Link Exchange Etiquette Rules
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Link Exchange Etiquette Rules




Ten Spider Enterprises actively pursues a policy of reciprocal link exchange through its Spider Silk Link Partners Program. Link exchange should be mutually beneficial to both parties. We have far too often encountered situations in which webmasters requesting link exchange have not followed proper link exchange etiquette rules, thereby costing us considerable wasted time and effort. Adhering to proper link exchange etiquette rules will assure you a much higher success rate when you request reciprocal links from other webmasters. In order to help you achieve this goal, we have provided a primer in link exchange etiquette below.




LINK EXCHANGE ETIQUETTE RULES


The following etiquette rules govern general link exchange. You do not have to follow these rules, but will receive much better responses from other webmasters if you do.


How to Request Link Exchange

  • Do not request link exchange with a website having content not in any way related to your own. This will more than likely be looked upon as solicitation from a link farm, and will be ignored.

  • Always post a link to a potential link exchange partner BEFORE you request link exchange. Webmasters are busy people; they will not be bothered by persons making unsolicited requests without a show of faith. If you receive no response, leave the link in place for a few months, then request again, informing the webmaster of the original date on which you posted the link. You may receive a more favorable response, especially if the webmaster has seen some traffic flowing from your site.

  • Establish an organized structure for your link exchange page(s). Do not permit your partner links to take on a hodgepodge appearance, or your website could be construed by search engines as a link farm. (See Web Directories for information on link farms.)

  • Always be courteous. If a webmaster expresses doubts about the worthiness of your website as a link exchange partner, do not reply in an aggressive or hostile manner. This is the quickest way to lose a potential link partner and gain a permanent bad reputation. Remember that you are requesting a favor; behave accordingly. Answer questions or concerns honestly and positively. If you are turned down, send a reply thanking the webmaster for their consideration. You may ask if they will reconsider at a later date or if their is anything you can do that would persuade them to change their mind.

  • Respond promptly. Once you have established dialog with a webmaster regarding link exchange, that task should remain a priority until complete. Upon completion, be sure to thank the webmaster for the link exchange.

  • If for some reason a webmaster later unexpectedly removes your link, do not respond by removing theirs. Inform the webmaster that you have been unable to locate their link to your site and inquire politely as to what has happened. We had this happen once and, upon polite inquiry, learned that the link had been removed in error. The webmaster apologized and rewarded us with a new link in a much better position on their site.

  • Always follow the rules established in the CAN-SPAM Act. This requires any unsolicited commercial email to, at a minimum, contain a valid email address, the physical address of your company, and a method by which the recipient can opt out of future mailings. Failing to do this can subject you to severe monetary penalties.


How to Maintain a Healthy Link Exchange Partnership

  • Insure that you have current contact information for all your link exchange partners. This should include webmaster email addresses and, when possible, street addresses and telephone numbers. An email address that is independent of a webmaster’s website is preferable to a site-specific address because, if you observe that a partner website is down, you may still be able to contact the webmaster by email to inform him or her of the outage. However, respect the fact that many webmasters will not desire to give out their personal email addresses.

  • Keep your links as stable as possible. Encourage your link exchange partners to link to pages that you will not relocate, such as your home page, but do not prevent them from linking to other pages if they wish to do so. Try to maintain a record of pages to which your link exchange partners are linking. If you do need to relocate a page, inform your link exchange partners prior to the move so they can update their website, thereby avoiding dead links. Provide a redirect link for at least thirty (30) days following a page move.

  • Keep in touch with your link exchange partners. Your communication should not be so frequent as to be bothersome, nor should it expound upon every little thing. Whenever something important is taking place with regard to your business, your website or your link exchange program, notify your link exchange partners; reward them with advance notice of special opportunities. This lets your link exchange partners know that you are an active webmaster and that you value their participation in your link exchange program. I consider contacting link exchange partners every few months to be optimal.

  • Routinely inspect your link exchange hyperlinks. If you discover a problem with a hyperlink at your end, correct it immediately. If you discover a problem with a link exchange partner’s website that persists for more than a reasonable period of time (a maximum of a few hours), notify them of the problem, especially if it is a problem involving their entire website.


Can I Become a Spider Silk Link Exchange Partner?

Yes, you can become a Spider Silk Link Exchange Partner if your site meets our guidelines for membership. First, check out our Spider Silk Link Exchange Partners page. If accepted into our program, one of your reciprocal links will be entered on this page or in the link exchange directory that is most pertinent. (See our Master SiteMap. As the number of links on our Spider Silk Link Exchange Partners page grows, we are distributing targeted link exchange directories beneath our ten primary Theme Pages.) In most cases, another link to your website will be added to an appropriate Topic Page on our site. If your website presently cannot be categorized on our existing pages, you will be linked through a link exchange directory and may receive a Topic Page link at a later date.

Next, read our Website Link Exchange Policy. This policy statement defines our criteria for Spider Silk Link Exchange Partners Program membership, explains the application procedure in detail, and provides HTML code snippets you can utilize on your site to quickly and easily install a partnership link to our site.

Finally, contact us to let us know you have installed a link to our site. We will verify your link and, if your site qualifies for Spider Silk Link Exchange Partnership, will post one or more links to your site — usually within 24 hours. You may also contact us prior to installing links to ask that we pre-qualify your site. This procedure is explained in our Website Link Exchange Policy.


We hope these etiquette rules for link exchange have helped you in your quest for link exchange partners and that we may soon welcome your website as a Spider Silk Link Exchange Partner site.

Sincerely,


Kenneth L. Anderson
President, Ten Spider Enterprises



Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.  Original article published 25 April 2004, updated 5 January 2006.


Follow links to the right to learn more about link exchange, link exchange etiquette rules and the advantages of link exchange. At the left margin, Related Links address topics of interest pertaining to internet business and ecommerce. View the Internet Business & eCommerce SiteMap for a complete list of internet business, web business, website promotion and ecommerce topics.


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