Someone here suggested linking back to the page where his/her link can be found on a link partner's reciprocal links page. My question is where on my site should I place this link back? My home page or my reciprocal links page or else where for optimum results or least potential for a penalty from the search engine? Will the search engine see this as spamming?
IMO the best way is to link to their home page. the point of having links on your site is surely to benifit YOUR visitors! if a visitor to your site looks at your link to 'pink widgets' and clicks and gets taken to 'pink widgets' link page, how does that benifit them?
Most link agreements specify what url is going to be on your links page. At least, that's what I do. Some links go straight into my inner pages. I wouldn't exchange links with someone who arbitrarily modifies my requested link.
Now, if you're talking about adding TWO outbound links... One to my specified directory and the other to my links page, that's a different story.
In that case, as a webmaster, I would say go ahead and do it.
TWO outbound links... One to my specified directory and the other to my links page
martinibuster you got it right, that's what I mean. So, from the home page or another page and is it considered spam to the SE? The anchor text to the other links page would be a "." (period) buried somewhere not obvious. The agreed to link to the other home page would be on my actual link page. No funny business going on. Just think doing this will help both sites (and other links on it).
Linking to someones homepage, deep inner page or links page is all the same and fine with SE-s, visitors and potential spam-reporters, as long as you describe correctly where the link leads (anchor text). But I would not risk doing "." anchor text, no way.
Hidden links are a big no-no. Just work it into one of your pages somewhere. Sample text: "Thanks for the link Joe-Link-Master!" With "Joe-Link-Master" being the link back to their links page with you on it.
I would advise to just leave the link there for a month or two, to make sure it gets followed and spidered. Once it's spidered, that's that.
But you know, these things all get spidered eventually, and I stopped doing contortions worrying about it. It's a lot more fruitful to expend the same amount of energy looking for more links.