What is the Best Reciprocal Link Exchange Software Program?

SEO Question: I was thinking about buying a link exchange software product. I was looking at ___________ and ___________ and wanted to know what one is the best?

SEO Answer: I think Arelis can be decent for harvesting email information, but many sloppy webmasters screw that up by using too much automation. You really need to try to connect to a webmaster, and since each site and each person has different motives anything that is automated or generated is crap.

For example, I recently got this gem of an email:

I'm an editor of a website ______ about watches. I looked through your site http://www.threadwatch.org and I think that it is very interesting. I have an offer for you. I'd like to send you a few of interesting, cognitive articles with unique content about structures and machinery of watches, which will be written by a group of authors. If interested, feel free to contact me. I appreciate your opinion.
Thank you in advance.

Sincerely yours, Anastasia

Notice that they didn't specifically mention link exchange, but they wanted to put link laden content on my site that was unrelated to my site.

Most of the software designed for automation leaves footprints if it generates pages, and / or is crap for other reasons.

And while it may seem like the watch example above is a rare one many authoritative sites tend to rank for terms that are a bit random in nature. For example, Matt Cutts ranks at #173 for Bacon in Google right now. If you fired off emails to the top 200 bacon resources sure enough one of those spam emails would hit Google's search quality / web spam evaluation leader, and obviously that is not a good thing.

The links that you really want do not exist on generic will-exchange-with-anyone link pages. Most of those pages are not designed for humans and are likely rather easy for most sophisticated search engines to detect.

I think pretty lowly of most link exchange networks as well.

Automation works well for some people, but if you are new to the market you probably are not going to figure out how and what to automate until you have a bit of experience. As a general rule of thumb I never automate any human interaction and avoid using software that leaves footprints, especially if that software is typically primarily used by people who aim to game search relevancy.

If you are in a competitive marketplace with a new site and the only links you can get are ones that you have to request then you eventually are going to need to mix up your methods, especially as your market becomes more hyper saturated.

Published: February 8, 2006 by Aaron Wall in Q & A


November 27, 2006 - 10:12pm

If something is a sign of low quality and it is easy to detect most engines will probably want to detect and penalize it.

Some reciprocal links are not bad, but having mostly or only reciprocal links is likely to get you in trouble...especially if they are generally off topic or of low quality.

January 31, 2007 - 4:14am

I went nuts with Arelis when I got it several years ago before Googbot was more discerning and I was less SEO savvy.

I'm looking for a new robot, it will probably be Arelis -- not sure -- but my use of the functions will be completely different because I content is king rather than smoke and mirrors and useless meta tags.

If we all don't do our part to move forward with that kind of vision, then the internet will go the way of the 8-Track. You saw it here first my friends.

April 24, 2006 - 1:04pm

I've used Arelis before, and it's quite good, but I'd much prefer to use something on the server.

What would you recommend server side? I haven't been able to find anything good enough. (or cheap enough)


April 24, 2006 - 6:09pm

Most votes worth having don't come from automated email responses.

If you want cheap and useful use your own time to go after some of the best links and/or try to create something that is easy to link at.

August 13, 2006 - 6:25pm

I like and use Arelis. However, after a long time being out, it is still missing priorization by page rank (wonder why?). That way, I could focus on the highest PR sites for link exchange.

I have been eyeing seoelite, but Arelis can look thru webpages to find 'real' emails, vs. whois emails which are sometimes problematic.


November 12, 2006 - 2:30pm

Dear Friends,

I think Linkmarket.net worked for me. Within 3 months I got page rank 3 with google. now It ranks 4 with google( I stopped exchanging link with link markte as I was too lazy to visit them every day).
But I have started it again as it workied for me



February 13, 2006 - 2:10am

I joined 5 different link exchange networks and found that I've had to reject 99% of the link requests because they were totally unrelated to my website.

It's actually more work to weed out the junk than it is to just use Arelis and email individual webmasters.

I have hundreds of sites now linking to my website from the link exchange partners, but none of these backlinks show up in google.

Needless to say my website doesn't rank well at all. I think I'll just remove all their links and begin a more direct approach using Arelis.

