There's a stiff wind blowing in a new direction on the web. And you'd benefit from taking the time to notice the direction its headed.
Website owners are clamoring for "holy grail" hyper targeted (relevant) links from sites with a lot of traffic and high pagerank. More than ever, we are all looking for fewer links to our sites, but much more powerful links.
Another trend to watch and certainly implement on your site is getting the links out of your link directory and onto the content pages of your site.
The trick here is to go through you link directory and clear it of dead wood. Certainly all links who are not reciprocating must go. Then get rid of low-traffic sites with no or very little pagerank. They are doing you no good.
Once you have whittled your directory down to a lean, mean group of links from sites that matter, contact those partners and tell them you are moving their link to a higher traffic spot on your site.
They will of course be glad to hear this. Also look out for deals you can make with each of them to do the same for your site.
"But Jack, won't this send traffic away from my site?" With all the excitement I can muster in response to that, the #1 question I get, YES!
But it will also work for you as you seek the same kind of link from other sites. Look, you are sending people away from your site anyway. People who are just not going to take action despite your efforts at top-notch content and offers.
Why not reward your partners with traffic like that, where the person might just take action on a partner site? If you have a similar link on THEIR site, you are going to benefit from traffic in the same exact way.
It's all about how you want people to leave your site. Most are going to do it without doing much more than sign up for your list. Good. You can get them back later. But if they are closing their browser or leaving through a link that has no benefit to you, what have you got in the end? Squat.
But when you are one of your link partners big traffic producers, they are going to be willing to put you higher and higher in their site. You have a foothold because you are a great link partner!
Let loose of your old-fashioned and outdated theories on losing traffic through links on your content pages. The system of link directories hidden in deep corners of your site where no humans ever visit is dying an ugly death.
Getting hip to the changing winds on the net will reap huge rewards for the webmaster who brings their links out from the dark corners of their site and puts them where people can use them.
Seek partners who will do the same for you, and you will actually get an increase in all that's good: traffic, sales, customers, rankings, and profits.
Jack Humphrey is the author of Power Linking 2: Evolution, available at http://power-linking-profits.com. See also http://jackhumphrey.com for more information.