Every so often I receive an e-mail looking something like this:
Hi, I've been looking at your blog/site xxx and really like it. I run a similar site at yyy.
How would you like to link to my site from yours? In return I'll put a link from my site back to yours.
Sounds like an ideal offer, doesn't it?A new inbound link and all it costs is an outbound link in exchange.
The fact is that I always say no to these kind of offers for purposes of Search Engine Optimisation (the only exception is when I think that you're offering a fantastic resource which I know that visitors will love).
Two way linking strategies like these just aren't valuable any more. Google is smart enough to spot the back-and-forth nature of the links and to simply exclude them from having any value in its index.
The smart way forward, at present, is to use multi way linking strategies. That is, if a site links to you, you don't link back directly to it (there might be another site which you could link to and still work on a valuable trade like the one above).
Three way links (a sort of triangular pattern) may work, but even better is to be involved in a much larger network, in the region of 100s of links displayed no clear linking strategy.
Do you have a linking strategy? Reply below and share it with the world.