Link exchanges like Scribol, Wahoha, Crowd Ignite, and 2Leep, amongst others, are services a webmaster will come across who is looking for ways to augment and diversify their website traffic. Increasing page views is something every webmaster is interested in. With search engine optimization (SEO) for site and posts taken care off, spidering, and other traffic sources sewn up, where else can a webmaster thirsty for more website traffic turn? A link exchange (like Scribol, Wahoha, Crowd Ignite, and 2Leep) is one of those places.
Over the past three or four months, I have seen their presence popping up more and more on websites, big and small. Even if a site gets a humungous amount of traffic, they still want more. More traffic equals more ad clicks, possibly more ad sales, and more revenue.
I never gave much thought to them until I was contacted about one of them, Scribol, and asked to try it out.
I did so by adding one of their widgets to one of my sidebars. From the traffic received, I decided to try out a few other, and detail my experiences while offering some advice.
What is a Link Exchange?
Before you consider using a link exchange, you need to know what a link exchange is.
A link exchange is a confederation of websites that operates similarly to a web ring. Webmasters register their web sites with a central organization, that runs the exchange, and in turn receive from the exchange HTML code which they insert into their web pages. In contrast to a web ring, where the HTML code simply comprises simple circular ring navigation hyperlinks, in a link exchange the HTML code causes the display of banner advertisements, for the sites of other members of the exchange, on the member web sites, and webmasters have to create such banner advertisements for their own web sites.
The banners are downloaded from the exchange. A monitor on the exchange determines, from referral information supplied by web browsers, how many times a member web site has displayed the banner advertisements of other members, and credits that member with a number of displays of its banner on some other member’s web site. Link exchanges usually operate on a 2:1 ratio, such that for every two times a member shows a second member’s banner advertisement, that second member displays the first member’s banner advertisement. This page impressions:credits ratio is the exchange rate.
Link exchanges have advantages and disadvantages from the point of view of those using the World Wide Web for marketing. On the one hand, they have the advantages of bringing in a highly targeted readership (for link exchanges where all members of the exchange have similar web sites), of increasing the “link popularity” of a site with Web search engines, and of being relatively stable methods of hyperlinking. On the other hand, they have the disadvantages of potentially distracting visitors away to other sites before they have fully explored the site that the original link was on.
My Initial Experiences
Here is what I found out about Scribol and a few of the other Link Exchanges that I have tried out and evaluated.
If you send a link exchange a little traffic (clicks on their widget), they send you back 3-5 times back the traffic. They send you back traffic from published posts you upload into their system or posts their team uploads from your site into their system.
It sounds too good to be true (doesn’t it?) but there is a catch: the link exchange’s widget. You have to place it in the right place to maximize your ROR (rate of return) on your link exchange investment. As I have said before e.g. How to Set Up a Movie Website Sidebar: Introduction, ad space (space in general) is valuable on a website. You have to decide if the space allocated to a link exchange widget (s) is worth not having that space for other things like ads or other widgets that might be in their place.
The link exchanges advocate placing their widget at the bottom of your post content, where many webmasters have their related posts section. Its placement is up to you but here is what I have found:
I have seen many movie websites with the widget underneath their related posts widget with a label “Around the Web”.
Link Exchange Widget
I use five boxes for related posts and personally do not want ten boxes at the bottom of my posts. That is information overload in my opinion plus I want to send people into my other posts when they get to the bottom of my posts not off site. Some movie webmasters see the situation differently.
The sidebar approach is the one I choose but I also integrated one widget into the bottom of my posts next to the ad section to make the widget look like an ad and draw attention to the actual ad beside it.
Link Exchange Widget
Some of the material on certain link exchanges is salacious to say the least, depending upon the link exchange you are using and the categories you have selected. These types of link exchange widget posts are good for drawing attention and garnering clicks but they might also serve to denigrate your site and offend part of your audience.
I am currently using and testing four link exchanges: Scribol, Wahoha, Crowd Ignite, and 2Leep.
Getting Personal with Link Exchanges
I will share my personal observations about Scribol, Wahoha, Crowd Ignite, and 2Leep in Link Exchange Review: Scribol, Wahoha, Crowd Ignite, 2Leep: Part 2.
Until then, a question for discussion:
- Have you tried a link exchange yet and if you have, which one have you tried?
Please feel free to share this information below.