This post may cause some controversy as some people still indulge in manual link exchange. However, much evidence suggests that they are inconvenient, time-consuming, and ineffective. Below are 7 reasons you should think twice before using manual link exchanges.
Manual Link Exchange is Extremely Time Consuming
There is no doubt finding quality links from websites can be hard. Many won’t respond and more often than not you’ll find yourself feeling frustrated. In business time is money and you need to make sure you’re making as good as a return as possible. If the return is likely to be low then you could be finding time to do activities which could bring in more money instead.
Links Can Be Lost Easily
Unfortunately, web pages aren’t on the internet forever. Web owners could sell their domains, have it expire, or have an error with their content management system. In some cases, they may not even be aware of it! This is an issue for you as you’ve spent the time to contact the owner and also put a link out from your website. If you’re putting a link out to an expired website, the search engines might even go as far as to think your site is of low quality.
Most Are Low PageRank
Just because a website’s homepage has a PageRank of 4 doesn’t mean that all of its pages are going to carry that rank as well. Pages are assessed individually on a website and only carry the link weight of the specific page when a link is passed. This means most pages you get a link from will be PageRank 0 meaning little to no influence on your SEO rankings. Automatic Backlinks only gives you PageRank 1 backlinks and above, and these are all from context relevant pages.
Site Could Take Part in Spammy Practices
Looking at a website’s exterior won’t be enough justification as to whether they are legitimate. Some websites take part in some real dodgy activities that you must keep an eye out for. If you’re getting a link from a bad neighborhood or even linking out to one, it could do you more harm than good.
Website Owner Could Be Untrustworthy
As well as taking part in spammy link practices, website owners could be untrustworthy and not give you what you expected. This will be most common with competitors who will use sneaky tactics such as cloaking or blocking the page. Examples of this would be using the no-follow tag in the HTML or blocking the page to search engines using the robots.txt file.
The Need To Manage All Links
When you get to a certain stage of manual link exchanges you’re going to have a large list that you both get links from and link to. The downside of this is that you’re going to have to manage all of it, you’ll also have to ensure that the webmasters that you have on your list are still playing fair. If you own a large array of websites and use this SEO practice, it could turn out to be a real headache.
Google Isn’t A Fan Of Reciprocal Links!
It’s been known for a while now that Google has caught onto reciprocal links, Matt Cutts talks about SEO mistakes on his blog. Making sure your links are coming from context-relevant websites that have to trust is still as important as ever.