Be Cautious When Doing Link Exchanges

I’m sure all of you just like me get requests all of the time via email to do link exchanges with other websites. People ask me (especially my clients) whether or not they should ignore the emails or do something about it.

Ninety nine percent of the time I tell them to simply ignore the email and here is why:

If the person approached you and you don’t know them, then most likely what will happen is within a few months of doing a link exchange with them they will most likely remove your link and if you don’t keep track of it properly pretty soon you are giving them a one way relevant link.

The way to combat this if you really want to do link exchanges is to carefully track all of your link exchanges. The software will verify for you that your links are still live and if the webmaster has removed the link you can either contact them or take their link down.

Not everyone is dishonest in the link exchange world and some link exchanges make complete sense and are mutually beneficial. If I was going to do a link exchange with someone I would approach it with an email like this:

My name is Adam White. I am the owner I came across and see that we both cater to the internet marketing audience. I wanted to know if you have any advertising options for your site where I could reach out to your visitors. If not I would love to do a link exchange with you or something else that would be mutually beneficial. Let me know what you think.

I compose the email this way because it isn’t just a solicitation for a link exchange which most people will ignore. It is personalized at the least the person will feel inclined to do a link exchange with me. When they do, I still track it. :-)

Also please note that when I referenced their website I did not include the http or the www’s in front of the url. Leaving those off makes it look like a real person wrote the email.

Adam White is a 20+ year entrepreneur having built and sold 18 internet businesses. He currently runs JustReachOut and SquidVision, a new type of landing page optimization software for SaaS companies, and does SaaS and SEO consulting at He lives in Tennessee with his wife and kids and in between SaaS businesses he writes and directs feature films.

8 comments On Be Cautious When Doing Link Exchanges

  • I love the link exchange requests that I get left as comments to articles on my site. Those really inspire confidence and make my want to swap links.

  • What software do you use to track your links and make sure they are still live? I’ve been looking for something like this for awhile.

  • Adam, I happily link to you, as you know, because you’ve got quality content and your site will be of use to my visitors who come to my site mainly for information on buying and selling websites.

    That you have kindly linked to me plays no part in my decision.

    There’s only one good reason for link exchanging – to benefit visitors. Do it for that reason and it doesn’t matter if the return link is ever pulled.

  • Thanks for this post, just today I got a link exchange proposal email, and actually it looked very similar to the email of yours and we are going to do the link exchange with that person since we think that they approached us in the right way and their business is quite close to ours so we can benefit from this exchange.

  • Yea, just got a similar email where they would have my link on this ‘referral” url, and trying to trick me into thinking it would be a fair link exchange.

  • Do a search on Google for “link tracking software” and you should find some.

  • Only pursue high quality links, do not be in a hurry. Quality over quantity. I have written extensively about my 6 years of experience with ranking on Google on my internet business blog – online-business-cookbook

  • How much time do you put into Link Exchanges? From your comments above I am guessing not much? Couldn’t your efforts be better put in other areas or is this time you put in to do link exchanges alright when you have exhausted all other areas of generating backlinks?

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