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The Ultimate Guide to Backlink Exchange

Building the domain authority of a website revolves around the number of quality backlinks you have.  Websites linking to your domain give you authority on the internet and helps you improve your search engine rankings.  Now, the ultimate challenge is to get those backlinks in every way possible.

That’s where the backlink exchange comes into play.  When two websites link to each other, it’s simply called a backlink exchange. However, there’s much more to it and you must understand it properly before doing it on your website.

Note: Read the complete article carefully and understand how backlink exchange works and what is the right way to do it. Remember that Google also has its say in the matter which we will later in the article.

Okay, so let’s begin with the most basic question you can have right now.

What is a Backlink Exchange?

Backlink exchange is a process where two or more websites links to each other to improve their domain authority. Google considers backlinks as an important factor in ranking search results.  That’s why every website is putting in some really hard effort and a lot of money to generate these backlinks for their websites.

These links can be placed anywhere on the website to give a backlink to someone.

Now, backlink exchange requires at least two parties who are ready to link to each other’s domains. However, the websites should also have a similar condition because the person with the higher domain rating would not want to receive a backlink from a website with a lower domain rating.
 Domain rating in short form DR ( Ahrefs Metrics) /Domain Authority in Short Form DA (Moz Metrics) From my experience i seen people go ahead with Ahrefs -DR often. 

Finding the right person or website for the backlink exchange, marketers come up with advanced ways to do it. We will cover them later in this article.

Are there any Risks Associated with Backlink Exchange Strategy?

Yes. Backlink exchange can be a risky affair as Google does not like the concept of exchanging links for the sole purpose of improving domain authority. That is why Google has a clear policy against excessive link exchange. Now, one way to look at is that you should ignore it altogether and make sure there is no direct exchange of backlinks between the two websites.

Another way to look at is to understand that there can be two websites that are linking to each other for genuine reasons. For example, two websites writing on the same topic may find some relevant information to mention on each other’s blog and may naturally link to it.

That is why we have the term “excessive” used in the guidelines. Here’s a screenshot of what Google has to say about it.

Now, you have the right idea of what type of backlink exchange is not permitted by search engines. 

So, this guide will use this gap between right and wrong and show you how you can do backlink exchange without doing anything wrong. 

How to Build Backlinks With Backlink Exchange

In this part, we will show you how to create backlinks with the backlink exchange strategy without going against the guidelines. These are some safe ways to build backlinks through backlink swapping. 

Quick Tip- Before focusing on the backlink exchange strategy, you must have an overall strategy for the backlinks of your website. The trick here is to generate backlinks using different methods to bring down the percentage of link swaps on your website. For this, you need to try methods like guest posts, email outreach, broken link building, and HARO.

So, let’s focus on how to create backlinks using the backlink exchange method:

Step1- Create a List of Website You want to Target for Link Exchange

This step includes a lot of research as you need to find the perfect websites to exchange links. For this, you need to consider a few factors to shortlist these websites. You can use exchange groups from Facebook, Quora, Slack Channel and forums where you can find thousands of relevant websites editors who want to exchange backlinks. 

Here are some of the things you should keep an eye out for:

Website niche: You must make sure that the website is from your niche as there are more chances of authentic link exchange between two websites that have something in common. It’s quite easy for Google to catch a backlink exchange when a completely unrelated website is giving (and receiving) a backlink for some reason.

Website Domain Rating: You need to aim for a website with a higher or similar domain rating than your website. Exchanging links with websites with low domain rating won’t do you any good. The best way to start with DR50+ sites

Website Spam Score: You should also check the website spam score to find out how much spam content is there on the website. If the score is less than 5-8%, you should avoid exchanging backlinks with that website. 

Few other things: Check the website traffic graph on Ahrefs, If its showing downgrading you need to avoid exchange, Also check the content if there any post related to adult,casino,gambling,torrents,music,movies or any other trending topics to manipulate traffic you can avoid the sites. When doing exchange make sure you getting a link from quality website not just a random site link.

Step2- Reach out to Webmaster for Backlink Exchange

Now you need to reach out to the editors of the websites you shortlisted. . However, if you are reaching out to a new website, we recommend you find their contact details in the ‘about us’ section and write a detailed mail.

Step3- Discuss the Link Placement

If they respond to your email, discuss the terms with them and decide how and where they will place your link on their website. It helps you avoid disagreements after the backlink is live. Always remember to ask for a backlink on one of the top pages as they have more value than a backlink at the sidebar or footer of the website.

Step4- Remove Unwanted Backlinks

After repeating the above three steps, you will have plenty of backlinks on your website. However, you will realize that some of them are taking your rankings down due to the low quality of backlinks. Once you have enough backlinks, start getting rid of the low-quality backlinks and start focusing on the high-value links.

That’s it. These steps will help you generate backlinks through backlink swap without facing any issues.

 Tip- Remember to keep generating backlinks from other methods to mix things up. This way, your percentage of swap links will be lower and your website will look more authentic to search engines.

Read Also Top 10 Backlink Monitoring Tools 

(Bonus Method)- 3 Way Backlink Exchange

If you are worried about getting a penalty from Google for exchanging backlinks, you can use the 3-way backlink exchange technique to avoid this issue. 3 way link exchange or ABC link exchange is a process where each website links to a different website and there is no direct exchange of backlinks between two websites. 

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say there are three friends named John, Michael, and Matthew. They each have one website and they want to exchange backlinks without swapping them directly.

So, they come up with an arrangement where John sends a backlink from his website to Michael and Michael sends a backlink to Matthew. Now, Matthew sends a backlink to John’s website and they all have one backlink without swapping it with someone else.

This method is known as the ABC link exchange method. The great thing is you can upgrade this method with 4,5,6, 10, and 20 websites and exchange backlinks safely.  There are many other ABC link exchange techniques that you can use to make the process much easier.

Are Backlinks Really Important for a Website to Rank?

The ultimate aim of Google is to show the most relevant content to the user. So, Google and other search engines will keep investing in their algorithms to make sure the best content is ranked at the top. Now you would wonder why I need a backlink if Google is already trying to rank my content.

Well, a lot of other people are also writing some amazing stuff and it is not smart for a search engine to depend on a single factor. That is the reason why they consider various factors while ranking a website in the search results. 

No matter how much marketers, SEO experts, or website owners claim that backlink is not as important as content, the truth is- IT IS IMPORTANT.

Let’s understand it with an example.

Let’s suppose Website A is a brand new website and it is writing some amazing content for its audience. But, some top websites are already covering that topic in detail. Now, the new website is doing everything to provide more and more information, using the right keywords, and following the guidelines. But, do you think it will outrank the others? I’m quite sure it won’t.

The reason is- Other websites have higher authority and Google trusts them more. Now, if the new website starts getting mentions (backlinks) from other top websites, Google will understand that the website has something that’s inspiring others to mention them. This is the one factor that will always outperform the others.


Creating backlinks is a time-consuming task and most methods do not guarantee that you will land a backlink even after putting in a lot of hard work. That is why backlink exchange is so common in the industry. However, it also requires proper research and precautions to do it safely.

With this ultimate guide on backlink exchange, you can easily create backlinks for your website without worrying about the penalties. All you need is to follow the steps we shared and your creativity to make your backlink exchange seem genuine to search engine

 Check Too How to Do Link Exchange Safely In 2023

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