If you have a website chances are you receive e-mails from Webmasters asking you to make a link exchange with them. But how do you know whether you should link to their website or not? Well here are 9 rules of thumb, to help guide you through linking maze.
1. Is their site relevant to yours?
This is key, and more and more important these days. If answer is YES then it’s worth thinking about. If it’s off topic then you may want to think twice before swapping links. A link from a relevant website to your site is preferred choice as it can help reinforce your website theme and potentially send some useful traffic your way.
2. How many links is too many on a links page?
When your link is being placed on another website, you ideally want that page to contain as few outbound links as possible. 15 or less outbound links is good, 150 outbound links is not so good. If there are a high number of links on a page [such as 150] then value of each link out is weakened. Whilst we can only make assumptions about ‘link weight’ some Webmasters will use a cut off point of 50, 75 or even 100 links on a page as a top end maximum. Anything over 50 outbound links on an average resources page is certainly quite high. However if your link will appear on page of a good quality site or ‘authority website’ an exchange can still be worthwhile.
3. What is Page Rank of site on Google?
Some webmasters focus a lot on Google’s page rank as a measure of a website. If you download and install Google toolbar you will see a measure of 1 to 10 shown via a horizontal bar for each site you are on. Typically higher page rank, more important a site is perceived to be. A link from a Pr 5 page is often seen as a more powerful link than one from a Pr1 page. However, Google’s Page Rank is only meant to be a rough guide and should not be taken too seriously. Tip one should always preside - a relevant link is always what you want.
4. Should links page be categorized?
Personally I prefer a well organised links page. If your citing a resource in context of an article you would link from paragraph, but for purposes of resource links it is a good idea to organise your pages into relevant themes relating to your website and business. If site containing link you are being offered is placed on a page with 200 links all mixed up and covering every topic under sun, then it’s not ideal. If you’re an online shop selling Art Prints should you really be on same links page as Hosting Companies and Travel Agents? Make effort to organise your resource pages, even if some link partners don't.
5. Is links page being read by search engines?
It is important that page your link is on can be found and read by search engines. The page should be no more than 2-3 clicks away from homepage. You can even test if web page is in Google index by visiting www.google.com and typing into search bar cache: with full domain and page name extension after it. So your query in Google search bar could read: cache:www.mywebsite.com/thelinkspage.html. The page should then show in Google index. If it does not then there are a couple of possibilities. 1/ The page is very new and hasn’t been crawled yet or 2/ site has a problem being crawled by search engines due to poor internal linking.