- Author Kristi Davis
- Published May 3, 2011
- Word count 534
Reciprocal Linking Is Not Worthless, Just Not Great
Yet another myth that is circulating among search engine optimizers is that reciprocal linking has no value, and that one way links are the way to go. While it is true that one way links have more value than the reciprocal ones, they aren’t entirely without value.
The value of reciprocal links depends largely on how you make them. It’s all about relevance. As with any element of search engine optimization, you have to make it related to your niche to make it worth anything.
If you do reciprocal linking with irrelevant, low-value directories, you probably won’t get much in the way of SERP ranking. It might bring in some human traffic, which helps with your ranking indirectly. All the same, though, it’s really not worth your while going this route.
Now, if your reciprocal linking is natural and relevant to your niche, that’s a different matter. Let’s say you have a site for a master plumbers association. If you link to your members pages, and they link back to yours, that has value. If you link to, say, icanhazcheezburger.com, and get a reciprocal link, on the other hand, it doesn’t count.
Not only does relevance count in your reciprocal linking, but the quality also counts. If you link up with some back water webpage that has no authority and is low on the SERP pages, you’re probably not going to get any improvement in your own ranking. This is why many webmasters are not too keen on the idea of link exchanges with new sites. They have nothing to gain from it.
With this, it doesn’t matter one whit to your SERP placement how much reciprocal linking you do with low quality sites. If you have a massive reciprocal link directory at the back end of your site, you’re going to get jack. It’s much better to have just one good link to a quality site than a thousand crappy links.
With this in mind, you have to be selective about who you get into reciprocal linking with, at least in order to get any gain in ranking for it. It’s the indiscriminate linking with whatever site that proposes to trade links that will get you.
This isn’t really as hard to do as it may sound. As I’ve said a thousand times, you can’t just put up content and hope that someone with a quality site will propose reciprocal linking. It’s great when it happens, but it’s not something to wait for.
Instead, you can set up profiles on Web 2.0 properties and do reciprocal linking with them. Nearly every social blog has a website linking option in their profile generation. You can take advantage of this and do your own reciprocal linking.
It may sound like you’re playing dirty, but there is really only one judge and arbiter of your actions in your linking. Google, of course, will have a say in the matter, but ultimately, it’s your bank account that will give the final word as to whether it’s right or wrong.
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