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We did recips for years and now our sites have been declining in the serps slightly. Still page one but not position 1 anymore. We bought a load of links from many different sites totally unrelated and saw our rankings shoot up in 10 days and still going. This happened on multiple sites, so it is not a one off fluke.
The conclusive evidence is that related links is not true. Recips are OK, it is more about the structure of the page. i.e lots of links going out with one link coming in to that page looks like a links page, so Google will devalue it.
So you got it? Get rid of your links pages and start getting links on pages with only a few links on them. A link from a directory unless dmoz or yahoo or something is just as worthless.
I'm seeing that on many sites even during these new Google changes.
If you want to do link exchanges KEEP doing it as long as it's related and usefull content for your surfers.
I think Brett had this figured out a long time ago and where ever his post is to make a site work in a year whatever holds strong.
Guestbook spammers and all that get one way links in still work like a charm on any major search engines.
I hate that. But they are getting devalued now too.
I'm kind of lost in my thoughts here but to sum something up. Go ahead and build link directories as long as it's relevant sites to your content your linking out to.
Sites that have a particular niche then have a links page..Then in that links page they have a minny directory of many different topics of links going out will and have been dying for the last couple years.
Example my site about "cars" (not really but thinking of getting a new car;) Then I have a link at the bottom of my page called "links" or whatever. Usually quit hidden from the surfer but ok for the Webmaster because I have PR. The link page goes to a directory like this; Home Shopping, Videos, Wedding Sites, and so on. Then you click on one of the above with a page full of those topics. Those sites are failing now and people come hear and say I'm white hat cause my site is about "cars".
I would expect for your rankings to go away in the long term. If a site is to rank based totally on unrelated links, then you need more than a few thousand links to achieve that (given your keywords are competitive).
Link-exchanges are still ok, but don't expect them to do anything for Google or Yahoo! rankings.
Not really. :)
We bought a load of links from many different sites totally unrelated and saw our rankings shoot up in 10 days and still going.
So you suggesting to abandon relevant links which are useful to us and visitors in exhange for purchased links from totally unrelated sites?
There is more to this than meets the eye of course. Look at the quality of the recips you had in place while your ranks dropped slowly.
High quality, niche related exactly to your topic?
I am finding the opposite, very closely realted partnerships in the high competition sector I am in are not at all slowing us down in the SERP's, more the opposite.
I do agree that the relevance of incoming links is generally less important than the relevancy of outgoing links.
It's not really the link itself, but where that link is within a structure of a site. And then, where that link is on the page within that structure of the site.
Your Inbound Links (IBLs) mixed in with 15, 20, 30 even 50 others on a links page is worthless. Sure, maybe a 1,000 of those incoming links might have a slight ripple effect somewhere for those 4, 5 and 6 word phrases. ;)
Your Outbound Links (OBLs) based on the same above structure are just as worthless. The days of swapping links in this manner have been over for some time.
Besides link pages on a website looks so "mom & pop" and so 90's. Serious commercial sites should not have them.
Buying links is near the same, depending on what you are doing. Think hard about what links are on the page and where they are placed. Consider some other factors that may rate on the "is this natural scale".
However, it is nearly impossible to talk about any single factor in google without including the actual target DOMAIN in the discussion. The domain/s you are using may be far more important than you think.
Oh, and crush, can i borrow $100?
We did recips for years and now our sites have been declining in the serps slightly.
I suspect your decline is other reasons as I've done RECIPS those for years too and my sites at the peak of it's game in the SERPs. FWIW, the links to my site drive almost 50% of my traffic so I would prefer to keep them in the long run as they aren't a constantly changing algorithm.
lots of links going out with one link coming in to that page
I do a lot of link exchange myself, as you know, but I don't seek links by spamming, and I don't seek links from pages with lots and lots of links going out from them.
I think your problem is you lack of standards. You are like a girl that will sleep with anyone complaining you can't find a permanent boyfriend.
As for links from relevant sites. I jumped on that bandwagon years ago and wish I had not committed so hard. Links from related sites can help more than links from unrelated sites, but not much more. You can only give a link 100% value. How much of that is given by anchor text? How much by description? How much from the general content of the page the link is on? How much from the general content of the site the link is on?
I'll also verify that on the 10 days to full impact. I would say 11 days is closer.