I recently updated my website to include a proper article directory and a more sufisticated links directory. As part of this I needed to check through the articles previously placed on my site and go through all the links in my old link exchange directory.

So first I started looking at each article with a view to contacting the author and requesting that they resubmit the article and any others to my new article directory.

The first problem I encountered was that quite a few of the articles had broken links. The people had taken the time to write and submit an article yet the link to their website in their resource box no longer worked. Here they were with a good one way link to their website and it didn’t work. Then if I did manage to get get to a working website, more often than not there would be no way of contacting the author.

The same with the links submitted to my old links directory. Firstly on going through the various categories it was clear that many people had simply not bothered to submit their link to the the proper category. Others had used purposely misleading descriptions to get their link accepted to a particular category.

In order to contact the owner of the website link I next tried to visit their site, again many links simply did not work. If the link did work quite a few sites were of very poor quality, lacking in any real content or just being sites set up for the purpose of showing high paying adsense adverts, banner ads etc.

Another common problem was that the main homepage of the site would not contain a direct link to the links page or the link would be hidden down at the bottom of the page in tiny writing. If people are looking to swap links with you, they will want to know people can easily access your links page and so their link. And of course again, often there were no contact details, no email link to contact the site owner to request a link exchange. No way of contacting you = no link exchange.

I now have a much better link exchange script on my site. Each link submitted is individually reviewed to check firstly that there is a link back and also importantly that the site has some proper content and is not just a sales page, or adsense ‘harvesting’ site. I also ensure that the links page is easily accessible from the main page. Still I get people submitting links and not linking back or submitting sites that do not work. This is just a complete waste of time, their time and my time.

If you are looking to increase your website traffic and search engine rankings through reciprocal linking ensure you follow these simple points:

1. Your website should have quality content and be a site people want to visit and look around.
2. Make sure your links page is easy to get to – don’t hide the link down at the bottom in size 8 font or not link to your links page at all.
3. Place your contact details somewhere on your site so other webmaster owners can contact you about exchanging links.
4. Organise links into relevant categories.
5. Only accept links from other high quality sites

I would recommend installing a good automated linking script that allows you to easily organise links and regularly check links back.  Visit http://www.hotscripts.com for recommendations and reviews.

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