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3 Way Triangular Link Exchanges

Reviews of a Popular Link Building Method

     
2:51 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi guys,
I know i would rather have one way direct links and of course definately no reciprocal links but the 3 way link exchange is something i may consider....

what are your thoughts on 3 way link exchanges? would you use them?

Thanks

C.

[edited by: martinibuster at 4:25 pm (utc) on April 30, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed Specifics. [/edit]

4:26 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I know i would rather have one way direct links and of course definately no reciprocal links but...

No buts. Three way links are reciprocals.

4:57 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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the slightly longer answer is this.

if you have come up with a linking scheme which you think will outwit google.

then think again.

5:20 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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topr8 is correct.

The 3 way link exchange is a way to market a reciprocal as a one-way inbound. Three way links are not one-way. They are reciprocals. There is a reciprocal relationship. That reciprocal relationship is understood to be mapped and known by Google.

6:46 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google has been able to detect 3-way link exchanges for some time now. Remember, they still look incredibly unnatural.
9:15 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Our customers ask us about 3 ways every day and we answer like this:

What is the point of a three way? surely it's not for the end user's experience. So why do it?

The answer we routinely get to the "why do it" question is that "its good for rankings" and that "search engines cannot detect it". Hogwash.. Search engines can detect three ways and four ways and five ways and six ways and even seven ways and even eight ways! (jeez I sound like willy wonka). Engines can detect anything!

So if it looks and smells like chicanery, why do it? because you think its better than traditional and relevant link exchange?

Ask any legitimate professional link builder with a decade or more of experience and they will tell you to avoid chicanery and stick to marketing 101 basics.

There is a mountain of evidence that Google and Yahoo STILL count relevant link exchange just as long as you do not obtain links through link exchange too quickly. Don't ask me what the speed limit is because noone knows and its fair to assume there are different limits for different markets.

Avoid chicanery and stick with marketing basics. That means avoid games such a 3 ways and focus on obtaining links from relevant sites in low to natural volume.

If the other site reciprocates a link, nothing wrong with that just as long as you obtain the link according to the guidelines we have discussed here so many times in the past.

11:39 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Triangular linking is the poor man's black hat.

I've not tested it but I suspect triangulars do beat the algo right now. However if you ever get a hand review I'd bet you're going to get handed your butt on a platter. That doesn't mean don't do it - but you'd better be aware of the potential downside.

In answer to your question, no I wouldn't use them myself. But I'm risk adverse and personally can spend the time developing real one way inbound links.

7:39 am on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Really good responses, thanks guys. My first and main option would always be one way links and now i know the opinions of 3 way link exchanges i dont think this will ever change. natural progression all the way!

[edited by: Creekscout at 7:42 am (utc) on May 1, 2008]

9:01 am on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No buts. Three way links are reciprocals.

I agree

7:59 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Three-way links are not only reciprocals... they're deceptive reciprocals.

Google most probably considers a certain percentage of straightforward reciprocals in your linking profile as part of a natural pattern... and good quality reciprocals, if they're appropriate for the user and not excessive, will probably help you.

But Google is also big on "intent," and is less tolerant about obvious attempts to game the algo. That's what triangular links are. It would be hard to look at them any other way.

8:41 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The biggest misconception about all these linking schemes is that "link analysis" is something new and that the SEs can't suss them out, or that new, unusual systems and tools had to be devised.

The reality is that "network analysis" predates the Internet by a few decades (think Bell Labs, IBM, National Security Agency, etc.). Anybody here with enough data and some quite inexpensive -- or even free -- off-the-shelf software can perform some pretty sophisticated link analyses. The SEs definitely have all the data they need and all the pretty buttons to push.

11:17 am on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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what are your thoughts on 3 way link exchanges? would you use them?

I systematically delete emails from anyone proposing a three way link exchange.

12:51 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It's not just the search engines that 3-way linking is an attempt to game, it could be you as well. Someone proposing a 3-way exchange may not even control the domain that's linking to you; you have to check the Whois to make sure.
1:37 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I agree with mikedee.

There are many things webmasters do without even thinking about links, and rankings and whatnot. I just want traffic and I happen to have more then one site, so 3 way is almost a natural thing to do. And it has not been hurting me either.

I think the marketing approach you use with your site will make what you do natural or not natural, whether it involves reciprocal, purchasing links, 3-ways, etc.

