A while back many members were incredulous and outright insulted that I referred to reciprocal link exchanges as a form of search engine spam. Someone even called me cynical for contending that reciprocal link exchanges are not white hat.
I then took pains to demonstrate that Google's own website never condones reciprocal link exchanges as an acceptable activity, and that in *fact* Google never mentions reciprocal links at all. Although Google's website says it's good to gain links, Google never specifies to do it through reciprocal link exchanges. The only time Google mentions link exchanges is in the context of things a webmaster should not do.
Google's website does not state that reciprocal link exchanges are a legitimate webmaster activity. I'm addressing strictly what Google may or may not condone, I'm discussing Google's policy regarding Link Exchanges.
Now here is a quote from the recent Google Patent Filing:
A large spike in the quantity of back links may signal... attempts to spam a search engine (to obtain a higher ranking and, thus, better placement in search results) by exchanging links, purchasing links, or gaining links from documents without editorial discretion on making links...
So there you have it. Is exchanging links something Google frowns on?
Exchanging links is as old as the internet (as we know it). It's nothing new and it's not all about "gaming" the SE. If I have a site about hand painted prayer shawls, it's perefectly natural that I may link to my synagogue and they might choose to link to me. Isn't the Inter-nut supposed to be about linking?
Webmasters should be able to get traffic from somwhere besides unreliable/turbulant SERPs and Google Ads. Or is that the real issue? hmmmmm
I like the point about a new ad campaign. If someone decides to expand their web business and takes out a bunch of ads (text, banner, whatever) - then they are a spammer? puh-lease