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After doing link exchanges for over 3 years i am tired and fed up with it. I am constantly bombarded with at least 100 link exchange requests ever day. I dont have an automated system, so any link I included has to be done by hand. Now I get emails from other webmasters who want to change their anchor text or to point their old link to a new domain.
How many link exchanges is enough? Am i meant to continue forever getting more and more links just so I keep a edge on other sites competng with me? I already have enough links pointing to my sites to sustain my position.
To be honest, I've found for certain sites, the rate of natural inbound links is sufficient to maintain rank, but perhas this only applies to information sites.
With reagrds changing URLs or link text - just ignore the requests if you can't be bothered. OK, maybe change URLs to avoid dead links, but to hell with the link text! ;)
Alternatively, you could up the standard of your link exchange - ie you will only accept links from *pages* with PR5 and above, etc.
As far as links being enough? I think not if: 1) your competetors are right on your heals or 2) Google impliments some of their latest techniques (as outlined in there patents) which seem to require a steady flow of *new* links.
They will never let you rest...