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Are Reciprocal Links Worth the Effort

Aug 17, 2007
Put simply, when two people have their own websites, and they mutually agree to place links on each others websites, on a reciprocal basis, so as to direct the search engines and, consequently, traffic from one to the other, we say we have reciprocal links.

In practice, however, the exercise is not all that simple. A lot of effort and time and sometimes money may have to be spent.When the Internet was young in promoting web-based businesses, establishing reciprocal links between websites with related business interests was quite common and profitable.

Over time, two things changed the scenario for reciprocal links. The advent of Google as a search engine with its novel concept of ranking web pages was a major development that affected reciprocal links in the long run.

The more the number of one-way inbound links to your website page, the better the page ranking by the search engine. In pursuit of better ranked pages, people started offering outbound links to other websites in order to attract inbound links by way of reciprocity, and this without rhyme or reason.

The other thing that happened was that a lot of unscrupulous webmasters and evil-minded people started taking undue advantage of the rush for reciprocal links with the aim of improving the ranking of their pages and making a quick buck.

Some of them used devious techniques to make your reciprocal link appear to be an outbound one to the search engine, depriving you of your advantage of getting back a link to your page. A situation arose in which search engines started downgrading the pages that demonstrated artificial or unnatural linking patterns.

Will increasing the number of reciprocal links help improve the ranking of your website pages, in this background? On the contrary, search engines tend to penalize websites with too many page-links to unrelated sites because the search engines do not hold any value in such links. Your search engine page rank will take a nose dive.

But our title question is not fully answered yet. If you qualify the type of reciprocal links by dedicating a small number of such links to websites that have relevance, in that they augment one anothers traffic, then reciprocal links become worthy of the effort involved in designing proper web pages with enhanced focus on the exact purpose of your website.

Do not indulge in having outbound links to questionable sites. Do not deal with any automated network-links that are not subject to any editor-discretion. Reject linking services that offer you either incentives or guarantees to provide an unlimited or large number of reciprocal links to sites to which you have no reason to get connected. Avoid such other pitfalls and your effort in having reciprocal links will surely pay dividends.

Search engines and webmasters will not object to links that end up in effecting end-user benefits making them entirely worth the effort, if you are willing to spend it.
About the Author
Juhani Tontti is a full time internet marketer and offers 3 free ebooks and more about reciprocal links, click here!
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