Reciprocal Linking Effectiveness

by Harry Lennard on October 24, 2010

Search engines value inbound links to your site. More inbound links generally mean better search engine rankings. Reciprocal linking is a search engine optimization tactic to obtain inbound links to your site. A variation of reciprocal linking is 3-way linking whereby you link to site A and site B links back to you. Either tactic uses “links pages”, which contain links to multiple sites, typically with a short description for each link.

Several years ago reciprocal linking worked well. Lots of reciprocal links could help you reach the first page of Google results. Many search engine optimization professionals successfully used reciprocal linking as one of their primary link building tactics. Then Google decided to put an end to the effectiveness of reciprocal linking. As a result, most links pages have little linking value. So today reciprocal linking doesn’t work nearly as well, and we do not recommend it as the primary tactic.

If you want to use reciprocal linking, here are a couple of suggestions:
1. Link only to relevant sites.
2. Link only to sites that have a relatively small number of links.
3. Combine reciprocal linking with other linking tactics.

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