Craft Link Exchange - Free Reciprocal Link Exchange Network


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Primitive country decor - Ann1 - 9-16

Rocky Knob Woodcrafts   E-11-30-16









This page contains information explaining the importance of link exchanges, and ways to derive the maximum benefit in the least amount of time.

There are two critical issues associated with link exchanges:

  • Direct Increased Internet Visibility

  • Improved Search Engine Position

Visibility:  Obviously, the more links to you from other sites increases the probability  potential visitor will see your link and click into your website. By selecting related arts & craft websites, you are advertising your business to an ideal pre-screened qualified market. It does little good to promote your site where visitors are looking for used tires or prescription medicine.

Some webmasters are concerned that swapping links with a "competitor" will cost them sales. If your web site provides the right product at the right price, the visitor will stay. Because of the impact of "link popularity" (see below), you actually will gain significantly from exchanging links with competitors.

However, it is a good idea to code all of your links so they open a new window which a visitor clicks on a link. By simply adding the code:  target="top" to the hyperlink, your visitor remains on your website. Neat trick!

Another suggestion ... when exchanging links, check to see where your link will be placed. If it is on a page with 100 other sites, it is doubtful anyone will actually see your link. Likewise, if there are ten link pages, in no particular order and full of banners, don't bother. If the site has a well organized, categorized directory (especially with search capabilities), that may be worth considering.

Improved Search Engine Positioning - By far the biggest advantage of exchanging links is the effect on your link popularity, and it's subsequent  impact on your search engine position.

"Link popularity" refers to the total number of links or "votes" that a search engine has found for your website. The number of websites that link to your website is one of the factors that help search engines determine your relevancy for a search term. Link popularity and gaining new links from outside websites to your website have proven to be a popular concept for people seeking to improve their search engine rankings.

What is link popularity and how exactly does it work? Search engines don't just look at the content of your website to determine if you are a match for a search. They also look at the number of outside websites that can validate, by linking, that you are a good match.

What is your link popularity ... check out this free link checker  resource from SEOCentro

Google PageRank Explained (from Google website)

Search engines have also begun to rank the importance of the sites that link to you. This means if the New York Times links to your site, your credibility is higher than if Joe's Online Newspaper provides a link to your website. Search engines also consider the text contained in the link that is pointing to your website. If the text in the links contains keywords you are trying to compete for, the search engines consider your site to have even greater credibility.

Google PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.

To see your PageRank, or that of potential link partners, it is necessary to have the Google toolbar installed on your browser. Click here for details.

WARNING! Avoid link farms! - Link farms are pages of links you add verbatim to your web site which are supposed to instantly increase your link popularity. The problem is that search engines look at these at attempts to spam their indexes, and may penalize or even ban the offending site. Search engines do not mind link pages if they are unique - not the same twenty pages on 10,000 web sites.

Finding sites to link with is not hard, but often time consuming. Here are a few ideas:

  • Check the sites linking to your competitors -  many may wish to other swap with you too! The SeoCentro resource mentioned above will do this for you as will the Google toolbar (backward links).

  • You could also conduct a search on Google using criteria such as:    "+crafts reciprocal link exchange"

  • The list provided here on Craft Link Exchange is also a very valuable resource!

If you plan to greatly expand your link exchange program, you may wish to obtain  link management software. We used the program "Zeus" for several years with good success. It allows you to search for related web sites, collect email addresses, and automate your link requests. The major problem we now see is that a great number of people use the software, and everyone's email requests look very much like incoming spam, and are often ignored. For more link exchange software and resources, visit our Link Exchange Resources page.

Link popularity will continue to be an essential factor in successful search engine marketing initiatives for the foreseeable future. Links are a helpful tool for search engines trying to wade through billions of documents and find ones that are relevant to their users.


  • Always opt for text link exchanges, not banner exchanges. Banners cannot be read by search engines, and more often than not your banner will be buried on a slow-loading web page with twenty other banners that no one ever sees.

  • Link to sites related to your own, such as arts and crafts. However, you do not need to be overly specific. Even if you are a candle site, links to woodcraft or pattern sites are still relevant.

  • Search engines place a lot of importance upon the "anchor text" of a link - the part which is actually hyperlinked. 

  • Linking to sites with remote hosted link pages (such as Bravenet), or shared domains (such as Ebay, Geocities, Yahoo)  have little affect on your link popularity.

  • >>> Linking to high Google PageRank pages is MUCH more effective than low PR pages. Also, be aware that while a web site's home page may have a PR of 6, if their link page is a PR-2, you receive minimal benefit. It is the page where your link appears which is important.

  • Don't automatically "write-off" link exchanges from pages with a low PR.  What may be only a "1" today could be a "4" tomorrow!


8th & Amity Crafts and Gifts - CSM website promotion E2-11-16

Country Blessings by Design - country home decor - E-1-31-17

Kids Crafts Plus E1-01-14

Home Cabin Decor  - E-0816


Craft Link Exchange is sponsored by Craft Site Medic, the Internet's leading provider of web site advertising, marketing, and promotional services specifically designed for the online arts and crafts community. Over 1000 arts and craft webmasters enjoy greater traffic, sales, and profits having used the expert yet economical services of Craft Site Medic. Please give them a visit!