A Complete Guide to Link Exchanges

The strategy of exchanging links has been around since the beginning of the internet. As with many SEO-related topics today, exchanging links is a contentious topic that evokes strong opinions.

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The following sections of this guide will define link exchanges and their role in search engine optimization. You will learn how different link exchanges work, how they differ, and more. So, let’s dive in.

What Are Link Exchanges?

Link exchanges involve two websites exchanging links with each other. Some also call it reciprocal linking sometimes. There is a significant difference between reciprocal linking and link exchange since reciprocal linking involves exchanges between two websites, while a link exchange involves exchanges between several websites.

As with many other marketing tactics, link swaps aim to increase trust and authority to attract more organic traffic. Based on Google’s original statement, they regard links as a “vote of confidence” if placed editorially.

Types Of Link Exchanges

There are three main types of link exchanges, including:

  • One-way Links

A one-way link points to your website from another website, but they do not link it to your website. Several search engines evaluate and rank websites based on link popularity. An increase in links implies a higher-quality website. 

As a result, the more relevant websites that link to yours, the better. Your website can get excellent links by submitting articles and PRs to other websites, articles or news directories, and social bookmarking sites.

  • Reciprocal Links

The reciprocal link is a two-way link between two websites, also called a ‘link swap,’ ‘link exchange,’ or ‘link partner.’ Your website will not only receive more traffic from them but also rank higher in search engines. 

Link exchanges with high-ranking websites are ‌valuable. Google assigns a page rank to a web page based on the number of incoming links to that web page, which determines the importance of the page. If you download the Google Toolbar from, you can see the PageRank of your website.

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  • Triangular/Three-Way Links

In three-way links, Website 1 links to Website 2, links to Website 3, links to Website 1, and so on. It’s best to avoid linking to the same website twice, as it’s considered less effective for improving search engine rankings.

Link exchanges are significant in driving quality traffic to your website and ranking at the top of the search engines. Although link exchanging is time-consuming, it can be very effective. In case you only have limited time, you might employ the services of a link exchange company. 

When Is It Right To Exchange Links?

It’s tricky to exchange links in a way that doesn’t manipulate rankings. It is essential to exchange links properly within the world of SEO to build relationships and build trust. Listed below are a few scenarios where link exchanges make sense:

  • To help educate your users
  • When the link adds value to your content,
  • When you share an audience,
  • When the link offers referral traffic

When Should You Avoid Using Links?

Your business may not benefit from link exchanges every time. There are many instances where it can negatively affect your business’ reputation. You must select the right website to market your business effectively on link exchanges. If you are seeking a link exchange partner, avoid these websites:

  • Unrelated websites to your business. 
  • Poorly designed websites. 
  • Outbound-link-heavy websites. 
  • New websites. 
  • Websites with no follow links. 
  • E-mail-based link exchange websites.

Simple Link Exchange Strategies

Although link building is complex, there are some simple ways to accomplish it. Here are a few examples:

Requesting Backlinks

When you’re a beginner, asking for backlinks is a great start. Consider acquaintances or clients who own blogs or websites. You only need to ask for an in-content backlink. You should, however, make sure those backlinks are from relevant websites. As a result, it will have little impact and could even be detrimental to your site.


Regularly write articles on a blog. Consider what your clients want to read about in your niche. As time passes, your site will gain authority. Provide your audience with practical, relevant, and well-written content. This way, you can ensure that people link to your website repeatedly.

Quality Guest Posting

You can submit an article to several blogs and websites. Be sure to follow these guidelines when writing an article:

  • Your topic is relevant to the blog/website.
  • It shouldn’t be about your company or how great you are.
  • There is a proper focus on quality, structure, and content in your writing.

Adding Your Site to Credible Directories

Some online directories are ineffective for Internet users. As a result, Google has excluded them from its search results. Hence, ‌avoid enlisting your website on redundant pages. There are, however, some good directories as well. 

It would help if you considered niche directories or directories associated with insightful sites. The more directories you list, the easier your website will be indexed and the more people you will reach.

How Does Google Feel about Link Exchanges?

In the past, Google’s policy regarding link exchanges was black and white, but it has changed slightly recently, perhaps because this practice can be challenging to detect. You’ll note the word “excessive” there, right? Google may overlook occasional link exchanges. 


This guide will give you a deeper understanding of link exchange and how it affects your business. It would be best if you took the time and carefully considered whether link exchange is the best way for your business to develop in the future.

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