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Is this a good type of link exchange?

5:38 am on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have a large number of on-topic backlinks from sites in my sector. My site is a news site, and generally gets new links to it each and every day. I have very few OBLs.

I'm trying to rank higher in Google, but I'm getting beat by some older authority sites that have been around for 5 years or so. This is despite the fact that I have more backlinks and in some cases more PR.

Because I have a PR5 and I'm very well known and respected in my industry, I have the opportunity to do some link exchanges other non-competing sites in the sector.

My basic stats are:
4,300 linking to
8,800 pages in Google
PR5 main page

My idea is to exchange top menu bar links with the following sites:

Site A
2,900 linking to
17,300 pages
PR5 main page
traffic: 500k daily pages
alexa 7000

Site B
828 linking to
325,000 pages
PR4 main
traffic: 2.5M daily pages
alexa 4000

Site C
3,500 linking to
1,200 pages
PR6 main

Site D
3,800 linking to
4,500 pages
PR7 main

Site E
2,900 linking to
100,000 pages
PR5 main

The links to me would be in the form of "widget news."

The links I'd send out would be in the form of "widget pictures," "widget videos," and so on. So these would be reciprocal, on every page, strictly between me and the partners... no linking across the other partners.

All links would be in a top above-the-fold navigational menu.

Would this help my ranking? Are there any risks to watch out for?

6:58 pm on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member quadrille is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Reciprocal links can harm your site. And as you already have many incoming links, and are doing well, it's not a risk to take lightly.

First be brutally honest with yourself; is your site in the same league as those that always come on top? I'm not suggesting it isn't, but pushing your luck is often a suicide note to Google.

I'd first consider on-page issues, and all the specialist directories in your area, before I'd ever think of link exchanges; non-competing usually means not wholly relevant. And across-site exchanges do stand out like a beacon.

If you really are confident of your partners, and that the links are relevant to your readers, why not try just one, and see what happens. A smaller risk.

11:00 pm on Aug 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

In terms of relevancy, all the keywords are very much related. It's just that we deal with different aspects of said industry.

The content of my site is first class, and honestly deserves #1-4 ranks for most queries. Anyone in the industry would tell you this.

In fact I have some very high ranking pages, but I'm not able to push up into the SERPs unless my pages themselves have a good number of backlinks. Being that my site is news-oriented, it's hard for me to build content for not-new things and rank well, because I don't get IBLs for those things.

Many of my competitors can post just about anything on a certain subject and rank well for it, regardless of whether people link to the specific page.

My partners are sites that have no sneaky SEO stuff going on or anything questionable. All of them have been online for many years.

I haven't used any SEO tricks either.

5:14 am on Aug 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

It's not likely you need any help SEO-wise, as it sounds like people link to you because of what your website presents.

Linking to those sites from any kind of menu bar would only be done if there were an immdiate benefit to visitors or it impacts your sales.

Even so, you must consider the results of doing that could be a loss of rank and traffic.

6:00 am on Aug 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well I think I do need SEO help, because I have a hard time ranking for a lot of different terms.

I don't sell any products ... my site is stricly ad supported.

Stricly from a user point of view, the links would add value to their experience.

7:03 pm on Aug 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

In another thread [webmasterworld.com] GaryTheScubaGuy mentioned that a good amount of stable content (and in particular stable title-tags of pages) might be a positive ranking factor.

In fact, this is not completely contradictory to the fact that a good amount of fresh content is also a positive ranking factor, although that may seem so at first sight. I guess particularly a news site may have some trouble with this catch twentytwo.

I know this has nothing to do with your initial question but maybe it gives a hint why competition is so hard for you. If a high number of deep-backlinks is your only means to push pages, there is probably something "wrong" with your overall site-structure.

[edited by: Oliver_Henniges at 7:04 pm (utc) on Aug. 20, 2006]

8:58 pm on Aug 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've been doing more research and I'm starting to think it may be better to just have main page links as opposed to site-wide ones.

I guess the debate is whether site wide links help, do nothing, or hurt.

11:27 pm on Aug 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well I think I do need SEO help, because I have a hard time ranking for a lot of different terms.

Fair enough, here it comes:

You have more links pointed at you than any of those websites, so questions I would ask are:

How long have you been online for?

How long is your domain registered for?

What is the percentage of links to your homepage, or do you have alot of deep links to articles etc?

Do the links that are pointed at your homepage include the anchor text 'news'?

Are you listed in dmoz.org, and are your competition?

Do you have proper titles for each page and unique meta descriptions for each page.

Remember that a website that has thousands of links one way to it can still rank poorly if the Title is poor, and content on the page is either not original, or simply not on topic.


1:32 am on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Online a year.

Most IBLs are to articles.

The name of my site includes 'news' but not 'widgets', so i do have a lot of links with the former, but not with the latter. I'd like that to change with any possible link exchange.

I am in DMOZ.

All pages have good titles. They don't have meta descriptions.

One near competitior of mine ranks very well and has 617 links. Another one has 16,500 (boosted big time by sitewide links from a larger network that they are a part of).

6:12 am on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

"Online a year."

This makes a difference. Any ideas how long your main competitors have been online for besides the 5 year guy?

Are all of your pages indexed, and do you use a proper sitemap. Increasing the number of page indexed helps as well.

Make sure your site navigation is good. Try moving links to important parts of the site closer to the top of the page 'in code'.

You may still be suffering slightly from a filtering effect.

I would look at something along the lines of a press release and article writing with distribution instead of linking reciprocal from home page to home page if you can afford the $$.

If you can afford the article writing and distribution it could end up well worth it. I would link to the home once from the resources box of every article with a variation of the keyword you are talking about. I would change the variation each time I send off a new article. As well, get a second link from the resources box to another main subcategory of your website, preferrably one with part of your keyword in it (news)

Good luck,

12:48 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

2 of my competitors have been online for 2 years, one for 5, and another for 5.

I am just starting to get a working sitemap.

I came out of the actual sandbox (no rank) for popular terms with Copra, but you're right that some filtering could still be in place.

1:17 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

*.. my site is stricly ad supported.*

IMO I'd be especially wary, in a somewhat dubious linkage pattern AS appears to indicate "intent" as far as G is concerned...

1:17 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Did you not get an answer to this same post on highrankings?
4:55 pm on Aug 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Have you not considered that your site is exactly where it deserves to be?

If you are lacking in rank, add content. make your site more approachable.


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