What is a Link Exchange?
A link exchange is a method of trading links with other web sites. There is more than one way to set up a link exchange with other webmasters, the most common way is to go to a site and go to the contact us and send the webmaster an email and request a link exchange. If linking their site with yours will increase their traffic then you will get a yes, but if your site and there are totally two different things and you don't all that much traffic then you may get a polite No Thanks.
Link exchanges have been going on since the inception of the World Wide Web. After 2000, link exchanges have become more and more popular. The reason for the popularity is due to the fact that Google has increased the ranking of sites who tend to link exchange over those who don't. Some internet expert today think that search engines really don't favor link exchanges over those who don't anymore. It was favorable when Google was on it sway to becoming the giant they are today. Today's sites are gauged by one way incoming links to a particular site.
It is also more important these days that when you have a link exchange that the other site that you are linking to has some significance to your site. For example, if you have a dog site and you decide to link exchange with a site that is all about pickles then the search engines may not find that favorable. But if the link exchange was with a cats site then that would be acceptable. If you are considering link exchanges then you want to share a links with a site that is similar or associated to yours, otherwise it may affect your search engine ranking .
You could seal the deal with a site that happens to be in the same industry as the one you are like. Some webmasters may not wish to link exchange with their competitors which is their loss but you can find sites that will complement your site as well as theirs. When you send a webmaster an email requesting a link exchange, outline the positives as to why link exchanges with you can be beneficial to you.
There are link exchange directories available with a list of sites that are looking for other sites to link exchange with. Some of the web link directories charge a fee in order to gain access to their databases. There are some free web link directories that are free, you just have to search for them. The upside of link exchanging is to increase your traffic , as you go about contacting other sites to exchanging links do a search for them on Alexa, it will give you all the information you need in order to find out if this is a site that you wish to link to.
By linking to the wrong sites can really prove to be a negative situation for you. The best way to exchange links is to uphold a strict lining process that does not wish to accept other links from any sites that do not have anything directly related to your site. Remember it is your site and whether or not you decide to exchange links is strictly up to you. If you are thinking about it , just do your research before you exchange the link, find out what their rank is in the search engine and get an actual number of traffic ask the webmaster about their traffic and verify through Alexa.