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Order of Links on Reciprocal Links Pages

By Harold Stone
Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Whether you are using a link management program to administer your reciprocal links, or manually add links to your link directory pages, there are some guidelines you should consider.

When adding links to your pages there are three choices for the order: alphabetical, newest links first or oldest links first. Listing links by order of "Oldest Links First" is the most appropriate and fairest to your link partners and will make them more willing to exchange links with you for other sites they have. Here's why:

By listing in Alphabetical order your links pages will not be static and will constantly change. Using one of my own sites as an example, since it starts with a "U", whenever you reach your determined maximum number of links per page my site will most likely move to page 2. When page 2 fills my site will move to page 3, then page 4 and so on. When my link management script checks for all my reciprocal links, it won't see yours since it has moved to a different page and then it will send an email to you that my link can't be found at your site. Then we will both have to exchange emails and I will have to make a correction to my links directory as to where my link is at on your site. This is wasted time for both of us.

The same thing happens with ordering by Newest Links First. Your links pages will not be static and will constantly change as new links are added. Your oldest links move farther down the page, then to page 2, then page 3, etc. Here again, we will have to exchange email to correct the problem when my reciprocal link can't be found at your site.

By listing in order of Oldest Links First new links get added to the end of the list. When page 1 is full your new links start on page 2, then page 3, etc. The links on page 1 will never change their position, the links on page 2 never change their position, etc. so your pages become static and remain the same, with the exception of whatever the last page is since it is a work in progress. My link checking script will be able to find my reciprocal link easily since it's url location at your site never changes. Of course, there are the infrequent times that a link could actually move up in position to a lower page number. For example, if a link on page 1 is deleted then the top position link on page 2 moves to be the last position link on page 1, the top position link on page 3 moves to the last position on page 2, etc. The same will occur for all subsequent pages. This does not happen very often, and if you are trading honest links with each other, may never happen unless a site closes down.

Listing your reciprocal links in order of "Oldest Links First" is a much fairer and honorable way to treat your link partners since your oldest, and most loyal partners, will always be nearer the top of the list in the order they exchanged links with you. Your linking partnership with other webmasters should always be honest.... and fair.

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