Am I the only one that gets a link exchange request and just cringes? Seriously, I hate link exchanges. The only exception is when I get a link exchange request from TV Guide, Buddy TV or some other major TV website that wants to exchange with my TV Blog network. That link exchange is worthwhile, because those websites are the websites when it comes to TV and I’ll be happy to share the love with them since they can offer some major love in return. Otherwise, I don’t want to exchange links with some spam site.
So, if you want to exchange links with me, then don’t bother me unless you’re internet royalty in your space. However, I do accept money for those really interested in having their link on my site. It’s amazing how loud cash speaks. I love to hear it talk and the larger it is the more profound an impact it has.
Honestly, I wonder how much value a link exchange has in search engines. My guess is that Google takes a link exchange (ie. both sites link to each other on some spammy looking webpage full of links) and discounts the value of those links to basically nothing. Compare that to a link that someone puts on a page because they think something you created is valuable, interesting or a good resource for that topic. Now that’s a link that has probably 100 times more value in the site of Google than some link exchange.
One other thought is maybe I’ll just reply to each of the people requesting a link exchange and ask them to link to my site before I link to there site. Then, I’ll never actually add their link. I wonder how many of these people asking for a link exchange really come back to see if the links there. My guess is that a ton of them don’t. I’ll just call their link the cost of me having to read their link exchange email spam (which most of them are).
I wonder if Matt Cutts would be willing to comment on the value or lack thereof of link exchanges. My money’s on a graph showing the value of link exchanges approaching zero.