So you've started using some form of link exchange, but now you're realizing that your links are hard to track. The majority of marketers in recent polls rank link building as “somewhat difficult” or “very difficult,” and many say that it's the toughest part of their job. Getting link exchange manager software is a great step to take toward improved link exchange management. In this guide, you'll learn about some of the types of link exchange management software available to you. You'll also find out how a link exchange manager can help you avoid Google trouble from your exchanged links.
Is Link Exchange Really So Tough?
If you've only recently gotten started with link exchange, you may think that downloading a link exchange manager is overkill. Link exchange management really only becomes important once you have a large amount of links.
Let's say that you started by exchanging links with just a dozen websites, all of which are owned by people you or someone else in your firm knows personally. You have no reason to believe that these links would ever be taken down intentionally, and you can easily check to make sure that your links are still up. A law firm in this circumstance would probably find link exchange management to be a solution in search of a problem.
However, let's say that you've done things a bit differently. You've used several different link exchange services so that you can exchange links with a wider range of websites than just those owned by your personal acquaintances. You now have over five hundred links, and you also know that the people who are maintaining those links would just as soon delete your link and have a one way link from you. For these law firms, a link exchange manager can make the difference between having a winning linking strategy and gaining no benefit from link exchange whatsoever.
What Law Firms Want Out of Link Exchange Management
Generally, law firms download a link exchange manager so that they can create or monitor their links on other websites. Link exchange management tools usually include an automatic system that can check out whether the places that are supposedly linking to you actually are. You may be surprised—some companies will intentionally try to turn your reciprocal link into a one way link, while others may accidentally delete your link during the course of a normal planned site redesign.
With the right link exchange manager, you won't need to think about link exchange as often. A link exchange management tool can automatically generate your links, so that you don't have to build a new link by hand every time someone wants to exchange links with you. Your link exchange manager can also create a Links webpage on your website that contains your list of reciprocal links.
Your link exchange management tools will also tell you some information about the websites linking to you. It's good to know the Alexa ranking and Google PageRank for any sites giving you links, because these numbers matter to your overall search rankings.
Finding Good Link Exchange Management Software
It's important to keep in mind that there's no one right link exchange manager for every law firm. The biggest question in deciding on a piece of link exchange management software is how familiar you are with computers, inbound link building, website design, and so on.
If you're already very familiar with the principles of link exchange and you want to be able to customize your exchanges heavily, you should get a more robust and sophisticated piece of software. The more complex link exchange manager programs may require some knowledge of coding to be able to use their most advanced features.
For people who don't know as much about computers, it might be preferable to pick link exchange management software that focuses on having an easy to understand user interface. This type of link exchange manager is less likely to allow completely custom managing of your links, but will be much faster to start using and to learn.
When Link Exchange Management Goes Wrong
If you've been using your link exchange manager to grow your inbound link base, you should know a few things. Google doesn't like having links created by link exchange management software, and if it catches you in the act, you might not be able to get link authority from any of your reciprocal links. This can have a devastating effect on a website, and make future link building efforts much more challenging.
If you're automating your link building too much, it's very likely that one day you'll get an email message from Google that advises you that you've been caught. This email message will also contain information on how to have your website's rankings re-adjusted upward once you've gotten rid of the links that Google didn't like. One of the nicest parts of link exchange manager software is that some of these programs also let you automate the process of notifying webmasters that you want your link taken down.
Avoiding Problems With Your Link Exchange Manager
Of course, it's best if you can avoid these kinds of link exchange management problems in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say. But what's the best way to do that? Link exchange manager software should not be used round the clock as your main (or especially as your only) link building method. If you do this, you'll quickly be found out by Google and should expect your rankings to always languish.
You should also run some link exchange management software that shows you your ratio of reciprocal to one way inbound links. If more than half of your links are reciprocal, you're definitely in the danger zone—stop building reciprocal links right away and start creating one way links before you get into trouble with search engines.