Reciprocal linking… how and when does it have value?
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A while back I made a post on reciprocal linking and whether it was dead or not. I believe it is still alive just dis-valued in certain ways. But in this article I want to show you that there are ways of reciprocating that still pass great value. I believe that there are different methods of reciprocating. All roads don’t lead to rome and neither do all methods lead to the same valuing. You must learn what works, what doesn’t and what is likely to be spammed so you stay clear of it because one day it will lose its value considerably. So on to the article.
What comes to mind when you think of 'reciprocal linking' or 'link exchanging'? You probably think of two sites who link to each other for mutual benefit. A great percentage of these sites put your link on a 'links' age which you probably do as well. Is this hard to do? Is it hard to gain reciprocal links? Not really. Even if you stick strictly to relevant sites it is very easy to create a massive list of sites to reciprocate with(in most niches). My question is if it is so easy should it be valued very high? The answer is no and Google has already figured this out. Traditional reciprocal linking is greatly dis valued by Google and in fact can get you banned if you link to a bad neighborhood, now this is highly unlikely to happen with most sites unless you get into link farms and the like. At best it can ruin your authority because your linking out to all this trash. I say trash because most sites will link to anything for a link back.
But I have a theory about another kind of reciprocal linking which is not so dis valued and may actually pass a considerable amount of value assuming other factors such as relevancy also play a part on the site. Here is my theory. Content link reciprocation is the highest valued reciprocal linking. No I didn't just say to exchange articles. What I mean is place your reciprocal links on content pages or in other words pages worth something. Links pages are near worthless.
Sites like seochat.com, devshed and other sites link their sites together but it is all open. They don't try to hide it on a links page or hide it from Google. I have a theory that reciprocal links directly on your pages pass more value especially if surrounded by content so exchanging articles can be a good idea but keep in mind that both sites should be related. Think about it, who is going to link to your links page or the links page YOUR link is on? If backlinks are what ranks pages isn't it logical to assume that a page with tons of reciprocal links but no inbound links to that page will be considered useless by Google and the value of the links on those pages will plummet? This is very logical thinking and is exactly what Google ha done.
I think if you exchange links and even give one-way links in this manner and only accept this kind of reciprocation in return your value will be much higher and you won't have to worry as much about Google dis valuing your links. But the biggest reason I am bringing this up is because of posts I find in seo forums. Webmasters are worried about linking their sites together for fear Google will penalize them for it. The short answer is they don't. I link my sites together and have no problems. The secret is in how you link and who you link to. Linking your flowers site with a gambling site is not a good idea and will be useless to you. Use your brain and try and keep things as relevant as possible. If you accomplish that you will not have to worry about Google penalizing you for trickery.
Lastly I want to warn you against using automated linking tools. They don't work. You may gain rankings but they won't last. Why not spend your time gaining natural links to your site which will last and may grow in value over time. This kind of linkbuilding will put you in a position which you are more likely to be able to hold. I am not saying you will never lose a ranking but I am saying that your rankings will be much stronger. I have never done any linkbuilding for this blog. So any links it gets are generally pretty valuable. And so my rankings rise slowly but I have not so far lost one ranking on this site. Not one. The value of linking is in where the link is placed, the relevance of the site and of course its backlinks. So next time when your reciprocating take these facts into consideration and move wisely. You'll be glad later that you didn't clutter your site with a bunch of worthless reciprocal links.
I hope you enjoyed the article. Let me know what you thought.
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