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The article goes on to explain that [mod paraphrase]reciprocal linking is a signal of low quality content[/mod paraphrase] Has it really come to this now?
Can anyone attest to or rebuke this - I'm planning on launching a linking campaign for a client which will most likely include recip linking.
I might just do it regardless since it'd benefit for the browser, but it sure would be nice to know if I could anticipate the affects on rankings.
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:52 pm (utc) on Mar. 24, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics. Please see TOS. Thanks. [/edit]
Link exchange works great for small business websites that want to brand their sitename among other related sites. If you exchange links as a branding function and a traffic building function in slow natural volume - instead of abusing it in hopes you are going to be #1 for your keywords, it still works.
Example: I've got a personal website in the aviation industry that is about nine years old. I've exchanged links with about 750 sites strictly relevant to my industry over those years.. and I rank #1 for my primary keywords. About 40% of our traffic into the site comes from our link partner's sites.
It works if you do it right. It will not work if you do it wrong.
The search engines trend how often you get links. So as long as you get them slow and steady and maintain relevancy, it still works and will always work because the search engines realize sites exchange links. Marketing 101.
In other words, take a look at the SERPs. There are entire industries ranking on the back of reciprocal linking relationships. So yes, they still work. It's a fact.
What the search engines think about it is a different matter. But not liking something, and actually penalizing it are two different things.
If someone gets a penalty for reciprocal linking it's probably a hand penalty just like the paid links debacle so I wouldn't worry too much as long as you don't play up the situation and keep it low key.
A note to KALOVAST - you indicated that you DID think the recip links cancelled each other out, mentioning that the outbound link neutralized the inbound link. Can you tell me why you think that and how you came to believe it?
I fell for it until I saw competitors steam up the serps on the back of link page links (not always reciprocal though).
You just have to be intelligent and very careful and slow about how you do it.
Before dismissing Google as promoting FUD, revisit Matt Cutts' blog. He only talks about "excessive" reciprocal linking.
"Excessive" reciprocal linking will actually cause penalties. But chances are you'll get far less value from traded links than from one-way links. So frances' example is the one that makes the most sense: They saw a competitor move up because not ALL of their links were reciprocal.
Best to mix it up a little, and rely on good link bait as your primary driver of authority.