As you get into blogging and start getting traffic, you’ll probably start receive link exchange requests. These are email messages from other bloggers asking you to link to them in exchange for them linking to you. Usually they will link to you on their blogroll, which are links to other blogs on their sidebar.
Is it worth doing these link exchanges? Here are some things to consider if you ever receive these emails.
Small SEO Benefit
There is a small SEO benefit for participating in link exchanges. I used to have a blog that did moderately well with search traffic on Google. Most of my search marketing for that blog was doing link exchanges with other bloggers.
Only Link to High Quality, Related Blogs
However, you don’t want to link to bad quality or unrelated blogs. Google can penalize you for linking to low quality blogs. Also, you don’t want to send your readers to those blogs. When I say low quality, I mean anything that looks spammy, has a lot of intrusive ads, or is just has hard to read. Basically, ask yourself if you would want to be associated with the blogs you link to.
There seems to be a Google penalty for linking to unrelated blogs. Also, you probably don’t want to send your readers to a fashion blog if you have a car blog.
Put Your Links on a Separate Page
In most link exchanges, your link will go on their blogroll. However, you should put all your link exchange links on a separate page. My former boss, Ryan Caldwell from Sea Waves Technology, has a lot of SEO experience. He says your internal links (links on your site pointing to other pages on your site) will have more weight with Google if you lower the external links (links on your site pointing to other sites) on each page.
If you have a blogroll, you will have a bunch of external links on each of your blog posts. By putting those links on a separate page, you lower the external links on each page of your blog.
Over to You
Do you get a lot of link exchange requests? How do you handle them?