The Link Swapping Trap
If you want to make money on the web, you must get traffic to your website.
If you want to get traffic to your website, you must have a high rank in
google's search results. Google ranks websites based upon the number of links
that point to the site.
Many novice webmasters believe they can trick Google into giving their website
a high rank by swapping links with other webmasters. One reason they believe
this, is because "wanna-be" web marketing "experts" keep spouting that trash.
It's only partially true that Google ranks websites based upon the number of
links that point to the site. Google uses a highly sophisticated page ranking
formula that keeps changing and evolving all the time. Google caught onto the
link swapping trick years ago.
Novice webmasters put all their link swaps on one gigantically long page referred
to as a "link farm". When Google's robot finds a link farm, their ranking formula
penalizes the websites listed in the link farm. If Google finds the same site
listed in many link farms, they remove that site from their search engine.
Just about every week I get an email message saying "I placed a link to your
website on my website. Please put a link to my website on your website. Here's
where you can find your link on my website" ... followed by a link to a single
webpage containing hundreds of links ... a link farm.
I usually reply to such a message with a request to remove the link to my website
from their webpage. The novice webmaster often responds with a message of pure
astonishment. Link swap requests have become so common lately that I have been
responding by clicking on the "Delete" button.
Every webmaster that wants to swap links has a website with zero traffic. Even
if Google didn't penalize websites for being listed in a link farm, why would
I want to send traffic away from my website to a website that can't return any traffic?
Not only are these novice webmasters not experienced in the way of the
web, they seem inexperienced in the way of the world. The first rule of the
universe is "you never get a free lunch". If you want your website to rank
high in Google, you have to pay them. If you can't afford to pay them, you have
to do the work.
It's hard work to get traffic to your website. There is only one method I know
that works: put valuable, original content on your website. Other websites,
blogs, and forums will post links to the valuable content on your website, not
with a link swap, but as a resource to their audience.