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ARELIS I have tested this tool, and it seems very promising. It goes out and searches for link exchange partners according to different search methods which you specify. For me, looking for incoming links at sites similar to my own gave best results. The program then quickly returned many relevant sites. Next, it helps you contact webmasters and keeps link collection neatly organized. It also creates link pages.
Zeus A bit similar to ARELIS, but I find it much clumsier. The only way it can search for link candidate sites is thru a list of 100+ search phrases. In my hands, this method produced very low-quality results. At time of writing, I am trying to get a refund from company that sells Zeus. They seem very reluctant to honour their money-back guarantee. Buyer beware!
Links Manager This program does not go out and search for link partner sites; it only handles swap requests and organizes link collection. I have not tested it myself.
When building a link swap strategy, note that search engines are getting increasingly sophisticated in judging quality of your links. Some things to remember:
- Outbound links ONLY to quality sites with content relevant to your site; never "link farm" type sites
- Make sure sites that you link to have not been penalized. This would affect you also!
- Incoming links that are placed on same page as 100:s of other links won't help you; their value gets "diluted"
- The anchor text in incoming links is very important. It should contain relevant keywords; but all links should not have identical text - this looks artificial in virtual eyes of search bots
If you follow these guidelines, I believe link swap can still be an important strategy for building a successful web presence.
Conclusion: Link popularity improvement, if you do it proper way, is still of enormous importance for a successful website. But if done wrong way, it may backfire. If you want to try classic link swap method, I recommend using ARELIS ( www.axandra.com ) to make it less tedious.
Kai Virihaur is a researcher, web developer, and artist. He runs The Hosting Finder ( www.thehostingfinder.com ), a web hosting directory featuring articles and RSS feeds on web development, website promotion, and online marketing.