Link Exchange

What Is A Link Exchange?

A Link Exchange (also known as reciprocal links) is when you swap backlinks with another website.

The goal is to boost your SEO rankings and increase website visibility.

what is a link exchange

Here’s how it works:

You contact another website owner and propose a link exchange. Once you’ve both agreed, you place an outbound link to their website and they place a link back to your website.

The benefit is you both get value and it doesn’t cost either person anything.

If you have multiple website owners, you can negotiate a three-way link exchange. These are much safer and make each link look natural for search engines.

Link exchanges can be an effective link building strategy, but you must take care and follow strict guidelines.

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Does Google Penalise Link Exchanges?

Yes, Google does penalise link exchanges if they catch website owners participating in them.

This is because Google views link exchanges as a link scheme designed to manipulate their search algorithm.

That means that participating in link exchanges violates their webmaster guidelines.

Google Penguin was designed to detect inorganic and unnatural link patterns. Link exchanges can trigger the Penguin algorithm, ultimately leading to a Google penalty.

That’s why you must take care.

How To Do A Link Exchange Safely

Follow these 4 tips to do a link exchange safely:

1. Do Three-Way Link Exchanges

Three-way link exchanges involve three separate websites linking to each other.

This is called an “ABC” link exchange:

  • Website A links to Website B
  • Website B links to Website C
  • Website C links to Webiste A

Every website gets a link, but no one links directly back to each other. This makes it much harder for Google to detect, lowering the risk significantly.

The links also appear more natural, which can boost their effectiveness.

2. Use The 10% Rule

Don’t make link exchanges your primary link building strategy.

Too many link exchanges can trigger the Penguin algorithm and land you in hot water with Google.

A general rule of thumb is limiting the number of exchanged links to 10% of your total backlink profile.

3. Only Exchange With People You Trust

Quality is everything when it comes to link building.

Only exchange links with people you know and trust. This will help you have greater quality control over each link you get.

4. Relevant Links Only

Don’t swap links with every willing website owner.

Exchange links ONLY with websites relevant to your niche.

Relevance is an important factor in link building.

This will increase the quality of each link you get and maximise the impact on your website rankings.

How To Find Link Exchange Partners

To find link exchange partners, look for websites in niches and industries similar to yours. Aim for websites that have a relevant audience and about the same domain rating.

That way, you both will get mutually beneficial results.

Here’s where to find good link exchanges:

  • Facebook Groups – Look for blogger groups or niche groups where you can propose a link exchange.
  • Slack Channels – There are tons of Slack channels where you can contact website owners for link exchanges.
  • Cold Outreach – Use tools like Ahrefs and Semrush to find niche-relevant websites and suggest a link swap.
  • Forums – Take advantage of forums like Reddit and Quora to connect with other website owners in similar niches.


The key to finding link exchange partners is building relationships. Look to establish a relationship first before asking for the link exchange.

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