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We all know that content is good and that “Content is King, but Links are Gold, and without lots of Gold the King can not stand Strong”. It is quite common that new webmasters are not good at making a good balance between number of quality content pages and number of links needed to power those pages to the top of the SERPs. This issue brings the question on how one webmaster should organize his website architecture in order to gain maximum effect for small time investment.

While scratching my mouse, I’ve accidentally found a webmasterworld forum post with the SEO experiment results of one British webmaster where he shows that between a content rich website with only “natural links”, and artificially stimulated link exchange website with few but high quality pages, the reciprocal links hove more value and returned strong top 3 Google SERP. Well, that’s not news, but surely reminds us that links are the most important thing one needs in order to outrank the competition.

It is interesting that google still passes a good amount of link juice to reciprocal links. I’m saying this mostly due to some past google media stunts claiming that “reciprocal link exchange is easily detectable and it is assumed to be bad webmaster made up approach to increase search engine rankings. Google does not tolerate such exchanges!”. Some of this is quite true, but it questions how much Google does value such links. I was currently under the impression that Google discounts them towards your ranking benefits, but this reciprocal link exchange experiment shows otherwise.

The smart thing he did is that he targeted few highly searched keywords and started building links on them, thereby boosting their rankings to reach the top of the search wave. This strategy is considered to be primary in the SEO world as it provides you high number of general visitors which you can redirect to anything. The problem is that it requires a huge amount of backlinks in order to bring any traffic at all while the high end longtail keywords are easier to get and require far less linkbuilding work.

I’m currently reconsidering the value of reciprocal link exchanges and feel ready to start my own link exchange experiments, but in order to do so I will need some good software to be able to track all the pages and link partners. We all know that there are plenty of free link exchange systems on the internet, but unfortunately most of them are worthless. Most of them are too commercialized, and almost none of them offers good Link Analytics options. We all know that Google Analytics is one of the most complicated and best in the field of Marketing Analytics, but it does not include any link building options. Google Sitemaps nowadays shows some backlink stats but nothing really interesting. They intentionally (possibly) skip this so needed part of high quality website marketing.

As you can see what I’m trying to show you here, we are in a great need of good SEO software. A software able to collect search engine stats (from the server side) and extract backlink, pr and other data for SEO campaign needs. It can even be combined with some marketing and advertising stuff as well, but depends on the utilization. Unfortunately this is quite complicated project and might take quite a while to complete, and I’ll have to conduct my other business projects in the meantime. Hopefully I’ll be able to complete it within few weeks, so stay tuned to further news about it.