Google SEO & Search Engine Marketing Services

Link Exchanges and PageRank are the Currency of the Web? What!

OK today I am going to have a little bit of a rant, so if your not the type of person that likes reading passionate ramblings it may be best to click away now.

I read a lot of blogs and forum’s around the subject of SEO/Marketing and come across a lot of rubbish, especially in the SEO arena. Most of the time you simply let it fly but when it has been published by a reputable source you tend to sit up and listen.

False information bothers me in 2 different ways;

1) People believe it
and…
2) Innocent readers who trust the source rely on it

There are so many people searching online for SEO/Marketing advice in attempt to get targeted traffic to their website and end up failing every time because of bad advice.

OK OK what does this all relate to? Well…

I picked up on this story whilst reading search engine journal today which stated;

Last week CNN published an interesting article (also shared at WebmasterWorld) discussing link building in general and link exchange as one of its (effective) tactics.

Now you can read the article here as this is where my main ‘beef’ lies. Just to make it clear and you will find out if you read the article, CNN don’t mention link building being an effective tactic they use, it is simply a discussion on the topic of link exchanges and building PageRank.

PageRank Is Everthing

The first statement I found issue with was;

To start a new business you need PageRank, but to get PageRank you need links to your service. You have to get the ball rolling.

PageRank is the currency of the Web

What an absolute load of rubbish, starting a new online business requires PageRank? No it requires links which might give you some PageRank, but the PageRank is not the main deciding factor as to where you rank.

Take a look at this quick graph, it shows the average PageRank of the top 8 positions on Google for the keywords;

google seo, make money online, work from home, internet marketing, seo company, seo, adwords management, how to blog, seo consultant, used cars. (Google this is not keyword stuffing, please don’t penalise me :) )

I chose these keywords as the sites on the first page will be heavily optimised.

PageRank

As you can see position 2 has an average PageRank of 3.5 yet still manages to out rank sites with a PageRank of 4 and up. How if PageRank is the currency of the web? Surely the page with the higher PageRank dominates??

Analyse Competition Using PageRank

The next statement is golden;

“When I figure out a query I want from Google, I can see the top three positions have this much page rank and this many positions, and try to beat that out.”

If you judge your competition simply by PageRank you are not going to beat them 9 times out of 10, especially amongst sites who are actively optimising.

This is strictly by opinion but here is what I think should be the main ‘broad’ focuses of an SEO campaign;

seo

My opinion is;

1st:Get links from relevant sources.
2nd:Get the right anchor text

If you’ve done this and have optimised your page you are well on your way to higher rankings. If you seem to lack domain trust or PageRank after your efforts then maybe look at some high profile sites to receive links from.

Link Exchanges

OK apart from the fact Google clearly states excessive exchanged links could result in a penalty, the fact remains they are not productive, especially with a new site, why?? Who wants to exchange links with a PR0 site? For every 100 emails you send requesting a link you will be lucky to actually get 1.

If your looking to exchange links simply to boost PageRank your wasting your time, you will have far better results creating unique quality content and using social media to drive attention to it.

Do link exchanges work? A small amount may if the two sites are relevant but they will only give you any benefit if thier coming from a site with some authority.

My advice is this……

- Forget about PageRank
- Build relevant links using ethical methods
- Attempt to get the right anchor text
- Establish an area to publish good content
- Submit your site to trusted directories

Seriously PageRank should be the last thing on your mind and if you go trying to exchange links all over the place your going to find yourself very disappointed.

Please help me spread this valuable message around :)

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Author: Tim (296 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shinkara July 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Link exchange is still good. The new sites should exchange links with older sites.

Page rank is relevant if you can get PR 7 links and above, which it is not that possible for most people.

I don’t know how PR is calculated. I have seen a site with zero backlinks and it was a PR 2. Google does some wierd things at times.

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Tim July 23, 2009 at 4:55 am

@Shinkara,

The problem with link exchanges is the fact you need a high PR site that is relevant to your content and how many webmasters want to give a link to a brand new PR0 domain that has zero trust? It just doesn’t make sense.

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