A link exchange (also known as a banner exchange) is a group of websites that operates similarly to a web ring. Webmaster's register their web sites with a central organization, that runs the exchange, and in turn receive from the exchange HTML code which they insert into their web pages. This benefits both web master's sites by increasing the number of inbound links to their sites. The more inbound links, the better their sites rank in organic search.
In contrast to a web ring, where the HTML code comprises circular ring navigation hyperlinks , a link exchange can code the HTML to display reference a banner advertisement. This is when a link exchange becomes a banner exchange. But they are essentially one and the same.