Traffic. Let’s be honest about it ? the whole point of trading links is to get more traffic to your site. The higher the other traffic’s site is, the more attractive they should be as a partner. It may be difficult to determine what their traffic is, but you can sometimes get lucky and find a hit counter or other info (like a media kit) that will tell you more. Obviously, a site getting thousands (or millions) more visitors a month than yours is less likely to be interested, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
Visibility. Try searching the major search engines for the keyword or phrase that best describes your site. You know, the keywords that you wish your site ranked higher on. Whatever sites actually do pop up on the top of that list should be prime targets for reciprocal links, if they meet the other criteria. Don’t forget to check Yahoo! and Open Directory ? in fact, check them first.
Compatibility. Sites that don’t have any off-site links are less likely to be interested. Those whose site is in direct competition with yours, of course, aren’t likely to be compatible. A good example of compatibility is between a site that sells doggie doors and a site with advice for dog owners.