A Word of Caution with Link Trading

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You must be aware when trading links that all links are not created equal.

  • If you provide a prominent link to another site, make sure you receive a link of equal or greater prominence.
  • Be aware, when trading your links with sites that receive substantially less traffic than you do, that you will probably have more people “link out” than “link in” from this trade. Consider trading a banner ad and a link from their site for a link from your site, thus making it more of an equal trade. If their site has more traffic than yours, don’t mention it unless they do.
  • Never put your outbound links directly on your home page. Have your outbound links located several levels down so that visitors to your site will likely have visited all the pages you want them to visit before they link out.
  • When incorporating outbound links, make sure that when the link is clicked, the Web page is opened in a new browser window so that the visitor can easily return to your Web page.
  • Sometimes when people update their site, they change the Internet address or delete a page altogether. If you have placed a link on your page to that page, and one of your viewers tries to link out to that page and receives an HTTP 404 error, this reflects badly on your site. You should frequently check your Web site for dead links.
  • When you change content on a page within your site, don’t create totally new pages; just update the content on your current pages and keep the same file names. There might be links to your pages and if you delete them, anyone trying to click on a link to your site from another site will get an HTTP 404 error. This will result in a dead link on the referring page as well as in any search engine listings you might have.