1:54 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i agree completely with cnvi..
What is wrong with building a site that increases the user experience on your site and does everything that a website is meant to?
Develope your links naturally and dont stuff your tags / pages with keywords and you will gradually make your way up the serps.

Ally

[edited by: Scally_Ally at 1:55 pm (utc) on May 2, 2008]

2:05 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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All i want from the links is just good quality traffic that is going to progress as much as possible but not so that it looks unnatural!

So who thinks in general a 3 way link can still attain good natural links and not be reciprocal?

3:23 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Drop the 'triangular' bit for a moment.

My site A links to your site B. Your site C links to my site A. Go ahead, grab a piece of paper and a pen and draw that little map. As long as there's no relationship between B and C, those links are one way. There's no line between B and C. What becomes important then is defining relationship.

If we add a my site D, and C links to D instead of site A, what kind of relationship is that?

Nor is it safe to assume that reciprocals carry absolutely no weight. With the A, B, C scenario, if there's no clear link relationship, then we're left to assume that Google is looking at other factors. Same C block for B and C? Same Host? Same aff code? Same Adsense code?

Lots of people saying that it's dead simple to spot 'unnatural' link patterns and I don't see that, unless the people linking are simpletons. The A, B, C diagram I have on my desk occurs quite often among sites. Reciprocals occur quite often among sites, recips are at the very root of defining "neighborhoods", 'good' or 'bad'. A site with no reciprocals would be quite obvious in any web map.

If all, or the vast majority of your links are ABC, that might look a little odd on a map too. Just as all one-way inbounds would look odd.

Variety, the spice of life. And something to remember when talk of linking practices arise.

3:31 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So who thinks in general a 3 way link can still attain good natural links and not be reciprocal?

To me, they will always be viewed as reciprocals by G, but can still be considered natural when they are gained organically.

Imo, I like to think that although G has known about the 3-way reciprocal technique for a while now, they have measures/metrics in place to determine whether or not the 3-way linking action was the result or organic actions or inorganic actions. I'd further assume that the date links were discovered by G would be one of the measures/metrics they track in determining their 'organic-ness'.

Example scenario of organic 3-way:
Day 1 - site A links naturally to site B
Day 21 - site B links naturally to site C
Day 47 - site C links naturally to site A
--- this scenario, I'd hope G would not depreciate the link values as it's clearly organic - although, writing a script to do this overtime isn't too difficult for many.

Example scenario of inorganic 3-way:
Day 1 - site A links unnaturally to site B
Day 1 - site B links unnaturally to site C
Day 1 - site C links unnaturally to site A
--- this scenario is the obvious inorganic one. I'd think that G would also have a buffer of a few days in there since, naturally, it could take a few days or more to get all the links from a 3-way deal in place on the websites.

Also, with the Google Toolbar, who knows, they may be using that data as a method to combat 3-way recips...in addition to all the other stuff they are tracking.

I wouldn't necessarily say a '3-way reciprocal' is bad, although i would say that '3-way reciprocal exchanges' are bad.

One technique I was thinking about, might be to find the two other relevant sites worth getting links from and strike a deal where each writes a post/article for one of the other sites and includes some linked text in the body that links back to their own site. Then set-up a schedule like....

Day 1 - Site A's post/article gets posted on site B
Day 21 - Site B's post/article gets posted on site C
Day 47 - Site C's post/content gets posted on Site A

3:33 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>>>. Just as all one-way inbounds would look odd.
That's all I've got :).

>>>>Variety, the spice of life. And something to remember when talk of linking practices arise.
That's it in a sentence. Nothing to excess, and mix it up.

5:04 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I am somewhat with digitalghost on this.

cnvi: Engines can detect anything!

quite a hogwash this phrase is.

I guess you haven't heard of 6 degrees of separation. Web is a network of links, not a hierarchy. In a network there are numerous reciprocal links between the nodes, it is the definition. So if Google magically drops these 2-way, 3-way, 4-way and etc. nodes, they will basically have to destroy most of the network and hence their own ranking mechanism.

In a nutshell, I can see SEs to disregard direct reciprocals, and some obvious 3 ways, and that's about it.

5:36 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I understand that the general consensus is that 3 way triangular unidirectional links are perceived as recipricol links. Furthermore, in this thread there seems to be the consensus that these triangular links are deceptive and may very well trigger a SE penalty or an outright ban.

