Link exchanges can be quite a time consuming task when it comes to search engine optimization. After spending time researching potential link partners you must add their link to your site and then send out an email asking for a reciprocal link sometimes to never hear back. Although key link exchanges are still important in search engine optimization there are ways to increase your incoming links that prove to be more rewarding.

There are great ways to get people to link to you and the overall idea you should remember is "Give and you shall receive". Well what is it that I can give you may ask? Give away free content! Offering free content does three important things. First it says that you are a generous and knowledgeable individual which everyone appreciates. Second, it allows people to freely publish your content which spreads your name and site link. The third important thing is that the longer your content is circulating the more people will use it which means it keeps on generating incoming links.

Articles are sometimes one of the easiest methods to get your link out there. Write articles that are related to your web site so that other webmasters with related sites can freely republish them. Be sure to include a byline with your name, URL and email address. Depending on where you distribute your articles you may have to include the usage guidelines in which you should state that the byline shouldn't be removed. A good length for articles on the web is around four to eight hundred words so keep it focused.

If writing isn't your strong point then offer something else site owners can use. This includes free web templates, graphics, photos, scripts etc. Whatever you decide to give away make sure you make it clear that publishers of your work must give credit to you by linking back to your site. And of course make sure you own all rights to what you are distributing. Also, the higher the quality of what you are giving away, the more likely people will use it.

Another way to get incoming links is to contribute to online forums. Simply put your URL in your signature which most forums allow. Your URL will now show up every time you post. Don't abuse this though because many forum moderators ban users who frivolously post just to get their links up. Also, it is important to note that most forums are dynamic which means that the pages your posts are on aren't seen by search engines. Some forum owners however are implementing methods to make their forums more search engine friendly such as using mod_rewrite or archiving old posts to static html pages in which case your links will be credited to you.

You will find the time you spend on creating freely publishable content will pay for itself ten fold and will be self rewarding as well. Just remember, "Give and you shall receive". Publishers and search engines will thank you for it.

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