Stop Trading Links Like a Caveman!
The typical link exchange is like a caveman's mating ritual: bash Google over the head with a club and ask for a kiss. (If you're trying to fool the search engines into ranking you high, that's what you're doing).
It used to work.
But then the search engines got wise and started flattening spammy links pages like a brontosaurus.
Link exchanges need to evolve. Let me explain why...
A Brief History of Link Exchanges ("Rise of the Supergooglesaurus")
The Pregooglian Era
Before Google, webmasters posted links to valuable content all over their sites. They also created links pages and filled them with links to valuable sites. If they traded links at all, they were pretty picky about who they traded with, because they cared about the quality of their links.
The rise of the Googlesaurus soon brought an end to this era...
The Googlian Era
The founders of Google discovered that they could idenfity the best websites by counting the links pointing to them. The sites with the most incoming links ranked highest.
When cavemen discovered that they could tame the Googlesaurus by getting massive numbers of links, they devised all sorts of link-building tricks. Ugliest of all was the...
Frankenstein's Caveman Links Page
This hideous beast was a massive page full of unrelated links and no real content. It was created by trading links willy-nilly with anyone and everyone. Nobody cared about the quality or topic of the link partner site -- they just wanted lots of links.
The Dark Ages
When the search engines discovered that they were being tricked, they evolved into highly intelligent creatures like the Supergooglesaurus.
This beast could smell a caveman's links page a mile away, and while it still snacked on them a little, it mostly ignored them and went looking for food with more substance.
Bride of Frankenstein's Caveman Links Page...
"I wouldn't recommend closing comments [on your blog] in an attempt to "hoard" your PageRank. In the same way that Google trusts sites less when they link to spammy sites or bad neighborhoods, parts of our system encourage links to good sites."
...was the PageRank Hoarder -- a page with lots of links pointing to it, but few if any links going out from it. The Supergooglesaurus hated these unnaturally selfish pages. It would spit out PageRank Hoarders and "Google-slap" 'em with its massive tail.
Modern webmasters realized that the way to rank high in the search engines was to help them find good content instead of trying to fool them.
- Instead of trying to hoard PageRank (which doesn't affect search rankings nearly as much as it used to anyway), they'd link to related content.
- Instead of linking to anyone and everyone, they'd link only to high-quality content.
- Instead of linking from caveman links pages that no human ever visited, they'd link from their content pages.
In other words, they went back to the way linking was done before Google came along. And because the search engines had learned to recognize this kind of "natural" linking, sites that did it got ranked higher.
Warren Buffett vs. The Caveman
Warren Buffett (one of the world's richest men) said "I don't try to jump over 7 foot bars; I look around for 1 foot bars that I can step over."
Which of these is a 7 foot bar, and which is a 1 foot bar?
- Fooling the geniuses the search engines hire to penalize SEO "tricks".
- Working with search engines and their geniuses to help people find good content.
It's pretty obvious -- if your website contains and/or links to good content, the search engines are going to rank you higher. Why? Because they know their users will be happy with what they find on your site. (And that's important to the search engines, because if users aren't happy with their search results, they'll look for a better search engine.)
You scratch their backs, they'll scratch yours.
You stab their backs, they'll stab yours!
Is There a Future for Link Exchanges?
Yes, but only if they evolve.
Oh, wait. They have evolved. Into the site you're on right now!
On LinContEx, we trade high-quality content and links from content pages. Here's how it works:
Step 1: Submit your blogs to LinContExTechnically, you'll submit your blogs' RSS feeds.
Every modern blogging platform (WordPress, Blogger.com, etc.) automatically generates an RSS feed for your blog. The feed contains your latest post titles, links, and part or all of the post content.
Enter up to 7 tags to categorize your blog.
Step 2: Submit the pages where you'll display links to and content from others' blogsAs Google engineer Matt Cutts said, Google likes pages that link to related pages -- I submit all of my blog posts. If you use one of our scripts ("LinContEx Remote"), you can skip this step -- it will be done automatically!
Step 3: Search for blogs related to yoursThey're grouped by tags in a "cloud" as shown here and sorted based on our members' votes.
Step 4: Preview feeds and choose who to exchange withEach blog feed has a preview page showing its newest content and a little information about it. You can vote each feed up or down by clicking one of the faces on its preview page.
When you find a blog feed you want to exchanges links and content with, click "Request an exchange with this feed". You'll be asked to select the page you're going to link from, one of your feeds, and the page where you want them to display your feed.
Step 5: Request the exchangeAs soon as you submit the request, we'll email the other member to tell them they have a new exchange opportunity.
If you're using LinContEx Remote and select "I've added their feed to my page", the feed will automatically appear on your page. (We like making things easy! :-)
Step 6: Both members add the feeds to their webpagesIf the other member approves the exchange, both members add each others feeds to their sites using an RSS to HTML converter script (more about that in a minute).
This screenshot shows a feed displayed in my blog's sidebar using LinContEx Remote's WordPress widget. (This step can be automated completely using LinContEx Remote -- all you have to do is click once to approve the exchange, and the feed will appear on your site immediately.)
Once you've set up your exchange, your latest blog headlines will be displayed on your exchange partner's website, with links back to your site for the full content. And whenever you post something new, their page will get updated automatically with the content and link for your newest post!
"How Do We Display the Blog Feeds on Our Websites?"
The content and links from your exchange partner's blog will be displayed on your site using an "RSS to HTML converter" script. (I recommend using CaRP Evolution -- it's required for LinContEx Remote, and you can get it for free here).
Whenever new content is posted to a member's blog, the script automatically updates any page where the feed is displayed. (The script won't create new posts in your blog -- it just displays the content within your existing pages.)
Search engines love sites that get updated with new content often, so RSS feeds can get your site crawled more often and ranked higher. (That's in addition to the boost you'll get from having more inbound links.)
"I'm Not a Geek -- is This Going to Be Difficult?"
Nope. You'll need to install the RSS to HTML converter script (CaRP Evolution comes with an installation script to guide you quickly through the process -- I can do it in under a minute).
Then, you can install LinContEx Remote, which will automate all of the "grunt work" of submitting your exchange pages and adding feeds to them. Or if you don't use LinContEx Remote, each time you approve an exchange, you'll just have to copy the feed address and paste it with a little piece of code into your webpage.
Note: LinContEx remote is available to Gold Members only. Gold membership costs as little as $5.58/month -- full details inside.
Open Your FREE Account
Use the form below to create your free account, and start exchanging high-quality links and auto-updating content with our members.
You'll also get a free subscription to my email newsletter in which I'll share the latest tips for getting your sites ranked higher in the search engines and other techniques for driving more traffic to your site.
As an added bonus, I'll give you a free copy of my special report, "Death of the Link Exchange".
Join the future of link exchanges today!
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