Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

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A website owner recently refused to exchange links with me on the following
grounds (and I quote):
"I am sure that you are reading the news and also rumors that Google does
not like reciprocal links and even penalizes such links. I personally do not
that it penalizes but perhaps does not reward it.  I thank you for your time
but we prefer to wait and see how reciprocal links will be treated in the
very near future."
No, I haven't heard this kind of news or rumors.  In fact, about a month ago
I added around 50 good quality inbound links to my website, and it has just
went up from PR4 to PR6 bypassing the PR5.  My search engine results seem to
have improved as well.  This tells me that by implementing the reciprocal
links concept I have indeed been rewarded by Google, not penalized.  I'd
like to know what other webmasters think about that.  Shall I continue to
look for good, meaningful to my site and PR-significant links, or shall I
rather stop devoting any time to this effort in fears of being penalized as
a result.  Thanks, and I will look forward to your response(s). --Mark.

Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

Hi Mark,

I can't advise you on what to do. But I'll share with you my experience.

I used to have a huge number of reciprocal links which did nothing but mean
GOLD in Google's eyes.

But then along came Yahoo and their switch. That's what prompted me to
re-examine my situation and I then realized that what I had could very well
have been considered as link farming in Yahoo's eyes despite the fact that I
thought my links were on the up and up.

So, what's my situation now?
- That site was Unpenalised by Yahoo long ago after removing all those
questionable links.
- That same site still kicking butt on Google
- Another site of mine still has a huge number of links exchanged, yet still
suffering with Yahoo, but doing excellent on Google.

Here's another thing, that response you got from that person is almost exactly
the sort of response I gave someone else very recently. But I had mentioned
Yahoo and not Google in my message.

SO, is Google penalising or ignoring those reciprocal links? errrrr, short of
thinking about PR Ranks, I can't see and don't know of anything of the sort.

Perhaps others here will tell you different.

Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

Do I understand this correctly?

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You removed the outgoing links (the "huge number" of such links might have
suggested to Yahoo that you are link farming), correct?  I have a relatively
small amount of outgoing links, but many inbound links that Google likes so
much (at least for now).  Do you think Yahoo may dislike a significant
number of the inbound links (related or unrelated), but one might not even
have a slightest control over them: anyone can link to you without ever
asking you.  You cannot (logically) be penalized for what other people are
doing, do you?  I am saying this because of the fact that my site is #2/3 on
Yahoo in major keyword situations, and #3/6 on Gooogle for the same
important keywords, and I would hate to loose my Yahoo presence by trying to
feed Google with links.  May be reducing the number of outgoing links and
trying to keep as many inbound links as possible, would be a good solution
which would hopefully embrase both Yahoo and Google?  This, of course,
somewhat redefines the very concept of the reciprocal linkage, but I would
be willing to loose some inbound links (if I decide to stop supporting them
from within) in an effort to be liked by both Yahoo and Google.
 Thanks. --Mark

Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

Thank you ludi970!  You've provided invaluable input!  All interested in
this topic will appreciate it, I am sure. --Mark.

Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

On Thu, 15 Apr 2004 19:20:09 GMT, "Mark Shell"

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Realize in advance that I am somewhat new to this SEO area of thought
- but, in my past I had sites that were a part of a "network of
content sites" that I later found out helped inspire the debate about
"link farming thoughts" as the network linked each and every site
within that network together on an inner page out of reach by the site
editors. Network folded a couple years back.

But anyway ...

Due the furor and debate about "link farming" thoughts - I never had
*just* reciprocated links on any of my sites but a mix - with the
unreciprocated being a tad more than the reciprocated. Such as - on a
page where I have 40 outbound links shared, 18 or so would be
reciprocal links, the other 22 would be to sites that [currently] did
not share a link to my site.

For one thing, I am old-fashioned - and in the early days of the
websites one would share links just "cause they wanted to" to other
sites. Generally those links shared were similar in nature to the
site's contents itself [themed in a way] - but sometimes it was a
mish-mash of links shared. Depended on the site owner.

