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Reciprocal links - is there a smarter way to use automated scripts?

 11:54 pm on Jun 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

There's been a lot of debate about the value of reciprocal links, and indeed many commentators have said the reciprocal link farms of 1 to 1's is dead in the water. Matt Cutts at Google said words to the effect that Google has taken a very discounted view of such links.

So, what we mean when we say avoid excessive reciprocal links is if your portfolio has a very large fraction of links where youíre getting them by sending automated emails saying Did you know that exchanging links can help your rankings in search engines? Thatís not a basis for fundamental long term, solid growth of your links if thatís all you are doing.

So, we tell people to avoid excessive swapping; and the nice thing is that people have a pretty good idea of what excessive is. So, you add a word like that and people are going to understand that itís natural that reciprocal links happen in the course of being on the web at some point, but itís not that I have to chase after those too much.

So of course , link reciprocation is not dead , because within niche industries and categories of knowledge , reciprocal links are compeletely natural - indeed rewarded. But how to get more of them , and manage them ?

I guess the issue of value to Google is, how were the links solicited. Did you have an army of link builders , or scripts contacting to say , " you post to us " if " if we post to you " . This is something that Google would likely tap into your phones about and eliminate the link value .

Or did you create your reciprocation through reputation ? Now that looks better.

But for most folks managing some form of reciprocation that meets Google's expectations is a pain. So reciprocal links management and scripts looks a whole heap more attractive.

What are the smart ways to use these automated scripts that will give site owners Google satisfaction ?



 5:10 pm on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Be careful of fully automated scripts because in many cases they will link you to irrelevant sites in a high volume manner which is exactly what Google wants you to avoid.

Instead focus on high relevany in low / natural volume. If you decide to use software to manage link requests, backlink verification, and the organization and publishing of the links, make sure it is strictly editor based.


 7:25 pm on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Whatever Matt Cutts says, I take it with a grain of salt the size of a bowling ball.


 8:05 pm on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's easy to read Matt's comment and interpret that to mean that reciprocal links won't work. Reciprocal links still work. The mad dash to three-way reciprocal link schemes has been an ill-considered over reaction to the rumor that reciprocal links don't work. Recips still work.

What has changed in the last five or six years is that excessive recips became a reason for scrutiny. Prior to 2005, there was a misconception that reciprocal linking was white hat- even though Google's webmaster guidelines did not state any such thing. The thinking was that as long as your linking is relevant then Google is going to love it, even if you recip with thousands of sites.

But let's be clear about recent history. There have been bannings of specific reciprocal link networks that crossed the line of "excessiveness." In general, I think it's a good policy to cycle through various link strategies so the backlink profile isn't heavy in any one kind of link.


 11:35 am on Jun 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

So assuming that an automated reciprocal links management system is applied to a site , what are some of the techniques that can be adopted for maximum advantage of quality reciprocal linking.

e.g. Reciprocating between different pages ? same subjects ? different subjects ? ad hoc ? varied link text ? advertorial or editorial etc etc ?


 11:46 am on Jun 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

i think that this whole "recipricol linking is bad" nonsense is just dumb thinking by the search engines. because no one would link to you if your site is rubbish anyway, regardless of whether they offered a link in return.

if someone sends me an email suggesting a swap, then the only way i'm going to agree is if the site matches mine and is decent too. and that is how the vast majority of webmasters think. so a recipricol link should still count as a vote.

and what happens if a site links to me, one-way, and google gives me the credit. but then i see it and link back six months later. does that mean all that credit suddenly goes out the window? why?

the whole rule is just stupid. all its done is make webmasters think twice about linking to sites. and if they're already linking to you, then its effectively blocked you from ever linking back.


 5:48 pm on Jun 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hey Whitey, you're on to something there. Avoiding a links page that inevitably turns into a link directory sounds like a good idea. Is it possible to use a script or a web page inviting feedback as a way to get webmasters into a dialogue about cross-site cooperation that leads to content swap a viable strategy?

Londrun makes an excellent point about a reciprocal link is a vote that should count because an editorial decision was made. But sometimes, in some industries, those votes aren't screened and I think that's what Google is most concerned about.


 5:57 pm on Jun 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

no one would link to you if your site is rubbish ....

...and that is how the vast majority of webmasters think. ....

Have you noticed the large number of crappy sites that have tons of links? Maybe they are just crappy sites exchanging links, but....

The vast majority of webmasters don't have sites on the first page either.



 8:02 pm on Jun 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

Just looked at an old site we goit recips for in 2003 for some hotel keywords. Ranks nicely. INfact we have come full circle now.

1) scrape peoples backlinks
2) harvest mails
3) put a very nice and flexible link exchange/swap/content whatever message
4) blast from dummy domain
5) Go to work and process inbox


 11:16 am on Jun 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Why not engage your reciprocal linkers by interacting into dynamic social networks in conjunction with the links script management. Don't focus just on the links - try the social aspect as well to engage natural linking within it.

e.g. Forget about reciprocal links , think reciprocal comments with links in them - naturally.

I'm just trying to push aside the A to B , B to A mentality that led to the link farm like pages which Google doesn't like from years ago with a quality mentality approach.


 5:42 am on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately in my mind the very act of selecting the proper link comes from manually reviewing a website and deeming it worthy.

Unfortunately you simply don't get that type of advantage with automated scripts.

You are better off searching for the 'best of the best' in related genres, and pick up the phone / email and selectively place 30 or so reciprocal links, if possible in content developed on the website.


 9:10 am on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

With our way you can haggle about a decent page once they have got back to you.

A decent mail which looks sincere goes a long way in convincing people even they probably know it is automated. Blast out 10k mails and see what happens and then compare. There is no right or wrong way to do this.


 9:22 am on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

There is no right or wrong way to do this.

Danny Sullivan frequently complains about receiving link request/link buy emails. I get link request emails from other SEO sites. Matt Cutts even receives emails seeking link exchanges (probably from backlink scrapes). I am inclined to believe there is a wrong way to do it.

But I'm just quibbling. :P

Your way of scaling up is aggressive but I believe you when you say it's effective because I know you speak from from experience and I value your opinion because of that. Thanks for sharing. ;)


 9:56 am on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not sure why people complain, we all need links. Not everyone is Matt Cutts or Danny Sullivan who produce stuff people want to read and link to. Some of us do e-commerce and just want some fecking links without all the social marketing cr@p.

So many people I have seen doing blog stuff just to get links but for me that is fake too, I would rather concentrate on my biz and find people with decent sites who think the same way.


 6:07 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

The following 2 messages were cut out to new thread by martinibuster. New thread at: link_development/4157775.htm [webmasterworld.com]
10:26 am on Jun 23, 2010 (utc -8)


 5:36 pm on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Investigating link profiles recently I've seen what I think is a nifty spammers trick that involves getting one way links by cheating recip management software that automatically checks for their link on your site.

Here's how I think it works:

Use a dummy site to request a swap.
Give them a url where they expect to find the link.
Check for the IP that requests that url.

Now on your proper site set up a hidden link page cloaked via IP.
Request an exchange again, cloak to that IP.
Bot goes away happy thinking it's reciprocal, you have a one way link.

Works well on old sites that use these directories, have forgotten they even have them, and have authority from being around for ten years plus. Quite a lot of them around, especially in the US.

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