The most important link exchange factor

by Martin Reed on 20 March 2007 in Snippets

What factors do you take into account when considering what sites to set up a link exchange with? I take into account the standard factors such as:

  • What is the site’s current PageRank?
  • Is the site relevant to my audience?
  • Do I actually like the site?
  • What kind of traffic is their site getting?

Of course, all of these are relevant points – most people would not want to exchange links with a brand new site which receives around 4 visitors per day (unless your own site is in a similar situation). Similarly you will more than likely be hesitant in linking to a site that looks awful as it will not add value for your users and may well damage your own site’s credibility.

People that just look at these factors though, miss out on what I consider to be one of the biggest factors in determining whether to proceed with a link exchange: potential.

If I come across a website that really stands out from the crowd, I will put that above its traffic and current popularity. If a website is unique and well designed with an owner that appears extremely keen to develop the site further, then get your link exchange in now.

For sites such as these you are in the best position for negotiating the terms for a link exchange. You will more than likely be able to get an extremely prominent link on their site, for a basic inclusion on yours. Then, if you really have identified a site with huge growth potential, you will be reaping the rewards in the future.

So next time someone emails you for a link exchange, consider that website’s potential. Very occasionally you will come across a true gem of a site that wants to exchange links with you. Most other people will reject the offer as the site may be new or receive barely any traffic at this time – this is your chance to take advantage of the short-term vision of your competitors and take a punt at a site that could become huge in the future.

Establish that relationship now, and you will reap the rewards well into the future.

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