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Reciprocal Linking - Give And You Shall Receive

Aug 18, 2007
I think it is a given that the route to search engine placement lies in your link popularity.
The Page 1 of Google spot that we all desire, will depend on the number of links pointing at your site with the requisite anchor text matching the keywords for the term that you want to be found under.

The talk is all about how to achieve the thousands of links that it is becoming increasingly necessary to have so as to attain the heights of a competitive keyword placement.

Many voices decry the oldest and most used form of attaining links; reciprocal linking.
The practice of, I will link to you if you link to me, has been devalued by many, (especially the one-way link brokers who would much prefer you pay for your links).

Well I am adding my voice against the tide of sceptics to say that reciprocal linking does work. There is, however, a right way and a wrong way to do it.

The fact is, that when Google envisaged the link popularity route to search result placement, I am sure they didn't think they would end up spidering and caching millions upon millions of webpages of irrelevant links pages.

It must take up an awful lot of time and space to sift through the computer manufactured pages of irrelevant directories that place links three or four clicks away from a homepage. These link pages are destined never to receive pagerank and offer no real value to your site.

The key to good quality reciprocal links lies in relevance and value.

As a new website with no page rank this may seem a daunting task. Increasingly you come across sites that will only offer a link exchange if you have a Pagerank of 3 or higher.

The way to combat this is to give value in other ways. The saying 'Give and ye shall receive' certainly holds true when it comes to reciprocal linking.

So how does a new site give value?

1. Make your resources pages relevant.

When you are designing the main pages of your website, great care is taken with the factors that determine your search engine placement.

The title, meta description, url and content are all important.
So why is it that you see so many websites with a resources or links page with these factors ignored.
If you want to gain a link from a site dealing with 'Spanish property' for instance. Which of these two options would you think might gain a positive response.

Site 1
Page Title: Links Resources
Content: None,(apart from a form to fill out for reciprocal linking)
URL: xyz.co/links.htm

Or

Site 2

Page Title: Spanish Property Resources
Content: Welcome to xyz.co's Spanish Property Resource page. We have listed below sites that are relevant to the Spanish Property Industry. Although we take no responsibility for their content we have
vetted them to ensure they contain information you may find relevant to the Spanish Property market.

URL: xyz.co/spanish-property-resources

I hope the point is made.
Some other points to also note;
Keep your links pages no more than 2 clicks from your homepage.
Target associated industries in the same way as above.
Don't be afraid to offer a homepage link to obtain a good PR ranked page link. Doing this offers the mature site the potential for future value and should receive a favorable response.
Reciprocal linking DOES work. I took a new site to a PR6, Page 1 on Google for major keywords using quality reciprocal linking as the base in just 11 months. There are a few other things you will need to do to emulate this feat, but get your reciprocal linking right and you will be off to a good start.
About the Author
Neil Ebsworth is co-founder of AMLASpain. The Spanish Property MLS. and SEO real estate Services Company
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