Link Exchange Software and Services
If you've found this page you probably already know why it's useful for a web site to exchange links with other
relevant web sites. If you're not sure what the advantages are to exchanging reciprocal links,
see the section Link Exchange Benefits below.
Establishing and maintaining your site's link exchanges by hand can be a long and tedious task; fortunately there are many
software programs and web-based services out there to help webmasters do this. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult to figure out
which is the best choice for your site. This directory will introduce you to the options and hopefully give you enough
information to figure out which few you should look into further.
This directory is separated into software and services. A link exchange software tool is a software application
that is either installed on your own computer or as a script on your web site's server. A link exchange service will
often be a system for easily exchanging links with other web sites that are members of the same service. A service involves
connecting to a central server, and often requires a monthly fee. There is some overlap between software tools and services,
so a few are listed under both categories.
Lists of Software and Services
Complete list of all software and services
List of all software only
List of all services only
Automate Link Exchange
Php Reciprocal Links Manager
Zeus 100 Internet Marketing Robot
Link Exchange Benefits
Instrumental to the success of an online business or any kind of web site is good search engine ranking.
All of the major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and MSN, use link popularity to determine how
well a site will rank - so the more high quality, relevant links that lead to your site, the higher it will rank.
The most effective way to interest webmasters in linking to your site is by offering to exchange reciprocal
links. This is a win-win situation - both of your web sites benefit from new targeted, relevant links.
The software and services featured in this directory help you build as large a reciprocal link program as you'd like.
Search engines see all of the new links pointing from other quality, relevant sites to your site, and
increase your rank. Note that this is very different from using large, indiscriminate "link farms". Those
will give you no advantage with the search engines.
Link Exchanges Step-By-Step
Building an effective reciprocal link exchange program can be a lot of work. The software and services in this directory each make it much easier by automating some steps involved in putting together a successful link exchange program.
1) Find relevant, quality web sites to exchange links with.
The first step toward building a successful series of link exchanges is to find other web sites to exchange links with.
It's important to take care in choosing which sites to invite a link exchange with. First of all you'll want to choose
sites with topics that will be relevant to your own site's visitors. Search engines know enough to ignore "link farms" filled
with random links. Next, you'll want to make sure that a potential link partner site has a directory of links (and so would very
possibly welcome an invitation to exchange links). It's also important that the page of links where the link to your site will be
placed doesn't contain many dozens or hundreds of links; if it does, the link to your site will not matter much to search engines. Finally,
whenever possible, look for opportunities to have a link to your site placed on a page with a Google PageRank value of 3 or
above - the higher the better. You can determine the PageRank of a web page using the free
Some of the software tools listed on this site will help you locate relevant web sites to exchange links with.
Zeus will crawl the web itself, in a sense acting as its own search engine,
to find sites that are relevant to your site's topic. LinkMachine and
Arelis use online search engines
such as Google and Yahoo to help find relevant sites.
Many of the link exchange services listed on this site allow members of the service to contact one another to exchange links.
Some of the services, such as GoTop help you to arrange a link exchange via e-mail contact.
Others, like LinkMachine
and Links4Trade, will also generate your link pages and automatically include the
reciprocal links that you choose to make with other members.
Be aware when using the services that offer easy link exchanges with their other members, that the strong, relevant sites that are
good candidates for link exchanges will be mixed in among many weaker sites, and many that are completely off topic from the focus of your site.
With so many choices available it's easy to fall into the trap of choosing quantity over quality. When exchanging links, it's quality that brings success.
2) Send out link exchange invitation e-mails.
Once you've determined which sites you'd like to exchange links with, you'll need to invite them to exchange links with your site. Usually this is done by e-mail.
Some of the link exchange software tools will allow you to send e-mails based on customizable templates. Some of the services will offer standard invitation e-mails,
others will let you customize your invitations, and still others will forego e-mail invitations entirely, allowing you to send and respond to invitations completely
within their system. A few will mix these approaches. For example, both LinkMachine and
LinkExchanged! allow you to set up link exchanges with other member sites directly through the service,
and allow you to send customizable invitation e-mails to non-members.
3) Add the links to your link pages.
Once you've agreed to exchange links with a site, you'll need to add the link to your link directory. This can be done by hand with a program such as Dreamweaver or by editing the
HTML directly. But when you're dealing with a lot of links, it's a great time saver to have a tool that will generate your link pages automatically. Many of the software tools listed
here, and some of the services, will do this. Some of them will update your link pages online, while others will generate the pages on your computer, for you to upload to your site.
4) Customize your link pages to match your site.
Some of the link page tools listed here will allow you to customize every detail of the look of your link pages. You can use custom templates to make the pages match the rest of yor site,
and choose the colors and layout of the link directory itself. Other allow less customization, or none at all. An example of a page generate with a tool
(Link Swapper) that allows no customization can
be seen here. On the other hand, here
is an example of a highly customized link page, generated by LinkMachine. Depending on the size and design needs of your site,
visual customization may or may not be important to you.
5) Check for reciprocal links.
Once you've exchanged links, it's important to make sure that the other site continues to link to your site. This is very tedious to do manually, and many of the
software tools and services listed here make that unnecessary by doing it automatically.
6) Import your existing link pages.
If you already have some links on your site, and you choose to adopt a link exchange tool or service, you'll want to import your existing links into your new link pages.
Many of these tools do this automatically. With others, you'll need to re-enter the information for each link into the new system.
If you're a web designer, webmaster, or marketer, here are some sites that I recommend. This link directory is also an example of the work of
one of the link exchange tools discussed on this site, namely LinkMachine.
If you run a web development related site, click here to add it to this link directory!
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