How To Find Link Exchange Partner Sites To Improve Your Link Popularity

In this article I show you how to find link exchange partners to improve your link popularity rating, which in turn will improve your search engine rankings.

Search engine optimization experts agree that link popularity is now considered by most search engines to be one of, if not, the most important factors that determines a site's ranking in the search engines.

If you're not sure what your site's link popularity rating is, then use a link popularity check tool to check your link popularity rating in the top search engines.

Let's say we have two identical sites. One has thousands of targeted sites linking to it. The other only has a few incoming links. It's virtually guaranteed that the site with thousands of incoming links will rank higher than the other site.

So how do you find reciprocal link partners?

First, you need to work out what type of web sites would link to your site. Here are some examples of sites and the types of sites that would link to them.
Your Site: Links From:
Pet store Pet lovers' sites
Site design service Webmaster sites
Travel site Local guides
PC store Software/hardware review sites
Music store Music fan sites

As you can see, you're looking for sites that are on the same subject matter, but not necessarily similar.

So now you know what sites to look for, how do you find these sites?

There are basically two methods:

In the following examples, we'll use "pet lovers'" sites as the type of sites we're looking for.

1. Find targeted sites in the web directories, such as Yahoo!, LookSmart, or the Open Directory Project.

Go to a directory's home page and search with the keywords, "pet lover." Then click on the category the top listings belong to. The sites listed in these and related categories are the types of sites you need to contact.

If the category has a resources or directories sub-category, then try the sites in those categories first. Resources typically offer links to sites on the same subject.

2. Use the search engines to find sites that link to your competitors' web sites.

Using the search engines is probably a more efficient method of find reciprocal link partners, than searching the directories.

Go to your favorite search engine, such as Google, and search for any of the following keyword phrases:

"pet directory" - Searches for pet directories.

"pet search engine" - Searches for pet search engines.

"pet lover" links.html - Searches for link pages in pet lover's web sites.

"pet lover" resources.html - Searches for the resource page in a pet lover's Web site.

Don't forget to include the quotation marks to narrow your search.

Also try replacing the ".html" with other file extensions, such as ".htm," ".shtm," ".shtml," ".cfm," and ".php."

Now make a list of the sites. Then create a links or resources page and add links to the sites on that page.

After you've done that, link to that page from your home page. If you have hundreds of links, split the pages into different sub-categories. When you're done, upload the pages to your server.

Now contact each site by informing them that you have linked to their site and request a link in return. Don't forget to be polite and inform them of the benefits of exchanging links.

Some sites, such as web directories, will not require a reciprocal link. So simply submit your link.

The most important tip I can give you with regards to reciprocal linking is to only exchange links with targeted sites. I highly recommend that you don't exchange links with sites that bear no relation with your site. If you link to poor-quality or spam sites, it could affect your search engine rankings.


Under no circumstances should you link to, or add links from, link farms. Link farms are considered as spam sites in the eyes of the search engines.

If you want to save time and effort, you could use a reciprocal link management tool, such as Arelis. It will help you find and contact link exchange partners.

Good luck with improving your link popularity!