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Interpreting A Link As A Reciprocal Link - How Smart Is Google And Sid

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4 replies to this topic

#1 bobmeetin


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Posted 20 August 2012 - 04:38 PM

The common definition: you link to me and I link to you

As is occasionally debated the reciprocal link once it has been interpreted as a reciprocal offers little SEO value; however, it may be a smart way to add value to a preferred services page.

Let's flip the scenario just a bit. My client does some great non-profit work and commonly gets credit for this through television interviews, newspaper articles and news services like NBC. Sounds good to me.

This commonly results in this high quality site/service including a link to her website home or perhaps an interior page. Not a reciprocal link, right?

My client is proud so of course she wants to boast about this to her community and the boast typically includes a newsworthy posting on her website with a link back to the news site.

Not intended to be a deal killer but now we've transgressed into reciprocal link territory. omg! A dealkiller!

The big Q: Are the algorithms the search engines used smart enough to determine this is a byproduct of the system and not a link juice dealkiller?

#2 Jill


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:08 AM

Reciprocal links in and of themselves aren't bad. It's only manipulative ones that are the problem...reciprocal or not IMO.
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#3 bobmeetin


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:24 AM

I understand reciprocal links are fine. If I understand your reply you're suggesting that Google & co are intelligent enough to honor that high-quality inbound link from the Wall Street Journal and not devalue the link juice simply because the client adds a link back to the WSJ boasting of the news.

i.e. Google's algorithm will determine this was not a manipulative effort and continue to smile :) on client.

#4 torka


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:55 AM

Well, since the "base unit of measure" for the search engines is a web page (not a "site," whatever that might be)... and it's unlikely that the client is going to link back to the WSJ article from the same article the WSJ linked to in the first place, then -- technically -- it isn't exactly a reciprocal link. At least not in the strictest sense of the term. :)

And, yes, I think the search engines are smart enough to figure that sort of thing out.

Personally, I never thought they had a problem with reciprocal links, per se. I think when one domain had a buried-deep-in-the-hierarchy "links" page with a bunch of links to a whole basket full of unrelated domains, and each of those domains also had a buried-deep "links" page that included a link back to the first domain... well, that doesn't look like much of a "natural" link pattern. Those links are clearly there just because the site owners thought they could gain some "link juice" from having these random links pointing to them... and the only way they could get the links was by offering a link back... but they're not confident and proud enough of the links to feature them prominently on their site or to integrate them with their "regular" site content.

The smart cookies at Google are really, really good at detecting link patterns. So those kinds of crappy "reciprocal" links could be a problem.

But the WSJ (or whoever) isn't going to link to you because of the supposed "link juice" they could get from a link back from your page. And linking to an article that's about you on another site is perfectly natural. We all like to indulge in a bit of patting ourselves on the back from time to time. So there's nothing at all "unnatural" about either of those links.

I believe links get downgraded because they're crap links, not because they're "reciprocal."

--Torka :propeller:

#5 chrishirst


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Posted 21 August 2012 - 11:26 AM

"reciprocal" links are fine.

It is reciprocal link SCHEMES that search engines are "against".

AND if those reciprocal links bring visitors and or conversions,

Why would you even care about what search engines "think"

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