Reciprocal link exchanging

How to request an inbound link by exchanging reciprocal links with other popular websites.

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Never before have incoming links to a website been so important. Ever since Google came out with its PageRank (tm) algorithm and other search engines have been following suit by factoring in link popularity in their algorithms (Altavista, Inktomi) search engine savvy webmasters have been looking at effective ways to build up link popularity. For Google however it wasn't (and still isn't) just the number of incoming links that was important, it was also the quality of links. Google copyrighted its technology and it is called PageRank(tm). It is not within the scope of this newsletter to go into detail about how PageRank is calculated, all that you need to know is that PageRank is an indicator of the 'value' (in Google eyes) of a specific website based upon inbound links, and particularly, of the website from which a website comes.

So how do we know what the PageRank a web site has?

The answer is we need to download the Google toolbar. This is a painless process. Simply go to choose your preferred language and download the toolbar. Once installed you will see an extra row at the top of the browser with a search box and various other buttons and icons.

The PageRank bar is clearly marked and depending on the PageRank of a website, you will see a bar filled from left to right with green.

If you let your mouse hover over the bar, ( try it on the page rank bar above ) you will find out in numbers the PageRank of a specific web page. What has this got to do with Linkpopularity? Well you want as many links as possible from websites that have a lot of green in that bar!

The best links are those coming from websites with at least a PageRank of 4 (out of 10). The best links are also of the same or similar theme to the site you wish to rank well with.

Red Hot optimisation technique: Stealing reciprocal links from your competitor without them knowing.

Next to the PageRank Bar is the Page Info icon. If you click on this icon a drop down box will appear and you will see 4 selections. We are only interested in the Backwards links selection. This great little tool will allow us to steal, well share links from your competition.

Now here's were the fun begins. Do a search on Google for websites that share a similar theme to yours. For example, if your website is about web design, you may do a Google search for "web designers". The results will no doubt total many 1000's of websites, but its the top five we are interested in. from the top selection visit there website. Once the home page has load click Page Info on your Google tool bar, then backwards links. Woohoo! Guess what? All the websites that link to this top ranking website are listed. Now all you have to do I visit each website and ask them to link to you as well. For further instruction on how this is done, check out item "e" below.

Below a 5 point plan for building effective and free link popularity...

a. Do a Google search for a similarly related but not necessarily exactly the same theme as that of your own website. Check the results for those that have a directory listing (Gray link on normal results). eg.for the Picassoe website a good category might be... click the "Category:" link to find at the appropriate Google directory.

b. One of the great things about the Google directory is that it lists websites in PageRank order. This makes the process of finding great sites to link to you that much easier.

c. Open excel or notepad and create a list of all the websites that have a PR of 4 or more. No numeric value is given on mouse over, however, you can tell from the graphical bar the actual PR value (center = PR5). Create a list of all PR 4+ websites, you should also add a column for the webmasters / contact email address.

d. Create an "other resources" or "Related Sites" webpage somewhere on your website where you list the links you have in your excel table. Of course commercial websites should not list their competitors, but web sites that compliment your own site. In the case of ABAKUS for example that would be webdesign and web hosting websites amongst others.

Once you have created a resources web page. Link up to it from your home page and place it online. What you now have should be a webpage entitled "Other Resources", or "Related Sites" with all the PR4+ websites you researched in a-c.

e. You are now ready to request the link! Keep your email short and personal. Something like what I have below should work well...

"Dear [Webmaster / Name],
I was surfing the net and came across your web site [url]. I noticed it was a quality web site and decided to include a link in my [related sites / Other resources] list on my similarly related web site [url on link list]. I believe our web sites compliment each other well and would appreciate it if you could link back to me. The way search engines value link popularity will mean we will both benefit hopefully from higher rankings.

I look forward to your reply.

[your name]"

The above works quite well. DO visit the site and make sure you try your hardest to get a full name to keep the email personalized. Dear Webmaster simply doesn't not have the same effect as Dear David Johnson... You must already have a visible link to their web site before you ask for a link yourself! This is important, A webmaster may well now feel obliged to make the effort for you. If after 1 week there is no reply or no link back to your website, send out another email asking if they received your last email mentioning that it is only fair they reciprocate the link otherwise the link space will have to go for a website that is willing to give a link back, and that the link will be removed within 3 days otherwise. Many of the webmasters you contact may not even realize they have such good PageRank and that their site has great potential to rank well because of it. Be sure to emphasize that their ranking will get a boost as well due to the link from your own website. I can almost cry when I see a website with huge PR that is in a frameset without even anything in the noframe area. It is such a waste!

You should be able, in the vast majority of themes, be able to find good link candidates and send out emails to at least 20-30 webmasters/contacts. If even only 50% of them agree to link back to you, then you are going to get a great boost in Google PageRank and in link popularity overall.

Of course your first objective is to get links from the major directories. Especially DMOZ ( Also look for smaller theme specific directories which you can submit to "keyword +directory" (or 'links' or 'category' or 'resources').

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