Then link popularity became the fad - which inspired people going
around signing guest books or joining/hitting places that allowed them
to share "comments" or "posts" where they could also share a link to
their sites. Whee! That older method has been given a twist nowadays
in where you join places or leave comments at places online that have
"decent PR" ... but still quite similar to "guestbook spamming"
thoughts of yore when you think about it as it is only done to "share
your URL" but also hoping to get some PR benefit as a result.

The reciprocal linking fad started or came to my attention around 2001
or so time period and primarily due to "impressing Google" while also
impressing search engines with the "link popularity thoughts" then
later on the "trading links with PR4 or above" became attached to the

But - a practice I never really followed due to the past debate/furor
that resulted by the network of content site's application of it to
build up "link popularity" as an SEO thought for the sites - but
instead becoming viewed as "link farming" due to how it was done.

So I reciprocate links with _some_ sites that I find when checking my
backlinks. I have had people contact me to "trade links" but I only
did so with 3 sites so far out of the past 3 or so years. *shrug*

I have not heard about reciprocal linking becoming penalized - at
least not until you posted about it. But it wouldn't surprise me any
since "link popularity" was originally # of places sharing a link to
you - then that became modified. Then "link farming" thoughts becoming
a no-no thought. So reciprocal linking may become modified, on search
engines side, eventually on how those are 'valued' or "viewed" to help
curb any abuses of the thought and have people "not rely so much" on
that criteria - would seem a natural pattern of thought that it would
given the past "modifications" on similar thoughts.


Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

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I am fairly sure that Google penalises you if you put links from your site
to bad neighbourhood areas.  Some people asking for reciprocal links are
from such areas and if you respond you will get caught up in the bad
neighbourhood.  So watch out and never link to anything that looks dodgy -
like spam sites, directories, link farms etc.  Best regards, Eric.

Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

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Recip links are not in danger!

The person who posted to the OP was a bit mis-informed or perhaps a little
less knowageable than they could have been for the request.

Getting links to and from bad neighborhoods C A N be bad but Google will
need to catch you first.  They have already made some changes but there are
still plenty of violators out there.

Getting recip links to and from similarly themed sites is great and Google
will reward you for it.

As always, try to keep the amount of outgoing links from a page to less than
ten to keep under Google's LINK FARM radar (I am not sure how scientific
this is)

Without IBL's of sufficient quality, you are dead in Google.

They do not affect you in Yahoo et al.  We have sites with great ranking in
all of those all boils back down to solid SEO, not one thing
but doing many correctly and building a site worth linking to.

James - SEO, Web Development and Hosting -FREE SEO TOOLS

Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

I am new and know nothing about linking...but I was under the
impression that linking was done because it was a good way to keep
websites honest.  For example, I would not want to link with a bad if a website had a lot of links it was because they were
a good website and many people like it and would want to link to it.
I thought that made sense.  So I have exchanged links with other
websites that I think are pretty (yes, I am a girl and most craft
websites that I have seen are beautiful).  I love doing it because I
get to see what other people have made.

So, I hope that they do not penalize people for reciprocal linking
because for some of us that is the only way to get a link.  I do not
think that many people are saying let's get a link from a corn pillow
website.  But other craft websites like me and I like them.  I feel
that this honest.  But, I have heard you all talk about link farming
and I have no idea what that means.  So...basically I have no idea
about anything! :-)  But, if you want to see some pretty websites,
look at the sites on my links page...there are some real beauties!

Take care,

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Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?

On 15 Apr 2004 21:25:38 -0700,
(chickeebabee) wrote:

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You'll be ok with what you're doing. Don't worry about it.


Re: Concept of Reciprocal Links in Danger?


Thank you.  I start to read things and then get a little nervous.
Thank you for the support.

By the way BB, we had ball last night, and we wil have it tonight, and
tomorrow!  Ball meaning baseball! ;-)

We are a busy group of athletes here!

Have a good weekend.

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