No doubt regular readers of this site understand the high-value of link building. There are of course many ways to build links. Here are just a few:
- Solid resource content
- Social media promo, coupled with #1 and #2.
- Buying them
- Link exchange
Let’s look at the last item. For a long time, webmasters simply emailed other webmasters asking for a link. Maybe it’s a blogger thing, or we’re more vocal about it, but a lot of bloggers openly say how they don’t like receiving email from unknown parties asking for an exchange of links. That’s totally understandable.
Services like Text Link Ads and Text Link Brokers have been happily used by many SEOs. However, with the LolCutts snitch patrol potentially lurking about, there has been a bit of hesitation amongst some bloggers.
Enter LinksManager and their Link Exchange Toolbar and exchange service. They act as a link broker. It works something like this:
- Download and install their toolbar for Win XP (no Vista yet) for Internet Explorer or Firefox. (The Firefox download will apparently work on Firefox for Mac OS X.) Note: they claim there’s no software to download for their regular service, but obviously if you want to use their toolbar, you have to.
- Set up your account at their website.
- Browse sites you like and put in a request through the toolbar for a link.
- Manage requests for links from your account.
- Approve or delete requests to you.
- Publish requests to your static HTML “links page”.
LinksManager is not a free, ad-supported service. After the 30-day free trial, you have to pay $19.95 per month. That’s not to say there’s no value and that there isn’t a market. If links obtained using direct contacts found via the LinksManager toolbar cost about $10 in other markets, then the service would more or less pay for itself after you obtain 2 links per month.
Here are some of the pros of LinksManager and their toolbar:
- LinksManager acts as a broker for link exchanging.
- You can log into your account and check for pending link requests. Approve or delete them as desired.
- Increases chances of networking between webmasters/ bloggers that participate.
- Keeps annoying requests to a minimum, filtering exchange requests only to those that want to participate.
- No more “cold calling” for link seekers.
- Automatically adds links to your static “link pages”.
- Their Linklet code not only works for dynamically-generated pages (instead of static links pages), but it can be used to set up an ad banner management system.
Of course, there are some perceived drawbacks:
- It’s not free. Ad-supported might have been a better way to go. You do, however, get one month free service for every person you refer.
- The default set up adds links to a static HTML page. To use the service on dynamically-generated sites, you have to use their Linklet code. That means a bit of technical work that might turn off less technically-savvy bloggers. A nice plugin for various blogging platforms would surely be preferred.
- If you want approved link requests in your in-queue to be published, Links Manager has to store your FTP user info. Not everyone would be comfortable with this.
As I mentioned above, there’s definitely a market for a service like this, but it’s hard for me to say whether serious SEOs would use it or not. They might. It’s certainly cheaper than buying lots of links, but it eliminates that sub-economy and means people who earn from selling links likely won’t participate anytime soon. Despite how GoogleCutts feels, LinksManager says that their service is “ethical by design.”
Disclaimer: This is a paid review. Every effort has been made to provide constructive comments.