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Link exchange is a great way to improve site traffic, but your two dozen inbound links is pitiful compared to the thousands that other sites get. If your site could use a bit more traffic, you can try subscribing to a link exchange directory instead. It saves you the time and effort of contacting several site owners and inserting individual link codes into your site. To help you get started, here™s a quick guide to link exchange and link directories.

What are link exchange directories?

A link exchange directory is a system wherein site owners can look for other sites to exchange links with. In some cases, links can be automatically switched between sites. Automatic link exchange can be performed between two sites or within a large network. In the case of the latter, member sites are usually categorized according to subject so that all inbound links will be relevant. When you subscribe to a directory or link exchange forum, you can access your own control panel where you can add or delete links, monitor site referrals, and communicate with your link partners.

How do they work?

Link exchange works by increasing your link popularity, which makes up about 70% of your search engine ranking. The traditional way of building link popularity is by directly exchanging links with other site owners, a process known as reciprocal link exchange. An automatic link exchange directory, on the other hand, generates a large number of inbound links in a few clicks. More inbound links means greater credibility as far as the search engines are concerned. The more links you have, the higher you rank in the search engine results page (SERP).

Site and link relevance

Directories are commonly used by webmasters to find owners of relevant sites. Relevance is important when looking for link partners because some search engines can tell whether a link exists solely for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes. With a link exchange directory, you can search listings according to subject to find the right link partners. You can also monitor your inbound links to make sure all of them are valid. Some systems automatically delete inactive or non-relevant links from your list.

Choosing your link partners

Although extremely useful, link exchange directories cannot filter out all the bad links for you. It�€™s still best to monitor all inbound links to your site and choose your link partners carefully. It starts with your own site: if you don�€™t post any non-relevant links, no unrelated sites will link back to you. Link exchange directory services such as Free Relevant Links (www.freerelevantlinks.com) offer an extensive but well-organized directory listing to help you find the right link partners and make the most out of the exchange.

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