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Old 3rd October 2007, 02:29 PM   #1
Dale King
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Exclamation The Truth About Reciprocal Links

There was a time when a reciprocal link campaign was the #1 way most websmasters acquired links. For those of you who don't know what reciprocal linking is, it simply means that you exchange links with another website and you both benefit. At least that's the way it used to work.

However, in recent times, in terms of SEO benefits, reciprocal links have been greatly devalued by the search engines. Search engines simply don't view reciprocal linking in the same favorable light that they used to. That's not to say you absolutely shouldn't attempt to acquire reciprocal links. I mean if you can negotiate a well placed link on a relevant website with lots of traffic, then you should definitely do it. Just don't expect the search engines to reward to you for reciprocal links as they did in years past.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback on this topic.

Dale King


Last edited by Dale King; 3rd October 2007 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 3rd October 2007, 06:11 PM   #2
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I agree, true. Although ...

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I mean if you can negotiate a well placed link on a relevant website with lots of traffic, then you should definitely do it.
A very rare occurrence if ever based on my many experiences. Any tips on that

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Old 3rd October 2007, 09:27 PM   #3
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Any tips on that
That's a great question, Logan. There are four ways to achieve this:

1. Create content that other websmasters with lots of traffic will want to prominently display on their websites.

2. Pay for prominent placement.

3. Have a highly respectable website or blog that is widely referred by others, in which case webmasters will seek you out for such an arrangement.

4. Have a hugely popular website or blog in which case again, webmasters will seek you out.

Dale King


Last edited by Dale King; 3rd October 2007 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 3rd October 2007, 10:30 PM   #4
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It really depends on what "kind" of reciprocal link it is. Let me give you a couple of examples.

1. I subscribe to a reciprocal linking program where everyone links to eachother's main domain - not very beneficial.

2. I link to Search Engine Guide blog posts when I find something that is of value and they in turn link to my blog when their bloggers or authors find something of value - very beneficial.

So it really depends on the "type" of reciprocal link as to whether it can beneficial or not.

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Old 4th October 2007, 08:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wallace View Post
It really depends on what "kind" of reciprocal link it is. Let me give you a couple of examples.

1. I subscribe to a reciprocal linking program where everyone links to eachother's main domain - not very beneficial.

2. I link to Search Engine Guide blog posts when I find something that is of value and they in turn link to my blog when their bloggers or authors find something of value - very beneficial.

So it really depends on the "type" of reciprocal link as to whether it can beneficial or not.
David, you're absolutely right. It does depend on the type and quality of the reciprocal link. In this scenario, we're talking about a highly respected blog, so a reciprocal link would definitely be beneficial.

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Old 4th October 2007, 09:45 AM   #6
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The whole "reciprocal links are dead" issue is a sham. Just like any link, reciprocal or not, the quality of the link is what matters. Search engines don't care IF they are reciprocal... it's a matter of HOW, as David pointed out above. Getting a recip link on a page with 100 other recip links won't do much for you. Getting a recip link on a page with quality, related content with few other outgoing links and you've got a winner.

I've performed a test on this and my results are here.

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Old 4th October 2007, 03:02 PM   #7
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Stoney is 100% correct.

What will get you penalized for is an "unnatural" linking that Google picks up.On a BIG scale.
Like you are an SEO company with a 100 sites and all those 100 sites are linking back to each other . If there are not enough established natural backlinks on the sites- just the reciprocal links in a blatant pattern, then the were be penalties on NEWER sites.
Older sites will not be affected (enough organic links to dilute the effect).

I was link builder for 3 years and saw nothing but good things come from reciprocal/3-way links ... over and over again. The only time I saw negative effect was with situation similar to above.

However, I think you can spend you time more effectively - I have been screaming about blogs for 3 years at some clients who are finally getting it...
but reciprocal links are fine by me and I rarely turn them down.
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Old 6th October 2007, 05:08 PM   #8
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This is great info. I have been looking at link exchange, and golly it takes a lot of time. And it seems that if you use one of the automated services, once you post their link, and then go and search for yours, suddenly yours is nowhere to be found.

that's kind of irritating, for essentially they have duped you into creating a one way link for them.

I have done some in depth research on my competitors, and I see that reciprocal has definitely benefitted them. I a duplicating their efforts to some degree while also creating many of my own.

All other suggestions are definitely appreciated. thanks.

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Old 11th October 2007, 02:39 PM   #9
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Default Referring versus reciprocal links

Well, this linking stuff is all a blur to me. It's either a.) a voodoo scam b.) a "link or die" part of web marketing c.) a way for two college kids to make billions or d.) all of the above.

What I stress to my search engine consulting customers is that they find sites that not only will link to their's but actually pass traffic, which is why I call them referring sites. A referring site is better than a reciprocal link in my book.

So, am I to understand that as a web production/marketing shop every client site I link back and forth with whose content is not related to mine I will be penalized? Seems weird doesn't it? I did the site, but get slapped if we co-link.

Or how about this, speaking of linking to like content:

Two sites. One is about "pig farmers"
The other is about "all farmers are pigs"

content on A gives you info on pig farmers. Content on B tells you nasty stuff about farmers. Same keywords in titles, descriptions.

I'd love to know what Google does after the sites are parsed to put the phrases in context and know these sites are not "related" and therefore diminish or punish the value of the link.

You see, I have never seen or read an article (maybe someone can give me a link) that includes the specific mechanisms that are in place to analyze, evaluate and reward a link. I've read the Wonder Boys college paper about PageRank but I went into a self-induced coma and still couldn't figure it out.

Anyone know exactly what goes on AFTER the 'bot finds your link to another site and EXACTLY how the evaluation process takes place?

Or is it, really, just a sweet mystery of life.

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Old 11th October 2007, 08:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Getting a recip link on a page with quality, related content with few other outgoing links and you've got a winner.
Yep. Provided no one can tell it's a swapped link.

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Well, this linking stuff is all a blur to me. It's either a.) a voodoo scam b.) a "link or die" part of web marketing c.) a way for two college kids to make billions or d.) all of the above.
Casey - that made me laugh.

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