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Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal linking | Link Exchange

Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal linking at one point was an important link technique. Many people still use it and seem to think it's what linking is all about. What is reciprocal linking? It is linking with reciprocation. If you put a link to my website on your site, I will put a link to your website on one of my pages. Sometimes it is referred to as Link Exchange. You sometimes see links that simply say links, useful links, resources or partners.

When you click those links you will see pages and pages of links to other websites. For a long time reciprocal linking was a very powerful way to rank a website. It really did work and it worked very well. There used to be hundreds of companies providing reciprocal linking services and software that helped automate the process.

Over the years the search engines have devalued reciprocal linking to the degree that in most cases it doesn't work. The problem with basic reciprocal linking from a search engine standpoint is that the links have no real value (real-web-links-and-artificial-web-links). The only reason they are there is to convince the search engines that the reference sites should rank well. Despite the fact that the reciprocal link companies always used to claim that reciprocal linking was about providing useful links to site visitors not manipulating search results.

That was nonsense of course. Over the years as the search engines reduce the value of reciprocal linking these companies have mostly disappeared. You may also hear however that reciprocal linking is actually dangerous, that doing it can get you penalized. In most cases that simply isn't true. Most reciprocal linking won't do any harm. It just won't do any good.

So when can reciprocal linking work? This type of linking may work if you are using it gain additional traffic. It is still a link to your site that someone might click on. For SEO purposes do not put a lot of faith in it.

In general, you'll probably want to avoid reciprocal linking. It's simply a waste of time. A reciprocal link may not help with SEO but it may be seen by a potential new customer and provide additional traffic to your site.


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