Geo Location. Try to get links from the same Country as you do business. In my case Republic of Ireland.
- Do not select websites based on Page Rank only, focus on the quality of their content and their external links. Nowadays Page Rank is not the main currency to establish if a website is better than another. It is still used but you can be sure to find some P.R. zero websites on the first position on a SERP because the page has a great content and provides useful information. Also if you find a good website who has no P.R. it could mean that it still have to be appreciated by Google so, sooner or later it will improve their visibility and help yours too. My personal alarm bell is when I find a website with low quality content who has high P.R. Something doesn’t work. So avoid it.
- Before start, you have to be sure 100% your website has good quality content: If your website has few pages or its content is not appealing, using this process it will waste your time, loosing the chance to have a backlink: Only if your website has good content, they will have more interest in linking to yours. See it like a referral. If you are good at what you are doing you will get usually referrals from your client. The same applies for the content of your website. If there is nothing interesting there, nobody will refer to you. In the case they are linking back to you it it will be worse, increasing bounce rates. This will prove once more to Google that your website is crap. So look after your content first.
- Ensure you do not have dodgy or spammy backlinks otherwise nobody will link to you. The same apply to websites under penalization. It is like a plague. If in the past you or your Seo Agency did some dirty tricks and now you are covered in dust, please ensure to have cleaned all the mess before introducing your website to some webmasters. The chance that they spot your website as penalized is high.
Next Step: Find websites who are most likely to link back to you
This can be done by searching on Google. Search for pages called “Useful Links“, “Recommended Websites“, “External resources“, etc, etc. I personally avoid pages who are saying “Links Exchange”. You see, it is already blatant what is their purpose. Try instead to search and see if you can contact the website admin and propose it an exchange. You can also propose to add a link into one of your posts instead of just a list of “Recommended Resources”.
Summary of what to avoid when looking for a link exchange
- Avoid a website who does business outside your country or with another language;
- Avoid a website who has too many links to external websites and that promotes link exchanges;
- Check what the website is writing about and how it is writing. If you find too many misspellings, vague sentences, or incorrect punctuation, avoid it.
- If a website admin approaches you on email and offers link exchange, check the website carefully. You can do also a backlink search to see what websites are linking back.
As you might get, this is a long task and usually, it doesn’t work immediately. You need time to research, send an email and get back to an eventual response. However, If you apply this method, you will find results as well as you will grow a strong network, not worring for the future to have dodgy backlinks