A software salesman phoned me recently and they stated that reciprocal links no longer had any value and in fact might actually damage a website's ranking. This is the first time I have heard this. Can anyone point me to any reliable site that can confirm or deny this?
As with anything to do with SEO, it isn't as simple as that.
At one time, Google would give you credit for pretty much any link you were able to get, as long as it wasn't on a link farm or in any way cloaked or hidden. A huge network of "I'll link to you if you link to me" type of links sprang up, and Google has been whittling away at these ever since.
It's wrong to say that linking to a site that also links to you will harm you. If the links look "natural" then Google will treat them as the typical 'vote of confidence' that it wants links to be. But if they look too much like "I'll link to you if you link to me" then they are unlikely to be counted, and if you have too many of those and it really skews your link profile, it is entirely possible that Google will decide that you are breaking its webmaster guidelines and downgrade your site as a result.
One thing to remember is that often when people talk about a site being "penalised", they don't actually mean that ... what is happening is that a site previously had plus points for something dodgy (such as exchanged links), and so when those plus points are removed, the site can drop down the rankings. That isn't because it has been actively penalised, it's just that the site has taken up a new, lower position in line with the revised ranking criteria.
Thanks for the reply. So basicly what I understand from your reply is that if there are already link exchanges set up then there is no point in removing them, but there is also no reason to seek out new link partners, but rather just concentrate on the site content and layout
After Penguin Lot of Evidence . Reciprocal Links are Counts as Spam links .
I'm not sure that's quite what I would say – existing links will be subejct to the same scrutiny as new links, so if you are concerned that any of the reciprocal links that you have are there just for the sake of having links, and are not adding value to your visitors, then it might be as well to get rid of them, to be on the safe side.
Well it all depends on the density of reciprocal links you have. If you have loads of them, that would seems unnatural to the search engines and therefore you would be subjected to penalties. I would rather suggest that you go with fewer reciprocal links and that too only with high PR and authentic websites, usually which are older. Have a mix of backlink strategy, don't just rely on reciprocal links. Hope that helps you!
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