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Who / How to target for reciprocal links

By David Callan

Reciprocal linking is one of the most effective ways of driving targeted mass numbers of people to your website, however in order to be successful you've to carefully target and choose the sites you want to link with.

What you need to be doing is focusing on linking to similar high-traffic quality sites which will interest your visitors and which complement your site, not compete with it. Sending visitors to a competing site with a similar product is a big mistake because the chances are good that they'll buy your their product and not yours.

Try not to down-link which is what I call it when a site links with a site with far less traffic than it. Always aim to up-link with a few high traffic sites rather than a bunch of low traffic ones. The results are much better.

My favorite and first thing to do when looking for sites to target is to try a take traffic away from my competition. I do this by visiting http://www.altavista.com or any other search engine which will tell me which sites link to which.

Imagine for example you knew your competition was www.xyz.com. You would go to Altavista and type in link:competition.com leaving out the http://www. part. To follow the above format you'd type in link:xyz.com and do the search, Altavista will return all the sites in its database that link to www.xyz.com.These are the first few sites you want to link to because you know they're sending traffic and business to your competition and you want a piece of action too. Chances are if these sites link to your competitor they'll link to you too.

Depending on the industry of your business and your competitor, he or she could have hundreds of links so be prepared to be held up for quite some time. It's well worth it however because you're effectively taking visitors away from your competitors site by having your link wherever their link is.

The next way you can target sites to link with is by visiting one of the major search sites, either Yahoo.com or Google.com. The advantage these two sites have over other search sites when it comes to targeting links is that usually results from these are of a very high standard. In Yahoo.com's case it's because all sites are reviewed by a human editor and in Google.com's case it's because they use link popularity as one of the main factors of relevancy when returning results from a search meaning only good quality sites are returned.

You're on either Google.com or Yahoo.com, now enter keywords and keyphrases which relate to the theme of your website, remember you don't want to link to competitive sites so try not to be too specific on your search term. If I was doing this I wouldn't enter 'Internet marketing articles' because chances are most results would be competitive sites, I'd enter in 'Internet marketing' because it's a wide area but still related to my website theme and not necessarily competing with me. The sites that show up for these results are prime targets. Ask for links with these guys, next you can target the guys who have links to them. The possibilities are endless.

About the author
Article by David Callan. David is an Internet marketing professional and webmaster of http://www.akamarketing.com/webmaster-forums/. Visit his webmaster forums for the latest discussions on search engines, website authoring and Internet marketing related issues and topics.

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