We all know that incoming links are an important part of any search engine placement strategy. Exchanging reciprocal links is one of the easiest ways to attain links to your website from other webmasters and there are many sites out there willing to exchange links with you. That said, not all of them are valuable links that will benefit you – so where do you find them?
A great place to start is the Google Directory. The best thing about the Google Directory is that when you are viewing the top sites there it ranks them in order of PageRank with the highest PR sites being listed at the top. (Click here for a definition of PageRank and why it is important.) You can visit the Google Directory at http://directory.google.com.
Once you have found your category, finding the links is relatively simple. Let’s assume that you run a fitness website. You would go through their directory until you landed at Health > Fitness. There are a number of sub-categories here and I would recommend checking them all out. The sub-category “Directories” will probably produce many leads for link-building but outside that you would click on all the sub-category links and visit the top sites in each category. For example, if we click the “Aerobics” link you will be taken to http://directory.google.com/Top/Health/Fitness/Aerobics/ where you will find the top site is http://www.aquafunfitness.com/ with a PageRank of 7. Right near the top of the page they have a link to their “Links Page”. You’ve just found yourself a good link, all’s that’s left is to email the webmaster and request the link exchange.
Now repeat as necessary.
I should note that it’s not always quite as simple as this case where the #1 site has a links page. Sometimes you will go through many sites just to find a few that exchange or give out links. This can be a time consuming process but done right, and in conjunction with a solid site optimization, it can yield fantastic results.
I sincerely hope that this helps you in your link-building endeavors. For additional information on link building you can check out an article on our site at http://news.stepforth.com/2003-news/link-building-for-top-placements.html. There you will find additional tips for finding the kind of links that will help your site attain the rankings you need.