Link Exchange (“Reciprocal Link Exchange”) is the practice of exchanging links with other websites. There are many different ways to arrange a link exchange with webmasters. The simplest way of doing it is to email another website owner and ask to do a link exchange. Also visiting webmaster discussion boards which offer a dedicated link exchange forum where webmasters can request a link exchange be it of a certain category or open to anybody. You place their link on your site, usually on a links page and the other site in return will place a link back to you.
Link exchange has been a long time practice by website owners since the beginning of the WWW. In the last few years (after year 2000), this practice has gained more popularity as search engines such as Google started favoring sites that had more links in the rankings. This system was very accurate at gauging the importance of a website when it first started, leading to the popularity of Google
However according to experts, search engines no longer place a heavy emphasis on reciprocal links. Instead the popularity or credibility of your site is now gauged by one way incoming links to your site. How than do you go about building one way back links to your site? There are a number of proven techniques you can follow:
1. First and foremost your aim should be to link to sites with a similar theme as your site. For example if you site is about “dogs” than it makes sense that back link from another dog or animal related site would be given a heavier weighting that a link from a casino site. You should start by conducting a search with you keywords on the major search engines (MSN, Yahoo, and Google) to come up with a list of sites which appear for that keyword. Next determine the contact info, ideally an e-mail address. Once you have this information, you can simply contact the webmaster (politely) and ask them if they would be willing to link to your site.
2. Another effective way of increasing your link popularity is to write and submit your articles to sites such as articlecity.com. The importance of this is that when you submit your material there is usually a resource box where you can enter the link information to your site. Every time someone publishes your article, you will have a one way link from their site to yours.
3. Submit to directories under the appropriate category. Many directories and human edited and therefore a link from a directory can instantly add credibility to your site. A major directory is Dmoz. Since site submissions are human reviewed, expect at least 6-8 weeks for any kind of response.
4. Submit your URL to link exchange directories where web users such as your self are actively looking to find new relevant link partners. If you search for google.com, ask.com or msn.com for terms: link exchange or link trade you will be able to find some good ones. Here are few that I have found: linkmarket.net, linkexchagned.com and linkpartners.com.