Building Linking Partners Part II
In this section, I am reiterating some of the concepts I explained earlier and I will explain about a successful experiment that I have been conducting around automating the reciprocal linking process.
In its simplest form, the search engines look at the number of links pointing to your site from other sites and have a formula for determining where you should rank when people search for your keywords. We refer to this as Inbound Linking. The more inbound links there are, the better your ranking and the more visitors you'll be receiving. Well, sort of. A major factor that the search engines look at is whether the site or page where the inbound link is located is related or relevant to your site. If you sell watches, a link from a casino web site probably won't help you, it may even hurt your link reputation.
The incoming links to your site also determine what is called Link Reputation. This is what the search engines think your site is about from the point of view of the site linking to you. When you exchange links with another related site, request to have your keywords placed in the anchor text of the link. The anchor text is the visible text that people see and where they click. If your keywords are High Quality Watches, you must request that as your anchor text. When the search engines see this link, they will know that your reputation is High Quality Watches. Placing your domain name as the anchor text doesn't do anything for your link reputation, unless it really is, www.high-quality-watches.com (of course you would be selling high quality watches).
Online Strategic Partnerships
Back to relevance. The best way to view other sites to which you will be exchanging links is to see them as your Online Strategic Partners (aka Reciprocal Linking Partners). Sites that are related to what you do are the best. You'll want to find sites that aren't your competition with which to exchange links. For instance a site that sells grand father clocks would be a great candidate for a link exchange with your High Quality Watches website.
Automating Your Linking Process
I have conducted a little experiment over the last few months with an automated service called LinkMetro. This service has taken much of the work out of finding reciprocal linking partners. The process before automating went something like this.
1. You searched for Potential Linking Partners related to your industry.
2. You put their link or had your webmaster put their link on your links page.
3. You attempt to contact them by email to see if they will exchange links with you.
4. You wait.
5. You try to contact them again.
6. You wait.
Well, you get the picture.
I signed up with LinkMetro back in March around the same time I launched a brand new website. They provided some scripts to automate the setup process and I added a link from my pages to this new links page. I set up some basic categories to put linking partners under. Then, I went to their links directory to find other sites that are willing to link, over 15,000 potential linking partners (of course they wouldn't be signed up if they were not willing to exchange links). I selected the categories that are appropriate to what my site represents and clicked on the request link exchange button. I selected the appropriate category to be listed on my site and clicked the Add button. It automatically added them to my links page, under the proper category, sent them an email indicating that I requested a link exchange and I am done. Now I select more.
Presently, I receive from 1 to 5 link request per day. It takes me about 2-10 minutes to review the site and approve the exchange, which then insert their link on my link pages, automatically.
This thing is really awesome. My traffic has gone from zero visitors in February to over 4,000 visitors in June. I presently have 140 link partners. I just added another one of my sites that I have had around for quite a while to see how my traffic would improve. I just added it yesterday and already, I am receiving link requests.
If you happen to be hosting with Software Advantage and you sign up using this link -- Sign Up Now -- I will setup the scripts on our end for fr*e to get you going. Link Metro charges $19.95 per month, which is a small price to pay for the increased traffic to your website. If you are not hosted with us, give us a call at 888.952.7233 or respond to this email and we will help you out.
Contacting potential link exchange partners does not have to be a long complicate process.
Over the next year you could have over 200 links back to your site. If they are quality links, it will only help your link popularity and increase the number of visitors to your website. So get started now and good luck. By the way have fun while you're at it.
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David P. Miller
P.S. If you need help developing your linking partner strategy, please feel free to call me.