Glossary | 2 mins
Read the next term in our glossary
Link exchange, also known as link swapping, is the process of exchanging links with other websites in order to improve search engine rankings.
The idea behind a link exchange is to form an agreement with another site owner to give them a link, with the understanding that they’ll link back to your website in return. This creates a network of links between websites, which can help to boost a website’s search engine rankings.
Link exchange is widely considered to be an outdated SEO practice, and was used extensively in the early days of digital marketing to improve search engine rankings. Now, as a form of ranking manipulation, it goes against Google’s policies and could harm your rankings if used.
In the past, it was a common practice for website owners to exchange links with other websites in order to boost their rankings. The issue here was that the links were simply jammed into the relevant sites without much thought to context or topical relevance. As Google’s algorithms developed to place more emphasis on quality and authority, quick-and-easy tactics like link exchange have become less and less viable.
How to Link Exchange
Though it may not be as quick and easy as link exchange, the most effective and sustainable way to build links in the current SEO market is to place more emphasis on quality over quantity. Nowadays, link building should be done through creating well-written, valuable content, and promoting this content through social media so that the relevant site owners will link to your content naturally.
Therefore, if you are going to engage in link exchange, it’s essential to check your target site’s quality metrics (for example Domain Rating, Trust Flow, estimated traffic and overall quality of the backlink profile) and to carefully review the site’s content to check for topical relevance to your own niche.
This way, if the other site does agree to create a reciprocal link, it will still be in a way that ultimately benefits the end user and showcases high quality content on both sites.
Link Exchange FAQs
What are backlink exchanges?
Backlink exchanges are a way for two websites to mutually agree to link to each other’s pages. This can be done for a variety of reasons, such as to improve search engine rankings or to increase referral traffic.
When should you avoid link exchanges?
Link exchanges should be avoided in general, as they qualify as ranking manipulation and go against Google’s guidelines. More specifically, link exchanges should be avoided in cases where the websites linking to each other are not relevant or of high quality. It is also important to avoid linking to websites that have a negative reputation, as this can negatively impact your own website’s reputation.
Questions to ask your link builder