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Swapping Links

by Robert McGarvey

Want to build traffic fast? Create a link exchange with other sites, and watch your click-through rate soar.

Way back in the web's infancy, the first tool that sites began using to build traffic was simple: They swapped links. Microsoft's Link Exchange builds on that concept, but the downside is, you have no precise control over which banners run on your site.

At least there's an easy way to get back that control: Create your own informal link exchange the old-fashioned way by asking sites complementary to yours (but that don't compete) to put your link on their pages and you'll do likewise. It may be passé, but it's still powerful.

As you surf the web, note which sites you like and that attract visitors who might be interested in your site, too. Keep links appropriate and, guess what?, you've created your own mini-Yahoo! Worried you might lose visitors who click away to your linked sites? You bet, but odds are for every visitor you lose, you'll gain another. Besides, if your links page is good enough, visitors may even bookmark it because you've done them the favor of compiling the info they want.

A variation on linking is a web ring, which loosely links together dozens (or sometimes hundreds) of related sites. It works like this: At the bottom of a page, there's a brief squib about the web ring; a visitor simply clicks on the ring to go to another site in the chain. web rings are primarily used by hobbyists and enthusiasts (many exist about the HMS Titanic, vampires as well as religions, for instance), but small businesses are also able to create their own web rings to the profit of all parties involved. To find out more information about web rings, you can start surfing into Ring Surf, which has a listing of hundreds of possible rings and allows you to start your very own web ring for free.

Robert McGarvey has covered the Web since 1995 from his home office in Santa Rosa, California.


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Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018 07:54 AM


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