Building Good Link Trades

I have had several people asking me lately about link trades so I wanted to touch on a couple points about getting good link trades in this article.

There are basically two different types of link trades you would be getting for your site. The first type is a traffic link trade and the second is what I call an SEO link trade. I’ll cover them both and give you some idea for each.


These link trades are meant to get traffic to your site. These types of link trades are most common on link sites, TGPs, toplists and blogs. You are sending them traffic in exchange for them sending you traffic back.

For starters you will need to get some traffic before starting to get link trades. If you have nothing to send them, you can’t expect them to send traffic to you. I would suggest submitting your site to some big link lists and maybe making some TGP galleries and linking to your site from them to build up some traffic so you have something to send to your trade partners.

If you are trading links to grow traffic you will want to keep track of how much traffic you are sending them and getting back in return. You don’t want to be sending someone 200 hits a day only to get 10 back in return. There are many good scripts out there that will help you do this. If you running a toplist you will already be using a traffic trading script, but if you are running a link list, blog or tgp you may not be. I prefer Turbo Traffic Trader ( it is free and has some really nice features. There are other free scripts out there and there are also scripts you can buy. These scripts will allow you to set limits on how much traffic you send to them without getting any in return. The more they send to you the more the script will send back to them. They are very useful in keeping track of your trades and how they are producing.

Be patient and don’t be afraid to dump trades. Give a trade 3-5 days to get settled in and start sending traffic. If after 5 days or so you still aren’t getting many hits you can either set you script to only send them back the same that they send you or you can dump the trade all together. Finding good traffic link trade partners can be tough. When you first start trading traffic it’s not a bad idea to trade with a few small sites, a handful of medium size sites and a couple big sites all at once. You can then get an idea of who is sending you what and see who you want keep. The bigger sites can usually be counted on the return at least as much traffic as you send them so they make a nice base as you work to build up other trades.

I don’t profess to be an expert on traffic trading, but there are many out there that do it very well. Don’t be afraid to hit up some of the boards and ask some people for advice. There are some good traffic traders out there that are willing to help and just might become a good link trade partner once you get the basics down.


These links are meant to boost the incoming links to your site to help you gain search engine rankings in your chosen keywords. If you are new to SEO check out some of my other articles (linked at the bottom of this article) for help getting started. The major search engines view incoming links as a huge source of information for ranking sites. It makes sense. The more people that link to a site the more popular it is and the higher in quality it must then be. That isn’t always the case, but often it is. 

Many say that Google now doesn’t care about regular 1 for 1 link trades. This means that me linking to your site and you linking to mine now has no relevance. This may be true, but I have still had some very good results with this technique. The sites I have been successful doing this in are sites that are competing in less competitive keywords so it may not work as well for sites that are trying to compete for very competitive keywords. For these types of trades simply contact the site owner you want to trade with and offer them a straight link trade.

For the more competitive keywords you will want to get one way incoming links. A one way incoming link means that someone has linked to your site, but you have not linked back to theirs. To get these types of links may need to do what is called an A-B-C trade or what I call a ‘scattershot trade’. An A-B-C trade is where your site A links to their site B and their site B links to your site C. This way you both get one way incoming links to your sites. Some have said that Google can now, in some cases, detect this technique. If you have many sites you can do a scattershot trade. This is where your site A links to their site B then their site C links to your site D. You both get incoming links and the sites aren’t connected by link. 

For SEO purposes choosing the site you link trade with is very important. One of the key things in search engine placement is getting incoming links from relevant sites. For example if you ran a model plane site, a link from a hobby site or another model plane site is more relevant than a link from a real estate site would be. The same goes for porn. If you have a teen site a link from another teen site would be worth more than 20 links from MILF sites or BBW sites. Google sees that you are getting links from similar sites and it likes that. Google looks at the web as one big community. If other teen sites are linking to you, you must be pretty good so they take that into consideration when ranking you. If you go out and get 10 good trades from relevant sites it will do much more for you than getting 100 trades from irrelevant sites. Incoming links are good, incoming links from relevant sites are great. Think of it like a references is on a resume. Getting a good reference from a couple of jobs that are like the one you are applying for and that you worked at for a long time will be worth more to your potential employer than 10 references from jobs you only worked a short time at and that have nothing to do with the job you are applying for. Don’t be afraid to use backlink checkers and to check how many pages a site has indexed in Google and Yahoo before linking to them or getting a link from them.

Getting all these trades going and keeping them live can be a little confusing. I use an Excel spreadsheet that I made to keep track of my trades. It lists each site I have and what sites are linking to it then I use a backlink tool like this one to periodically check the links. If I don’t see an incoming link from a site I have on my list I visit the site to see if they deleted my link. You have to be diligent because there are people out there that will do link trades with you then a month later start pulling links to make their site look like it has a ton of one way links coming into it.

Lastly you will want to be sure you use good anchor text on your incoming links. This has a huge effect on search engine rankings. Anchor text is the actual text they use to link to your site. I prefer them to use descriptive text instead of the site name when linking to me unless the site name has my keywords in it. If your site name is Pimpdaddy’s Ho’s and is a teen site you might want the text they link to you with to say ‘hot teen porn’ or ‘teen babes’ instead of your site name since you are trying to rank for the teen keywords. I would suggest you come up with 6-8 good keyword rich anchor texts for people to use when linking to your site. This will give it a little variation and not have every link coming to your site saying the same thing.

SEO link trades can be time consuming and frustrating, but when they pay off and you get a good ranking there is no better traffic out there and if you update your site regularly you can hold that ranking for a long time and get fresh, quality traffic every day so it does pay off.

My last bit of advice on link trades is to check out sites you want to emulate and see how they do it and who they trade with. You don’t want to steal from them, but getting an idea of how a successful, established site trades links will give you some ideas on getting your link trades started down the road to success. Be patient, work hard and eventually you will cash checks.

My other SEO articles
Search engine friendly sites 
Tips to improve your Google ranking



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