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Never Do Reciprocal Linking!


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27 replies to this topic

#1 bobmeetin

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 08:51 AM

I was stunned yesterday when while discussing website rebuild strategy with a client I mentioned link exchange and he told me that the original designer, strategist told him something like, "Never do reciprocal linking, it's a bad thing!" That's a pretty bold, limiting statement. Forget to mention that the guy who made the statement emphasized that bullets impress search engines...

I have been operating under the impression that reciprocal linking is generally a good thing providing there is some relevance to the business or organization (chamber of commerce, etc) that you are exchanging links with. Consensus?

Clients occasionally come to me asking if they should respond to a "textbook-style" templated link exchange request and I suggest to ignore them like spam.

Caveat? In one of the threads I reviewed this AM there was a suggestion to limit a reciprocal link page to 25-ish. With one of my clients we probably have more than 50, but they are all relevant and personalized. Your thoughts?

If the questions can be answered by other threads, do what you must here...

#2 NASA

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:16 AM

well initial response, hog wash!

gaining links whether they are 1-way, 2-way(recipricol), 3-way or even Trapazoidal Matrifux links, is fine.

And it's not who links to you even, it's who you link too, that matters.

You have a good ethos when you say, only consider links which you feel relate to your business, or have value to your visitors, how strict you apply that ethos can vary.

QUOTE
bullets impress search engines
huh?

Are you talking..
bullet points,
silver bullets,
rubber bullets?

I guess if you held a gun to Matt Cutts head, he may be impressed , but i still don't think it will get you to into G! , well ok , Gaol not Google!


#3 bobmeetin

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:29 AM

If it were silver bullets then I'd be avoiding mirrors. I suspect he was referring to a bulleted list in a page. Commonly when I talk to clients about SEO and I hear questions like, bolding text, italics and bullet points were recommended, I might say these may have value, but there is far more value in developing fresh content practices - sorry to morph...

I agree with the Hogwash command, but when a client asks (and he heard it from a guy who does SEO as well as website design) I owe a wee bit of due diligence.

#4 Jill

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:30 AM

QUOTE
I have been operating under the impression that reciprocal linking is generally a good thing providing there is some relevance to the business or organization (chamber of commerce, etc) that you are exchanging links with. Consensus?


It's not good nor bad.

There's no specific answer other than the usual "it depends."

If you believe the site in question will be beneficial to your site visitors, and they believe your site will be beneficial to their visitors, then of course, the link exchange is fine and dandy and a great thing. Just as it's always been.

It's when people start linking to stuff for the sake of the link where it becomes dicey.

#5 bobmeetin

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 09:50 AM

A twist to the original question. Would this be qualified as a good or valuable link?

Business A services and sells products for managing paid parking facilities, electronic gates, monitors, etc.
Business B is a major customer of Business A - their service is paid airport parking.

You could make a point that business B might qualify as a reference or testimonial but in fact they do work together. Over...

#6 seoseattle

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 10:07 AM

I think if asked which of two link methods are better RECIPROCAL or NON-RECIPROCAL? I would say NON-RECIPROCAL. Too bad that was not the question. The one that was asked is tougher. I think that TODAY and (maybe not tomorrow) anything goes. Links in general (Except from some link farms) are good for the moment. I would limit links per page to twenty five. That is just in case the rumors are true. So my vote is for a link period and not a relevent one at that. Just a link. FOR TODAY! maybe not tomorrow?

#7 Jill

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 10:44 AM

QUOTE
Business A services and sells products for managing paid parking facilities, electronic gates, monitors, etc.
Business B is a major customer of Business A - their service is paid airport parking.


Who's the target market for each site? Are they people that would have a need for the others' services?

The answer to that question is the answer to your question about whether it's a good link trade.

#8 NASA

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 10:49 AM

Well acording to Google's old webmaster guidelines it used to say 100 links per page, but again, it was only a guideline and a very old one.

having that many links on a page would tend to indicate 'farms' rather than 'friends' , but i'm sure the 'my friends' links on some peoples myspace goes on for miles!

QUOTE
Business A services and sells products for managing paid parking facilities, electronic gates, monitors, etc.
Business B is a major customer of Business A - their service is paid airport parking.
They sounds like genuine business partners, perfect reason to swap links, you know neither website is a 'bad neighbourhood' , you already have a working relationship with them, there is some, all be it small 'relevancy' to each company, and you can probably request/control the KWD relvancy of the anchor text used.

