The link exchange problem and what you can learn from it.

Photo Courtesy: Leo Reynolds on Flickr

A typical link exchange request looks something like this ( if you have already seen a lot of link exchange requests, you don’t need to read the email below.

Dear Target-Website-Owner,

My name is Link Hunter and I manage and operate the recently re-launched website Our site caters to the luxury real estate community in the United States and Canada.  Our site contains luxury home listings in every Canadian Province and US state as well as several other countries.  As one of the premier destinations online for luxury real estate we would like to exchange links with websites such as yours.

If you are interested in having your website listed in our partners directory please link back to our site using one of the following text links:

1) Luxury Homes  – Visit the internets destination for luxury homes and real estate.

2) Luxury Home Listings – Visit the internets #1 destination for luxury real estate. Find info on luxury homes in your area.

3) Luxury Real Estate – Looking for your dream home. Visit Luxury Home Web to find luxury homes for sale or rent in your area.

To select from a larger variety of text links and banners please visit our partners exchange page at:

We are limiting our site to a maximum of 100 partners so you can be sure you will have good visibility.

Once you have provided a link to our site simply fill in our automated web form on the page above and we will add your site to our directory.

Link Hunter

Now, let us look at this from a Link Hunter’s perspective. The deal is simple – they will send you a link and they are asking you to send a link back. So it must be a fair transaction.

So, why do so many people get annoyed when they get a link exchange request?

The answer is simply that the faulty assumption:

Similar actions will create a similar impact

This is an example of a seemingly win-win relationship which is mostly one-sided.

Depending on what their website is, the value of the link from them won’t be equal to the value of the link they are getting back although the actions are same – LINKING.

While the actions make it look like an equal transactions, the varying impact of these actions show that it is a totally unfair transaction.

Hence the problem.

Now, that was a link exchange scenario. So we can talk about it without any emotional attachment. But, unfortunately this happens all the time in real life too. IN the name of creating win-win relationships, people propose business arrangements that are equal in “action” but totally lopsided in “impact.” Then they wonder why people are not able to “get” it.

So, here is the final comment:

Even if you are not engaging in such practices, you should be alert to notice others who (knowingly or urn-knowingly) proposes lopsided “win-win” relationships.