Viewing the ever growing issue and concern of Link Exchanges and the method by which they are being performed, I can clearly say to every white hat SEO consultant that WE HAVE A PROBLEM.
I myself as a manager in several organizations receive my share of irrelevant and sometimes incorporating changes of link invitations from companies / organizations that have absolutely no relevance to my area of business and / or complementary industry. I am always amazed that those companies portrays them in such a poor manner.
The Common Method
It is a known fact that links are a major concern for every site owner or SEO consultant looking for better rankings and higher PR. Today site owners and even some SEO consultants do not care where they get the links, sending thousands of e-mails through automated programs to whichever company / website that comes across their path. These companies work on a pure statistical assumption that out of all these thousands, few individuals will agree to the exchange.
The problem with this method is that most of us today regards Link Exchange as nothing more than another form of spam. This results in a built up resistance in cooperation to take part in a Link Exchange program as it may indicate your website as a non professional website.
I believe that part of the solution to this problem is for anyone who is looking for SEO consulting to take better care as to who he / she chooses and to take some involvement in the process of his / her company's representation to the world.
Link Exchanges as a Business Development Strategy
After years of conducting Link Exchange activity for my business and those of my clients I started noticeing the effect this program brought to my clients. I further surprised how we could create a more organized and thought-out effect from the beginning.
The Effect: The effect that started to happen for my clients was that slowly but surely they were gaining international contacts and forming business relationships with distant partners, thus enabling them easier access to their local clients and free promotion of their name. It also brought activity into their circle of contacts and other business associates. That of course led to formal relations which evolved into a full international network with a sole existence to serve the respected clients of the international network's members.
Creating the Effect
The development from this point was very natural, as it was logical to assume as a multilateral SEO expert that the bridging between cultural differences and forming the same kinds of relationships with local companies and in their own language will add to the tremendous strength of this business possibility. This is exactly what we did, realizing that giving time and attention to the type of companies you are contacting and industries you are targeting is imperative to the success of your Link Exchange campaign.
Many times I have heard that Link Exchanges work on statistics and the more you send the more links you will have. This theory may be true but the quality of the link is affected by this method, and not to mention the constant depletion of the internet resources such as SERP and directories while e-mailing in ignorance.
You will get more links and much more directed traffic and generated business if you take time and thought to the quality of your Link Exchange program. This had taken a remarkable effect for all the companies I consult and work with and will have the same effect for you.
Another excellent way to broaden the Link Exchange program is to contact the most desirable of exchanges and explain the idea of business development opportunities that may be involved in such an exchange.
To summarize my thoughts and experience on the matter, the link exchange program will stop having a negative effect on the SEO industry, if professionals and non professionals will give the time and attention this major issue records.
I believe that with the simple and familiar advice I have passed along with this short article, there is great potential to create healthy Link Exchange programs where users will truly benefit from the links posted on ones website. Do not forget this is the first and primary reason for the Link Exchange program to exist and why it is effecting your ranking in such a different way.