If you’ve been running a website for even a short while, you have probably heard more than a few tips and techniques for getting links to your website.
Good links to your website give you a number of benefits.
- Qualified Visitors: If your site is a Farm Stay, and you get a link from a website that talks about Farm Stays in your area, it is very likely to send qualified visitors. By qualified, I mean they are interested in what you have to offer. A link to your site that sends qualified traffic is of benefit.
- Search Engine Trust: Search engines see a link to your site from another site as a vote of confidence. So the more votes you get, the more your site is trusted and the better the chance you have of ranking well in search results.
Because a lot of websites engaged in reciprocal linking (I’ll link to you if you link to me), Google and other search engines don’t put that much trust (if any) in a reciprocal link. They don’t penalize sites for doing this, they just don’t assign trust they way they used to.
But that doesn’t mean reciprocal links aren’t worth anything. If they will deliver qualified traffic, they are worth a lot. You still want to get one-way links, but don’t dismiss reciprocals.
I’d like to give you an example. Barry Green of Western Tourist Radio has compiled an excellent resource for travellers in Western Australia. It is a well thought out guide for travellers looking for accommodation, tours and attractions. Barry has a very clear Link Policy that states “… we link to the website of any relevant tourism business that will exchange links to our site.”
The key here is relevance. Barry’s site is very relevant for someone looking for attractions and accommodation, so a link from his site is very likely to deliver qualified traffic. This is a great reason to establish a reciprocal link.
If you can see some of your competitors on a site (or can see they may be there in the future), is that a reason not to link? Definitely not. Travellers want to research destinations and providers, so the presence of links to several related operators can be an advantage, as travellers may find it a lot more useful overall.
For as long as you operate a website you should be on the lookout for good links. Blogs, paid directories, free directories, travel resources like Western Tourist Radio – look at them from the perspective of how likely they are to deliver relevant traffic. You won’t go wrong.