|Weekly SEO news: 30 October 2007|
to the latest issue of the Search
Engine Facts newsletter.
This week, we're taking a look at reciprocal links. Are they really less valuable than one way links? A test reveals the surprising answer.
In the news: Google confirms that websites that sell links have been penalized, Ask.com might have a bigger market share than reported, Google makes it more difficult to use negative keywords and more.
Table of contents:
|1. Reciprocal links are (still) not dead|
Reciprocal links are not dead. Weren't dead before. Aren't dead now. I know it and you know it. But for just a second let's pretend otherwise.
A while back there was quite a bit of scare mongering going around the SEO industry about how reciprocal links were dead. I had a potential client once tell me that so-and-so-big-name-in-the-SEO-industry told them that reciprocal links were dead. I've said this before and I'll say it here again.
There is nothing wrong with reciprocal links. It's all about how you use/implement them that matters. No, reciprocal links are not dead and now I have the proof.
Last year I decided to run my own test so I could refute what I already knew to be true. Yeah, I know who cares about reciprocal links now, right?
The fear tactics have run their course and, frankly, nobody is engaged in old-school mass reciprocal link swapping (for the love of God people, if you're still doing that, knock it off!) But for the sake of science and posterity, I now, over a year later, present the results of my (almost forgotten) reciprocal link test.
Google's result page:
Google supplemental results show the remainder of the testing pages. Missing from SERPs: High authority, non-reciprocating site.
Yahoo's result page:
Missing from SERPs: Low authority, reciprocating site, High authority, non-reciprocating site (keyword in link)
MSN's Result page:
The Happy Ending
We can conclude from that that, all things being equal, reciprocating links have no more or less value than one-way links.
Yeah, I know, we all read Matt Cutt's post about how excessive reciprocal linking can hurt, and I'm sure Matt is right. But the key word there is "excessive".
If all you do is look for low-quality reciprocal links that ad no value to any user's experience then, yes, that can, and should do you some harm. But don't be afraid of reciprocation. If someone links to you out of kindness, feel free to link back to them out of gratitude. It's not going to hurt you one bit and the link to you won't be devalued. Just be sure you're adding value, not reciprocating for the sake of reciprocating.
Guest author: Stoney deGeyter, Pole Position Marketing
|2. Search engine news of the week|
Search engine newslets
|3. Articles of the week|
|How this blog’s move went with Google
Negative keyword tool gone. Is Google becoming a search marketing agency?
|4. Recommended resources|
How to get high quality links
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|5. Previous articles|