In the Beginners Guide to Link Building – Part 1, I defined what was meant by the term “link” and several important factors that influence a link during a link building campaign. In Part 2 of the Beginners Guide to Link Building, I will concentrate on reciprocal link building.
Reciprocal link building is sometimes referred to as a link exchange. It occurs when two webmasters agree to provide links to each others websites to increase the link popularity of their sites. The hopes is that this will increase the ranking of the sites in the search engines.
Reciprocal link building is perhaps the easiest form of link building that occurs. There are many webmasters who are seeking links, and finding one that will exchange a link is not a difficult task. Beginners in link building like to think that this is an effective link building strategy because after all, they are successful at obtaining links and links impact the popularity of a website in the search engines. Easy right? Not necessarily.
The major search engines such as Google assess both incoming and outgoing links from a site. They can easily detect when a reciprocal link is present and can recognize this for what it is – an attempt to manipulate the ranking of a site. For this reason, the value placed on reciprocal links is much less than what would be given to a quality, one-way link obtained during a link building campaign.
This does not mean that reciprocal links have no value. In fact, for beginners, link building this way can be very beneficial but there are some things that should be considered if utilizing reciprocal link building.
- Exchange reciprocal links with sites that are relevant. These links will still be given more value than a link from a site with no relevant content
- Avoid linking to questionable sites. Poor link partners will hurt a sites link reputation, and result in lower search engine ranking
- Avoid having links placed on non-indexed pages. Search engines will only give credit for links that their search engine spiders can find, and if another webmaster buries a reciprocal link on a non-indexed page, it will not help ranking at all
- Keep a record of all sites that are reciprocal link partners. Visit the sites with the reciprocal links periodically to ensure that the link is still in place
The important thing for beginner link builders to keep in mind is concentrating on relevant links from relevant link partners if they are utilizing reciprocal link building practices. Plus, it is of utmost importance to only link to good link partners and that protecting link and site reputation is extremely crucial to being ranked well.
This concludes Part 2 of the Beginners Guide to Link Building. Stay tuned for the third part of our series as the Beginners Guide to Link Building focuses on some proven methods of obtaining quality links.