Link campaigns are a form of online marketing and is also a method for search engine optimization. A business seeking to increase the number of visitors to its web site can ask its strategic partners, professional organizations, chambers of commerce, suppliers, and customers to add links from their web sites. Typically a link campaign involves mutual links back and forth between related sites.
Increasing the number of links to a site has two beneficial effects:
- Search engines such as Google judge the importance of a site by the number of other sites that link to it.
- The additional links result in visitors moving from the linking site to the target site.
When conducting a link campaign, the essentials steps are to identify potential link partners, request the links, and specify the link text. The value of a link depends on the traffic and reputation of the linking site, and the relevancy of its content to the target site’s content. Off topic links are generally not useful because they tend to upset visitors, and search engines may view them as link spam.
Link farms are web sites set up solely for the purpose of exchanging links. These sites are viewed dimly by search engines, and Google specifically advises webmasters not to participate in link farms:
- “Linking schemes will often do a site more harm than good.”