Link Exchanges And PageRank

I was picking through the link exchange page on one of my affiliate product websites. I don’t do a whole lot of trading links, so I tend to have less than 20 to a page on any given site of mine.

Being the ‘link exchange can’t-be-bothered-with-it’ person that I am, I haven’t checked the reciprocal links pointing to me in a few months. Here are couple things I found:

A few of the links to me disappeared (surprise surprise – but my own fault for not watching)
Some links to me were on pages with over 50-100-200+ recip links to a page, never mind the other 50+ links on the page that point within their own website or network.

Now I don’t know about you, but I really didn’t feel this was a fair trade for me. A nice, clean, small page of links. Their link pages obviously snowballed after I first agreed to exchange links. So I go digging through my stats for the past few months, see if some of these guys are sending me *any* kind of traffic.

About 6 out of the dozen or so that were on this particular website of mine were. One or two were sending some pretty decent *targeted* traffic. So I toasted the rest. The ones that had me buried in a 300 link page and not sending me squat.

Automated recip checkers are fine to make sure your recips are in place. But I decided I have to do more babysitting if I’m going to participate in link exchanges.

Link pages that grow too big are worthless. Both in traffic they send (hello – surfers can’t find my link buried in a 100 link page nor do they have the patience) and the PR value they pass on is diddly squat. One of the pages had at least 100 links – probably more – and everything from mortgages to baby shoes. G-R-O-S-S

However, I did decide to spend more time rounding up some links. Not for PR or SEO purposes. I find that if you do link exchanges with nicely targeted sites, and those sites are somewhat established – you can get some good eyeballs in return. Those are the types of link exchanges I want to focus on.

A PR of 1 or 3, not too many links, sending me some traffic? Heck I’d jump for that over a PR 4 or 5 links page with so many links on it the spiders choke.

My advice: Put down the automated link checker and go check out the pages for yourself. See what kind of link exchange page trainwrecks some of those webmasters out there created. Check the incoming traffic levels – and then garbage the duds.

Kathunk – garbage can lid closes

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I've been trying to find my way online for more years than I care to admit.