Review: LinksManager Reciprocal Links Service

Reciprocal linking can be a prime traffic generator. It’s also very simple – or is it?

Sounds like a great idea: You put my link on your web site, and I’ll put your link on mine. But anyone who has ever actually done it knows how time-consuming it can be to add, edit and monitor all those precious, traffic pushing links. Since people tend to be forgetful, reminding reciprocal partners of their self declared intentions by actually setting up that link to your site can turn into a real nightmare in its own right. Moreover, links may break sooner or later and it’s truly no fun having to check hundreds if not thousands of them regularly.

Ok, so there’s quite a lot of software (both free and commercial) around tackling submission, registration and administration of reciprocal links. But this, too, comes at a price: installation and configuration, test runs and updates will blithely eat away at your resources and time. And not everyone’s comfortable with implementing web server programs.

Enter LinksManager: a centralized ASP based solution with a full set of customization features leaving little to be desired. No software to download or install, no coding, no FTP, no upgrades or software patches.

The list of features is impressive: The integrated reciprocal link checker searches the net to verify that your link or banner exists on all websites listed on your links pages. The dead link checker identifies and flags dead links listed on your links pages.

Especially nifty: the ‘auto link rotator’ which rotates your links nightly to ensure equal coverage for all of the links on your site.

What’s more, you don’t have to wave goodbye to any existing links pages you may have generated already. They can easily be imported and integrated into your new LinksManager setup without any retyping or recoding. That feature in itself can save you dozens of hours.

A "Cosmetic Control" panel allows you to seamlessly blend your links pages’ design and layout with the rest of your website, even though these pages will be hosted on LinkManager’s server. As people venture from your site to your links pages, the only thing hinting at the fact that the directory isn’t on your server will be the URL in the browsers "address" bar. The "Featured Link" category allows for special visual positioning to highlight the links of your choice. You could, for instance, use this feature to send extra traffic to partners who send you alot of visitors.

Will using LinksManager boost your link popularity with the search engines? Yes. Even though your directory will be hosted remotely, reciprocal links will point to your core domain name. Of course it’s still up to you to request reciprocal links. But, assuming that your directory sends a decent amount of traffic to sites it links to, the task will be much easier than you think. Gamblinglinks.com, which uses LinksManager, has nearly 28,000 links pointing to its domain name!

Webmasters can easily add and edit their own links on your site and await your approval – no coding or FTP software required here. Newly added links are highlighted automatically with the graphic of your choice in the control panel, making approval or denial as simple as clicking your mouse.

Since LinksManager is remotely hosted, you may be wondering about the reliability issues involved. After all, if LinksManager is down, so is your links page. Well, I’m happy to report that you can except virtually no downtime with LinksManager. I used a third-party site monitoring service to check up on LinksManager every few minutes, and I found the site’s speed and reliability to be in-line with other major sites. In other words, your own site is more likely to be down than your LinksManager hosted link pages.

Basic pricing starts at $19.95 per month which gives you a maximum of 20 categories to structure your links under. Compare that to $749 for Hyperseek, a "directory management" script that you’ll spend hours setting up and customizing. You can easily see just what a great value LinksManager really is. Additionally, you can earn a free month of service for each user that you refer to the service.

Result: Highly recommended.

Check it out here: www.LinksManager.com

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