SincerelySandy - 2:10 pm on May 9, 2006 (gmt 0)
Just because a link is a 3 way does not make it inherently bad or black hat. If the links are relevant and all 3 sites are not owned by the same person, tell me, where is the black hat?
All links being equal in relevance, 3 way linking is no more black hat than reciprocal linking.
Here's a quote from a google patent I saw in another thread here...
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.
This tells me that google is not as concerned with the method of getting links as they are with the quality of those links. Seems pretty logical to me. The above quote says to me that it doesn't matter if you exchange links, purchase links, or you get 3 way links... What matters is if you do not use "editorial discretion" on the links.
Many people will say that "3 way links can be detected", so what, so can reciprocal links.
Of course it's not a smart idea to have a bunch of 3 way links between the same 3 sites. This would be very easy to detect and more importantly, it would probably not be for the benefit of the visitor.
3 way links where 2 of the sites are always the same but the 3rd site is always different can also be easy to detect, but in this case it is more likely that the links would benefit the user so the links may not be discounted by the se even if they do spot the pattern.
3 way links where only 1 of the sites is always the same would be almost impossible to detect, and again the links would likely be for the benefit of the visitor.