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The most important factors affecting reciprocal links?

     
1:03 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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First, I believe reciprocal linking does work. After hearing that it had lost its usefulness, I gave up on it for many many years. Have since come to believe that was a mistake. But I want to know your opinions on the most important factors that diminish reciprocal linking utility as a tool for building rank in Google.

ranked by importance IMHO

1. When you link to someone, the leak of link juice counterbalances the benefit of the link juice you gain.
2. Reciprocal links generally come from resource pages with so many links on them that the link juice passed is low
3. Google recognizes reciprocal links and devalues the links above and beyond the effects of 1 and 2 above.

It is proven that there is a significant penalty for reciprocal linking between websites owned by the same entity but, I would be curious to know if anyone can comment on number 3 assuming reciprocal links come from websites owned by entirely different entities.

To tease out the importance of this factor, you could apply no follow to the reciprocal links on your resources page and look for a boost...

Your thoughts? Have I left out some important factors? How do you get the most out of reciprocal linking?

8:47 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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I personally would not use rel="nofollow" on an outbound link that was to a good website. That would be BadKarma ;)

It is proven that there is a significant penalty for reciprocal linking between websites owned by the same entity

Only for "excessive" and "manipulative" cross-linking. Mostly the links just see their effect dampened/

Google recognizes reciprocal links and devalues the links above and beyond the effects of 1 and 2 above.

I would add "above a certain threshold." But I would not get crazy trying to measure that threshold. Rather I would focus on attracting a wide spectrum of backlinks to create a healthy backlink profile. I even have some suspicion that the threshold for reciprocal links may go up as the rest of the profile fills out. But even if I'm not correct on that, you're still not doing any harm by creating enough value on the site that you get more natural, editorially given backlinks.

1:11 pm on May 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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that reminds me of the ultimate no follow - I saw a blogger with hundreds of reciprocal links turn pro and eliminate his blog roll. would love to know what percentage of those bloggers that helped build him up resented that move enough to remove the links that became one-way... I think it was very small.
 

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