Knowing this certainly sets the cogs turning in my mind and I begin to wonder. Is it then possible to abuse this knowledge and sabotage a legitimate site? For example:

Site A is legit. One day, Site A is asked by Site B for a link from A to B. Site A reviews Site B - and likes it - so it complies. Site B then links to an "accomplice" Site C, which then (evil laugh) adds a link to Site A. So you've got this very white hat Site A now caught bumping uglies with Site B and Site C. This of course requires a certain level of sophistication on the part of the saboteurs and one 3-way would likely not be sufficient to sound an SE alarm. But it does make me wonder.

Sean

7:30 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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3 way link exchanges get results (as of now).
If someone from Google does a manual review and you have only 3 way links, you will most probably be handed a penalty.

I prefer having mixture of one way, reciprocals, three way links along with bookmarks and other social media links.

10:07 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I had a request for a three way link at my motoring related website from someone purporting to represent one of the major car manufacturers. I guess they wanted to build links to their site without having a links page on their site, so set up another motoring related website that had a links page
11:33 pm on May 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My site A links to your site B. Your site C links to my site A. Go ahead, grab a piece of paper and a pen and draw that little map. As long as there's no relationship between B and C, those links are one way. There's no line between B and C. What becomes important then is defining relationship.

I'd almost be with digitalghost on this if it were really likely that there'd be no perceptable relationship between B and C. Generally, though, in this area, people get greedy or sloppy... or they run out of extra sites faster than they run out of the need to links.

We have to consider the quality of the sites in all this as well... where the sites get their links to prompt a link exchange in the first place.

Consider how Google might trace relationships via "Similar Sites" type connections (ie, sites that share common inbound linking sources). If we're talking about many links involving networks of many sites, the probability of relationship might start to look fairly clear on some sort of network graph... even if it were only "Similar Sites Once or Twice Removed."

If we add a my site D, and C links to D instead of site A, what kind of relationship is that?

I'd call that an "H"... just to give it a name... and the same kinds of considerations apply.

The main thrust of my argument is that someone will get sloppy or greedy.

7:19 am on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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"Furthermore, in this thread there seems to be the consensus that these triangular links are deceptive and may very well trigger a SE penalty or an outright ban."

The nature of the exact links in question dictate whether or not they are deceptive. I have had plenty of webmasters ask me to link to them and give me a link from a different website that I reviewed and believe had value for me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

"Deceptive" is about ethics, and then you open a whole can of worms as to what is and is not ethical in SEO. However, I will say that in the experiences I have had and conversations I have had with many active SEO's in the field, triangular links have not triggered any penalty or outright bans for any of their projects.

This doesn't mean that it is not possible to be penalized or banned because of it, I am simply saying "here-and-now" it is very unlikely.

3:41 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just to throw a spanner in the works... I have seen many link builders and companies NOW offering one way link specials. As a webmaster, you are OR think you are getting one way links

However, I analyzed all these links and it appears that these webmasters are setting up trading domains (that they own) and exchanging links with webmasters.

So, you in theory are getting one way links.. But Google can detect this.

The question is, who gets penalized.

The site that is getting the one way link?
The site that is offering a link (link builder)?
The site that is trading the link (recip)?

ALL of the above :) ?

10:07 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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However, I analyzed all these links and it appears that these webmasters are setting up trading domains (that they own) and exchanging links with webmasters.

Not sure what you mean by this...

12:00 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm going with digitalhost on this one...

Most of the posts seem to have already assumed that underhanded SEO techniques are the reason for the links and that can be just plain wrong.

I link my resort site to the local car hire site and they offer me a link back from their airport shuttle site. The car hire site and airport shuttle sites might be linked, they may not. So what?

The links are all relevant and each link adds value to the viewer experience on each site. Isn't that the crux of what Google deems to be good links?

Google is very good as determining artifical link patterns done to excess but frankly I'd be amazed if they had a dummy spit everytime they see a triangular link arrangement.

6:57 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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...artifical link patterns done to excess...

Agreed. The question is, what's excess? IMO, if those synthetic links are your only links, that's excessive. If you've got lots of good inbounds, Google probably isn't going to either notice or bother.

Relying on any sort of closed network, IMO, even if part of the network is off the web, is where the problems are likely to occur.

4:24 pm on May 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Do these scammers think they can outwit Google?

The company who can hire the brightest mind in the entire universe. LOL

This will be exciting. Soon, manipulators will come running to different forums asking why their site was banned by Google. LOL.

This 34 message thread spans 2 pages: 34
 

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