Sounds like a good recipricol arangement to me!

As Jill indicates, if it's relevant to both websites visitors, even better, but from what you describe it certainly isn't 'BAD'

#9 Jill

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 11:35 AM

Stop thinking about search engines when you try to make these decisions.

We all traded links and begged for links long before Google came around and made it a piece of their algorithm. We did it for the increased branding, visibility and targeted traffic they would bring to our sites.

Get out of the links for rankings mindset and you'll know exactly what to do and how to do it.

#10 1dmf

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE
Stop thinking about search engines when you try to make these decisions.
you can't Jill, the cat's already out the bag.

Go on think of nothing - I bet you can't! lol.gif

Ok trying to gain IBL's for PR sake, is a bad premise to choose whether or not to link with someone, but if you are going to link, make sure you do it in the best possible way, which includes thinking of SE's and KWD relevant alt attributes and anchor text wink1.gif

as you say
QUOTE
Get out of the links for rankings mindset and you'll know exactly what to do and how to do it.
appl.gif

#11 Randy

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 02:03 PM

See, I guess that's what I'll never quite get about link building questions these days. Which is probably the reason we old timers don't understand the confusion so many folks who are newer to the game seem to get paralyzed from.

I've never believed or followed any of the crazy stuff put out there by some folks. And I've approached link building from pretty much the same perspective from the very beginning, all the way back to the days of the wild, wild west. It's this simple, and no more complicated if you don't make it more complicated.

When I'm trying to get links I treat it exactly like I would if I was buying advertising. This thought process goes for whether I'm actually purchasing links, trading links with someone or hopefully waiting for someone to link to me out of the blue. It's advertising, so the goal is to get my link in front of as many people who make up my potential target audience as possible. Period, end of discussion.

If the search engines like those links placed for advertising effect, great. If not, I really don't care much because hopefully my goal of getting the links in front of real people who might like what I have to offer has been met.

When I placing a link to another site the only thing I'm concerned about is whether the other site does two things. 1) Does the site meet my personal minimum standards for quality and usability. 2) Does it offer something that's going to be useful to the visitors I've already put a lot of effort into attracting to my site, and more importantly doesn't offer anything that might offend visitors to my site who choose to trust my recommendation.

That's it, that's all.

Why do people make it so darned complicated?

#12 BBCoach

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:21 PM

QUOTE
We all traded links and begged for links long before Google came around and made it a piece of their algorithm. We did it for the increased branding, visibility and targeted traffic they would bring to our sites.
Shoot in 2000, we even took branding to a high by partnering with two like minded sites (but each serviced a different need in our industry) by putting in the top nav tabs links to go to each site. All three of us pointed to each other. Guess what? It didn't produce as much for us as it did the other two sites as far as passing link juice or generating us more traffic than they got from us; however, the traffic from those sites helped to increase our sales by about 20%/month. Who do you think was the happiest?

QUOTE
Why do people make it so darned complicated?
Because Randy they believe with vitriolic resolve there's something more to it than what you explained. You're holding back on that secret sauce again.

#13 Jill

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 04:34 PM

QUOTE
Why do people make it so darned complicated?


Typically because they have nothing worth linking too, which does complicate matters terribly.

That's why they have to think up schemes or trade links with other sites that have nothing worth linking to.

#14 NASA

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 04:45 AM

You upset me Jill cry_smile.gif , I have stuff worth linking to IMO , but YMMV wink1.gif

#15 bobmeetin

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 10:05 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ May 7 2009, 03:34 PM) View Post
Typically because they have nothing worth linking too, which does complicate matters terribly.

That's why they have to think up schemes or trade links with other sites that have nothing worth linking to.


That's a bit of a problem - when you're dealing with folks as I am who simply 'want it done' but don't understand the full impact of what it takes to go from A to B, it's a tough lot. Sure, ideally you want to develop a website (web solution) with plenty of quality, fresh content worth linking to (naturally), but when you encounter clients who either don't have budget or don't get it why content is important, then you back off and simplify.

So the site is not going to have tons of linkworthy content, plan B becomes the manual link exchange program. Of course there is always plan C which is to find new clients who are believers.
QUOTE

How I love a spirited discussion!





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