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I have a programming blog and I was wondering if link exchange with other programming blogs (where I link to them and they link to me) is a good idea to improve my site's PageRank.

I know in general it is desirable because it will increase my page views and reader base.

Specifically my main page has a PageRank of 4 and I'm wondering if I could ever reach a PageRank 5 by doing a lot of link exchange for similar blogs around the same PageRank? Or do the links cancel out the backlinks in terms of PageRank?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

One way links in context are most desirable. For instance if a sentence read:

Reading this programmer's take on the subject (where the italicized text is a link to your blog) is a lot better than a link in the sidebar. Sure, it may increase traffic .. but I don't think it will directly help your ranking. Remember that every new Wordpress blog, by default, links to Wordpress. Google realized this and made adjustments.

For a programming blog, the best thing that I can recommend is to put a lot of thought into your posts and get them in Reddit. If what you write is interesting, others will naturally pick up on it.

A few link trades really isn't going to help much. Keep in mind, you have ~100 links per page which you can spend. On a blog, that is quickly exhausted.

The best way to get inbound links is to make sure people who might be interested in what you write will actually see your posts. The rest just happens naturally.

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1  
Great advice, and I agree. Optimize by having something good, and not by trying to trick the system. Link exchange will get you more viewers and the more viewers and good content you have, the more likely someone will be willing to link to your page organically. –  Brian R. Bondy Jul 11 '10 at 15:33
    
didn't know about Google adjusting Wordpress PR because all WP blogs had a link to Word Press (moreover I think WordPress deserves all those links since it's given out for free). Where did you read this, could you provide a link? Anyway WordPress still ranks 9! –  Marco Demaio Aug 14 '10 at 23:40
    
@Marco - I actually searched long and hard for the link when I wrote this answer but could not find it. The topic was brought up by Matt M on both his personal site and the WP dev blog. The net result of the 'recalc' had no (long term) negative impact for them. Google can, and does realize that most sites running 'foocms' also link to 'foocms', and doesn't give much weight to those links. –  Tim Post Aug 14 '10 at 23:45

My boss knew that one of the keys to high rankings was links, and thought we should start a link exchange campaign not too long ago. I did some research to see what these types of campaigns might have done to help companies like ours. What I found was surprising:

Google's Official Viewpoint

More from Google

And something from my favorite SEO smartass

While your interest in exchanging links may be to get visitors from similar blogs/ sites over to your site, be aware that link exchanges are becoming a big and nasty no-no, from what I can tell.

Has anyone had a different experience where link exchanging has really helped boost your site traffic? I'm always anxious to hear about new techniques, or old techniques that are still working.

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For lazy folk like me, would be great if you quoted relevant sections inline :) –  Andy Aug 18 '10 at 9:24

I think it might benefit only if you carefully link exchange. I mean try to find sites with bigger PR than your site to point to your site.

But the real problem in a link exchange is that it's very hard to say IN ADVANCE if it's your site giving more PR to the other sites or others sites giving more PR to yours. Cause even if other sites linking to your site have more PR than your site, you should check also how many links come out from the pages that links to your site. A page with a 5 PR with n links going to n sites gives a small amount of PR to all thiose sites and not all the PR to all sites.

The only way is to try and after some months see if your PR increases or decreases, it's anyway easy to go back to previous situation because you have control on your site so you simply need to remove the outbound links you added, I suppose the webmasters that have exchanged links with you when they will see you removed the links to them they will almost for sure do the same, so everything will go back to normality.

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Probably, but I've always been wary of link exchanges because they tend to be promoted via spam and they smack of "Make $$$" schemes to me.

Far better, IMO, is to link to external sites organically, where appropriate. For example, if you're referencing those other programmer blogs, link to them. If you want to include a small sidebar on your homepage ("Blogs I like"), go for it. If you want to review someone else's blog, go right ahead.

Appropriate linking to another site is more likely to benefit your SEO than not linking to it, regardless of whether that site returns the favour.

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As I know, only put one HTML is not helpful for your ranking. It will be better to do the text link. We do a lot of exchange link. However, it turns out no use.

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