For webmasters who are still in the practice of participating into automated link exchanges, you might learn a thing or two from the latest post of the Live Search Webmaster Center Blog discouraging such practice.
According to the blog post (in which I would have to agree), automated link exchanges although a fast way of generating inbound links to your sites do not give any value to your user. But most importantly, it will negatively affect instead of boosting your search engine ranking.
Specifically, link exchanges pose several problems for webmasters and their sites such as:
- Lack of a valuable return on the investment
- Being built with software which mass-emails site owners with generic mails, asking for an exchange of links
- Requirement that webmasters to set up new link directories or require participation in directories that offer little or no value to the end users
Among those link exchange mechanisms which don’t bring positive effects to your sites are auto-surf traffic exchange programs and paid search engine submission schemes.
As a better and more fruitful alternative to automated link exchanges, the Live Search Webmaster Center blog suggested the following ways of generating valuable links to your sites.
- becoming a subject expert
- offering free service
- working with industry-specific professional associations
- leveraging social media
But at the end of the day, still the best way of generating valuable links is to generate interest to your sites by creating good and high-quality contents or to use the old SEO adage – “Content is king” and it still is.