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There are several factors that determine benefit that you get when you exchange links with any website. Sometimes you may be giving away some of your hard earned PR (Page Rank) without getting it back in return. While it is debatable if primary purpose of exchanges is traffic or PR gain, a combination of both these motivations is usually present when we exchange links. Apart from direct traffic, some of other factors that help to determine value of an incoming link are
1> The PR and number of links The higher PR of page linking to your site, better link in general. The PR that a page has, gets distributed between all links on that page, so PR and number of links together should be used to determine worth of a link. You can use PR Checker tool at http://biz-whiz.com/prchecker.html to compare pr transfer figures, this tool provides an exact value for estimated pr transfer based on a presumed formula.
2> Direct or Redirected Link Some sites like to keep track of which link gets how many clicks. Many people believe that this will prevent PR from flowing; generally this is true but not always. A 302 redirect is a temporary redirect which does not pass PR, where as a 301 permanent redirect allows PR to flow. For example, see google back links at http://www.google.com/search?q=link:http://biz-whiz.com/ebooks/imm/ you will find that all links are redirected from http://biz-whiz.com/Downloads-req-getit-lid-4.html - This is true for all our ebooks for sale at http://biz-whiz.com/Downloads-req-viewdownload-cid-5.html - So point I am making is that not all redirected links are bad. The HTTP Headers tool in IP Toolbox at http://biz-whiz.com/Sections-article17-page1.html can be used to find out if redirect is a 301 or 302. It is a good idea to allow partner webmaster choice of a direct link or a redirected link as done at our link submission page for our links directory at http://biz-whiz.com/Web_Links-req-AddLink.html
3> Meta Tags The robots meta tags determines if a page will be indexed by searchengine or not. If page linking to you has a meta tag like then there is no use of a link from that page