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I have been approached by an SEO company to take up their link exchange or non-reciprocal link program. I don't know if it would make a lot of difference to my site if I were to get 10 links per month (reciprocal or non-reciprocal links)? They are charging like $100 per non reciprocal link and less for reciprocal links.
so my first question is...
1) is it worth paying for a program like this in the first place?
2) if yes, should I go only with non-reciprocal link exchange as I have heard that link exchange is a waste of time?
Such a program is risky - are you OK if your site gets hammered in the serps now, in six months or next year as a result? Perhaps you are, perhaps not. Or perhaps if you really want to check how it works you might consider doing it on a test site instead of your main site. If it doesn't work, don't do it on your main site.
IMO though, if a low volume of low quality links will get you ranked, then you're in a non-competitive field. And therefore there are lower risk ways than this to get better links. If you're in a more competitive market, then something like this isn't going to be the killer app you're looking for.
If the software or service guarantees links (pay us $50 and we will link you to 5000 sites overnight!), I would suggest you avoid that.
If the software manages link management while offering editorial discretion, allowing you to control who you will and will not link to, there is nothing wrong with that and can actually be a huge time saver.
When it comes to software for managing link development, the ability to maintain editorial discretion on making links is absolutely a necessity as you dont want to be linked with sites you don't approve of.
Articles give you the juiciest links ever: in-line anchor text links and if your topic is up-to-date it will get picked up rather quickly.
I have seen just one article bring in over 200 one-way links.
You can easily make your own links and $100 just seems way too much, come up with your own strategy, if you don't have time to submit all the links your self, map out the program then pay your kid or your friends kid to submit the links for you.
I rather pay my sister's kid $100 to submit links EXACTLY how I want over some company who could be doing something that is gonna get me banned from the SERPS.
It isn't that hard to get good links from high pr sites. Here are some suggestions:
1) Social Bookmarking, submit your link to every social bookmark site there is
2) Link Directories (not nearly as effective as #1)
3) Squidoo Make a page about your site, add links
4) Get a blogger and Wordpress site, make some blogs about your domain add links
5) Craigslist, Craigslist, Craigslist - Make ads that link to your site
6) Post in some forums and put your link in your signature
That should get you started with some good links, if you really want links and people to add them for you for FREE
Add a blog or news site to your site, make 2-3 articles each week, submit them all to social bookmarking sites, eventually more and more bloggers and news sites will link back to you.
And if you really, really, really want back links, make your own WP or Joomla templates add your link at the bottom and then give them away for free!
When considering a link program, choose a software or service that provides the features you want for your needs.
If you intend to conduct link exchange as a traffic building function or branding function, and not an SEO function, using a software or application service provider to manage link exchange can be a massive time saver in ways you may have never considered.
For example, there are quality editor based softwares and application services on the web today that save webmasters time by managing task such as:
- basic editorial management such as approval and rejection of link requests, and modification of current data
- categorization of links
- checking for dead links
- checking for link reciprocation
- providing blacklists to block irrelevant link requests
- providing add link forms that "catch" link requests so the user has a time saving method for reviewing link requests as they are requested
- managing categorization of the links themselves for end user organizational purposes
- providing webmasters password protected access to submit changes to their links without having to bother the user of the software
- managing graphic or image submissions to be displayed with the link
- providing automated expiration of the link
- controls over specific details such as length of meta data, use of all caps, etc.
- display and sort ordering of links
- method for searching and locating links
- import/export capabilties (great for sites who manage a directory or portal)
- utility that checks for duplicate links
- utility that counts links
- indicating new links
- publishing delivery (via FTP or other methods)
- manging publishing sort order (such as by popularity)
- some software and services provide communications management (such as customized emails to help inform webmasters as to link publishing status)
- cosmetic controls
I could go on and on..
Don't be so quick to label all products just because a number of softwares and services can be classified as junk or blackhat due to their crappy list of features.
Anyone who has linked with another site knows the time and data management challenges that managing link exchange presents. Judge a software or service on it's own merits, not because you have read a flood of misinformation regarding link exchange.