Thursday, April 20, 2024

SEO: My Secret To Handling Link Exchange Requests

One thing for today: locate the delete key on your keyboard. Yes, my secret to handling link exchange requests is to delete them, 999 times out of 1000.

If you don't delete them, be very careful about which ones you accept. Linking to anyone and everyone is a recipe for trouble. Search engines have a low opinion of certain types of site, especially those offering bulk email (spam) software, illegal online gambling, unlicensed pharmacies, etc.

Even if you aren't linking to one of these directly, chances are that a lot of the folks you are getting link exchange requests from are doing so. Linking to a site that links to a bad-guy site is little better than linking to them directly.

When I take new students into my coaching program, one of the first things I look at is any link exchanges they may be doing. About one out of three is either linking to "bad" sites directly, or linking to many other websites that do so. While we can't prove that this is harmful, long experience tells me that it does more harm than good, and the search engines tell us the same thing.

With reciprocal links largely discounted or ignored by search engines these days, what's the point in chasing link exchanges? In terms of the best way to use your time, the delete key is probably the way to go. Make sure you know where it is.

One thing I owe you from last week: Using htaccess to redirect from to


At 9:12 PM, Stoney said...

I usually hit the email forward button so my link researcher can delete 999/1000!

Dan, you know we do link exchanges (a bit differently than most) but you're absolutely right that 99.9% are just plain junk.

At 8:07 AM, iTraffic-Ctrl said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8:12 AM, iTraffic-Ctrl said...

Dan, I totally agree. 99.9% of link requests should be deleted but every now and then you may run into one that can improve your traffic. (i.e. links to websites that have usefull resources and tools)

At 10:57 AM, Valeriu Popescu said...

I agree with you Dan. In 99.99% it's only a waste of time.

I'm very surprised to discover how people do NOT make their homework and understood the real power beyond the link exchange strategy.

In my opinion, there are 2 factors that drive this abnormal situation:

1) The rush to make money easily by getting (hopping!) into top spot on major search engines (especially Google in order to get fast a higher PR or moving out of the sandbox).

2) The use of automatic software to spread out hundred or thousands of emails with link exchange proposals.

What people do not understand is that they NEED targeted partners, with solid targeted/related traffic. It's not only about SEO here...

From my point of view, link exchange become as bad as email spam.


At 11:38 AM, Dan Thies said...

Exactly, it's not all about SEO...

When people make it all about SEO, that's how you end up with people trying to turn massive email spam into massive link spam.

At 2:09 PM, James O said...

Thanks for the post Dan - it is good to hear someone else saying the right place for link requests is in the recycle bin!

I wish these reciprocal link hounds would stop wasting everyone's time (including theirs)

I like what you said about this being about building relationships, not links. Good food for thought.


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