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
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
- 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
- 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
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
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
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
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.
Kenneth L. Anderson
President, Ten Spider Enterprises
Authored by Kenneth L. Anderson.
Original article published 25 April 2004, updated 5 January
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