Every now and then, I receive a link exchange request from someone who wants a link from my directory (my high-ranking directory directly accessible from the index page), and in exchange, they're willing to link to my page from one of their zillions of link pages about 18 jumps away from the home page. Needless to say, the proffered page has a Google PageRank of 0, and chances are it's not even indexed by any search engines.
What an enticing offer.
If you want people to trade links with you, thus increasing your PageRank and traffic, you must offer them a valuable link in return. Not all links are created equally. Here are some tips for making your site attractive to potential link partners:
Build a directory of links pages sorted by categories that relate to your web site. Avoid putting all of your links on a single page. Avoid putting tons of links on any one page in your directory. Avoid naming your links page "links.htm(l)".
Put a link to your directory on your index page. Every page in your subdirectory should have a link from that directory page and in turn link to that directory page. This helps spread Google PageRank more evenly to all your links pages and your directory page. Link pages with high PR will attract more link offers.
Avoid impersonal link managing services; give your links directory a personal touch and manage link exchanges in-house. If cutting and pasting a link onto one of your directory pages takes more than 30 seconds, you need to go back to webmaster school anyway.
Avoid tricks meant to keep from transferring PageRank to other people's sites.
Don't hide the link to your directory page.
Don't force links to open in a new window. Most surfers have pop-up blockers that make this a pain to work around. I know you want to keep visitors from leaving completely, but let's face it, if they're browsing a links page, they're already bored with your site. Get over it. Someone else will come.
That's it. Follow these steps, and not only will people be more willing to link to you, but you'll get a lot of offers as well. It's more time efficient if people come to you than to hunt links on your own.
TC Thorn wmakes a living from affiliate marketing and advertising. This article first appeared at Webmaster Articles.