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6) When you receive a link request visit site and check that it meets with your requirements as set down on your link pages. Is it a quality site with good content or just a "link farm"? If it doesn't meet your requirements don't link to it.
The webmaster SHOULD have already linked to your site but be prepared to overlook that breech of linking protocol if it's from a good quality, high PR site.
7) Beware of webmasters who add your site to their "directory" which turns out to nothing but a link farm i.e. has no useful content, just a bunch of links, and asks you to link to an entirely different site, one that HAS good content. These webmasters are playing you for a sucker. The benefit is all theirs.
8) As I said in point #1, links from high PR pages are worth more than links from low or no PR pages. Seek out high PR linking partners but keep in mind it is PR of actual page your link is on that matters, NOT PR of home page. In other words if home page PR is 5, but page your link is on is several layers deep in directory, it will probably have a PR of 0 and be of little benefit to you. Check PR of actual page your link is on, or is going to be on, before agreeing to exchange links.
Each page on your links directory should be no more than one click away from your home page, and your linking partner's site should be same. If your link is placed on a page which looks something like this - directory/category/subcategory/subcategory with your link - you will derive NO value from that link.
9) Be prepared to negotiate your links. Savvy webmasters understand value of links from high PR pages. If you add a link to a PR-0 page on your site don't expect your link partner to put your link on a PR-6 page, and your link partner shouldn't expect same from you. Exchange value for like value.
When you first start out your site may not have any PR due to a lack of incoming links. This reduces your bargaining power. However, you can overcome this by getting your site listed in as many large business directories as possible. Some of these you will have to pay, such as Yahoo and Microsoft's Business Directory, but many others are free. You'll find a good list here:
10) Be specific about how you want your link partner to link to you. It is MOST important that link to you contain your targeted keywords in anchor (linked) text. When I ask for a link to my site I don't want link title to be:
Steve Pronger Web Business Solutions
Instead, I ask for:
Create Website | Small Business Website Designer
or whichever keywords I am targeting at time. A search for those keywords at Google will illustrate my point!
11) And finally, here is an excellent resource to help you find quality link partners. It's called Value Exchange, and will put you in contact with like-minded webmasters:
Steve Pronger is a website designer and affiliate marketer helping small businesses succeed on the Web. Visit his Web Business Solutions site at http://www.stevepronger.com