February 14, 2006 - 8:54am

Good post, Aaron. We use Arelis but for harvesting purposes only. Each site downloaded is then researched and reviewed by a real person who looks for relevance along with several other quality factors. The emails we send out are templated, but we have to fill in some blanks with some real information we gathered from the website. Like any tool, it needs to be used properly to be effective.

February 18, 2006 - 11:59am

Hey Rob
keep in mind Arelis is just one way to search for backlinks, and even if you use software like that if you are serious about getting quality links you have to look at their site outside of a software program to find their true motives and try to appeal to their sense of empathy or site purpose when requesting a link.

March 31, 2007 - 4:52pm

For your further information, LinkMetro which started out as shaky (I was using it on a client's site who had a new site and didn't want to pay for SEO just to salt the domain for future proper SEO which is happening now) is now just atrocious. Out of 50 recent link requests I had to chuck 47 of them. When I went hunting for fun before cancelling the subscription I checked only the top rated partners with at least some PR and screenshots which looked like websites and not splogs - in an hour and a half of looking I was only able to send 3 link requests.

The biggest problem is people create LinkMetro partners and then remove the link to the LinkMetro directory from their site leaving you with a one-way link to a very marginal site from your own.

Most participants don't even format the directory with the header and footer of the site. Blech.

Not even worth putting a junior assistant on the task.

February 21, 2006 - 1:01am

I'm actually having a hard time with link exchange on some of my sites. Though I've been on the market for some time I still can't get how some sites do their link exchange without having any contact information available.

February 21, 2006 - 1:07am

Most sites do not actively exchange links...at least not in a traditional sense.

Sure there are some tit for tat exchanges, but if you are basing your SEO on automation a bit of time catching up with the current algorithms would go a long way.

Think of getting links that drive traffic. Garbage link exchanges don't drive traffic.

August 4, 2006 - 2:00pm

Thanks for the post!

I have found that Arelis was helpful as well to do certain things but chose to do most of it manually with the help of its functions!

Thanks for the great post.

June 16, 2006 - 6:22am

Aaron, how do you feel about using software, or at least a script to maintain your link dirfectory? On my non blog sites it takes a lot of time to constantly add and remove links by hand.



August 8, 2006 - 12:05pm

Hi Aaron,

What is your view on programs like www.linkmarket.net and www.linkmetro.com.

Link exchanging using these services seem to have some effect in Yahoo and MSN but I'm not sure how they work with Google.

Your wisdom on this will be appreciated.

February 4, 2007 - 4:28pm

What do you think of these link systems:

1) www.link-vault.com

2) www.receivelinks.com


August 8, 2006 - 4:41pm

Look at the featured sites on the homepage of Link Metro. What percent of those sites would you actually find useful?

Daniel Heddelin
November 27, 2006 - 11:01am


We've recently had an SEO company come here and discuss SEO for a new site we're building.

He underlined how reciprocal linking WILL get you blacklisted.

What are your thoughts on this? Have Google, MSN and other engines started really frowning on this behavious?


June 20, 2006 - 12:50am

Hi Ryan
I think whatever you use you want to fit the following conditions
- is future friendly / flexible
- is not software commonly used by spammy or low quality sites
- is hosted on your own domain

December 1, 2008 - 7:34pm

As my previous Posting indicated at first the ranking has been improved for 365greetings.com considerably. On MSN It has reached in first page for lot of premium keywords like free greetings. Then suddenly it has started going back. In MSN it has been disappeared and Google it has gone back to 100s of results back (More logical instead of blocking).
I could not understand what happened. I contacted MSN and they were also as crappy as their search engine logarithm.
Finally I figured out problem.As most of the site which I have got through link market.net for link exchanging has got died or taken over by cool Viagra people, domain parking people. Finally I have ended up with lot of outgoing links to these site. Finally I have removed my directory and I have started getting back My ranking.

Today when I was posting this post I just checked linkmarket to confirm their address and I found out that they them self is having only PR3. How can a site whom could not get a higher PR after all these years can help you to increase your ranking


May 8, 2009 - 8:21pm

Just wondering if Google penalizes you for having link software like "JV-Linkexchanger" for Joomla!??


May 9, 2009 - 1:58am

One can help or harm themselves when using automated tools to get around the algorithms. When search engineers evaluate something, perceived intent is more important than the tool used.

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