Link Exchange and Search Engine Optimization Word Count: 730 Summary: Here’s an overview of how exchanging links can improve our search engine ranking… I saw that only a small number of visitors came from search engines! And the major majority of clicks came from reciprocal links…when your site gets crawled by the spiders, they see that you’ve done their job for them, they also like this….. Keywords: Link,linking,exchange,exchanging,link exchange,link exchanging,reciprocal links,search,search engines,SEO,search engine optimization,search engines,google,spider,bots,ranking,traffic,visitors,exchangi Article Body: Here’s an overview of how exchanging links can improve our search engine ranking. I believe Exchanging Links is one of, if not “the” best way to market your site online! Read below to see why. Some people believe that in order to be successful online they have to direct thousands of targeted visitors to their site. TRUE They also believe that they have to spend all their time adjusting the scripts and contents of their pages, to make the search engines spider them and rank them well. FALSE! They believe that if they do this it will improve their ranking and automatically drive targeted visitors to their site by the ship load. Partly TRUE, but after viewing some server logs belonging to a top ranking (first 1 – 5 sites on the first page, in his niche) I saw that only a small number of visitors came from search engines! And the major majority of clicks came from reciprocal links. It’s true that there are some quick and easy scripts and txt files etc… that you can place in all your pages, and on your server, that will guide the spiders to keep coming back and also guide them to index your pages, this doesn’t take long to do and I believe it helps a little. But the search engines are smart and always changing there systems so someone could work for weeks, too tweak a site for SEO, only to find out that the rules have changed again and their site is no where to be found! So focusing purely on SEO can be risky! Should we focus on getting high ranking as a priority? Or should high ranking be seen as the result of other marketing and promotional strategies that bring even more visitors that are even more targeted. The result of having more visitors being that our ranking will increase. Not by using strings and mirrors to “fool” the search engines into thinking we have a great site, when really, we don’t have many visitors which is why we’re trying to trick the search engines, and don’t have great content or services, because the visitor has come to our site looking for some that we tricked the search engine into thinking that we had! This is like putting the cart before the horse. If we focus on building a network of “reciprocal links” (that’s a link from you to someone and a link from them to you) we add valuable content to our users and we have other businesses in our target market niche, sending highly targeted and motivated users to our site. The search engines like this because there are more sites saying, this is a good site, and every time those sites get spidered the bots find our link and keep on coming back to our site! So that helps with search engine ranking, and driving targeted traffic, and adding valuable content. We want our prospects, users, and customers to “bookmark” or save our site in “favorites” they will do this if they are interested in our “Niche” and learn that they can get all the information they ever need from our site. Of course they are more likely to read our newsletters and take notice of our promotions etc, on the home page. If someone goes to Google and does a search, that person will find that most of the top ranking sites have a “Link Directory” this is a directory of reciprocal links. Doesn’t that tell you something? Here’s another reason to create a link directory, when you create a directory it is created around sites that are related to your business market niche, therefore, when your site gets crawled by the spiders, they see that you’ve done their job for them, they also like this. So to summarize: Search Engine Optimization, is important, and helps to bring more visitors. Link Exchanging, is important because it can drive more visitors then search engines, once established. Directories ad valuable content for your customers/visitors, and this it improves your SEO. There are many other free strategies for promoting your online business; this is just an overview of two of them. Obviously another way to promote your business for free, is Article submissions, this is also one of the quickest and most effective free advertising strategies available online.