If you own a website, I am pretty sure you would have received the link exchange email at some stage. If not, they might sound like:
My name is BLAH BLAH. I’ve just visited your website and I was wondering if you be interested in exchanging links with my website?
I will give you a link from website 1 if you link to website 2 using the link text BLAH BLAH BLAH
The first thing that puts me off is they cannot address me by name, it is no secret who I am, you can read all good things about me here – Bradley Davis. If you have visited my website you would jump at the chance at addressing the business owner by name, so now I know you didn’t visit this website.
The Second thing that puts me off is they are not selling it in their email. How about presenting a compelling reason why I need to exchange links with you or I will die! Ok so maybe not die, but you get the idea.
Now, down to the real reasons why saying no is a good idea.
Yes, inbound links will help your search ranking, but you need to pay attention to where those links come from.
For example, let’s say you have a website about mountain biking and you exchange links with a website about online gaming. This will look very suspicious in the eyes of Google because it is in no way related. The link will have very little weight in altering your website ranking and in the long run you may not benefit from it at all.
Remember Google use an algorithm to decide where you should rank, it is not a guess, that algorithm is programmed by humans, very smart humans and they know people will naturally link to a related web page. If you can make link building look natural, you will be one step closer to winning the SEO game!
Lastly, think what website link to their website? If they are emailing anyone and everyone to link to their website, chances are they are going to get some links from websites that Google does not like or have penalised. This puts their website in the bad corner with Google and could possibly put you in the same corner if they are linking to you!
The simple solution, say NO to random link exchange requests and keep your search engine optimisation future under your control.