Getting in-bound links to your site is one of the mostimportant things you can do for generating traffic to your site:
* It helps to get your site listed in the search engine.
* It helps to boost your position in the search engine.
* It helps to build small streams of traffic to your site.
Links to your site are normally given by also giving a linkfrom your site to the other one. These are called reciprocal links or link swaps. And naturally there are a few services available to automate the link somehow.
Some of these services will automatically add the link to your site and the other site once your link request isapproved (through some software to be installed on your site).
Some will simply point you to sites which do use link swaps and who are interested in hearing from you.
Some will also check that the link to your site remains inplace, and email you if it disappears. Its then up to you to either contact the owner of that site to find out why thelink has vanished, or to remove the reciprocal link on your site.
But there is one thing they do not do, and which you need to watch for:
How would a visitor to the other site FIND the link back to your site?
Because you can be sure that if a human visitor cannot find it, then its unlikely that a search engine will.
Let me give you an example: Andrew was using the serviceat LinkMetro.com to get links to one of his sites. Someone had a site on a related topic, and they requested a linkback to Andrews. He checked the link back to his site, and everything looked OK. The other site had requested a link back to their homepage (rather than another specific page), so Andrew checked out that home page.
It seemed that the link directory on that other site was not linked from the home page of that site.
The other site was requesting inbound links back to itshome page, but effectively hiding the return link from thesearch engines and from website visitors. And that makes the link back to Andrews site useless - its like that link doesnt even exist.
So next time you get asked for a reciprocal link, check the route that people and search engines would use to getfrom that site over to yours. You might be surprised what you find.
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