Categorized | SEO

Reciprocal link exchange

This is a small article I have wrote due to someone sending me an email asking about reciprocal link exchanges and my thoughts on it. Personally I think it is very dangerous and doesn’t always work in your favour. I continuously get requests for reciprocal link exchanges but their website needs mine more than I need it. I believe it should be equal and a common agreement should be met. Not to mention I am against it in most instances. If your content is strong and useful to people single way link juice will naturally occur.

I wanted to write that if you ARE thinking of exchanging links then there are some small tips you should look out for before accepting.

1. There are many sites nowadays which use a text file to tell the crawlers to not index certain pages. This is because the web masters are worried that when they are creating outbound links it will damage their standing with the search engine. This file is called robots.txt. To check, just retype their URL with robots.txt on the end (for example, http://www.website.com/robots.txt). If you see a page which then has the word ‘disallow’ with some links, chances are it’s a bit suspicious. Walk away and don’t trade a link. It will come back to you eventually with negative effect.

2. You should find out if the website that is asking for a trade has a Pagerank. Don’t forget that each page has a rank and you should check not only the home page. Home pages tend to get ranked higher but looking at the inner pages will give you an indication of its true standing. Also check the dates of the page though as new pages take a lot longer to be ranked. If it is PR0 don’t be TOO worried. It just means you need to dig a little deeper using all the other methods I have listed or it hasn’t been picked up on the next google PR update. Too much reciprocal link exchanges can damage your PR on the next crawl so be careful.

3. Take a look at the amount of links the site is already giving out. If the page is bombarded with them then don’t even think about it. You don’t want to be connected to link farms as search engines are punishing them swiftly now and even de-indexing them. Don’t forget it’s your reputation and if the potential partner involved is accepting links from anyone they clearly don’t care much for reputation. You have to remember that your visitors, reputation, ranking and experience is most important.

Reciprocal link exchange by Simon Thomas

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