Home » Internet

Reciprocal Linking, A Good or Bad Idea?

Aug 3, 2008
A SEO (search engine optimization) tactic that is frequently used in an attempt improve website popularity is website linking. A link is a connection between two different websites. This method has been one of the best ways to get free traffic and is probably one of the main reasons of its common use.

Many jumped on the bandwagon and started to link to someone's site for the favor of linking back to their website; this is called reciprocal linking. After all, the search engines just looked at the number of sites that linked to you, assuming the more links you had, the better your site was. Of course, it didn't take people long to start getting as many sites as possible to link to them, no matter whether the sites were relevant or not, just to improve their ranking.

Ah, but our good friends at Google and other search engines figured out quickly that this was going on. They are now "policing" reciprocal link exchanges and de-valuing links from non-relevant sites. As you might think, the strategy of reciprocal linking is an old tactic and placed in the archives of SEO tactics. However, I see so many still promoting this outdated tactic and you should stay away from reciprocal link methods. Today, the best link is to have a one-way link from a relevant website coming into your site, rather than having to reciprocate the link and give them one back.

How to Achieve One-Way Links

Keep in mind that it is much better having a one-way link from a RELATED site than ten one-way links from most sites, especially competitors.

Here is the SECRET or key to achieving those incoming one-way links. Differentiate yourself from all the other sites out there. Now, that sounds like a daunting and almost impossible task given the nature of the internet. Give importance to your website by offering good content that your visitors will value. Michael Cheney teaches this algorithm, "Good content creates traffic which translates into sales."

It's vital that you understand how search engines work to achieve the success you desire.

Derek Gehl speaks about the "basics" of the search engines.

1. Algorithm - this is a "formula" used by search engines to figure out how relevant your site is for people doing the searching. The search engine will look at your site's content, your keywords, your inbound links, and so on, and then calculate your position on the search results page.

2. Page Rank - this is calculated by the search engines and is a measure of how they value your site. To calculate it, Google and friends look at factors like your content, and the number of one-way links pointing to your site. The links are an important factor in the calculation. The more other sites consider you to be a valuable and relevant resource (and therefore link to you), the more Google will think so too.

3. Link Popularity - now that we know what links are, consider the popularity of those links as defined in this article; one-way links.

4. Keyword Phrase - this is an extension of "keywords." It is based upon the research that when people look for keywords to target they are looking for keyword phrases, which contain 2, 3, 4 (or more) words. The value in using keyphrases is that you can be a lot more specific about what your site (or individual pages within the site) is about. In other words, if someone is searching for "televisions" they are more likely to look for "plasma televisions" or "Sony Bravia plasma televisions."

5. Site Structure - This means the way your website is organized, how the pages are linked together and how your menu works (some people refer to site structure as the "information architecture").

The structure of your site helps your visitors move more freely through the pages. It also allows them to find the information they're looking for more quickly. This can be helpful in improving your rankings in the search engines. A well structured site that has all of the relevant pages carefully linked together is ranked as relevant and related content in the eyes of the search.

Link popularity is only one aspect of creating a successful website for ranking within the search engines. If you follow this outline then you will differentiate yourself from your competitors and that daunting task will become more encouraging.

If you link to someone's site, and they link back to you, that's considered a reciprocal link... and the search engines do NOT like them. It has become critically important to get those 1-way INCOMING links from sites that are related to your niche. Just remember, some kinds of links (one-way) can help your search engine placement, while others (reciprocal) might actually hurt it.
About the Author
JD Reilly offers amazingly easy and effective marketing strategies. Gain access to the most current information and techniques on search engine optimization, social marketing, internet traffic building with tested and proven strategies at http://jdreilly.biz
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 109
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories