Reciprocal Links


One popular method of link development is to solicit reciprocal links. Sometimes called "recip links" or even "recips", these links rerepresent a mutual agreement to cross-link two sites. Each site puts up a link to the otother site; the links are maintained until one site decides to remove the link.

The effectiveness of reciprocal links has been debated in recent years. Some search engine optimizers believe the major SEs devalue reciprocal links since they are "unnatural" and are done mainly to boost link popularity or Google PageRank. Other webmasters disagree, pointing out that linking two sites with common interests is entirely natural and was popular long before search engines started weighing links in their algorithm.

For those webmasters who believe that reciprocal links are worth less than one way links, one possibility is to seek modified reciprocal agreements in which each webmaster gives the other a link, but one link comes from a third site. For example, if a webmaster controls two sites, he might ask another site for a link to site A but provide the reciprocal link on site B. Of course, as search engines get better at detecting common ownership or defacto networks of sites, such a linkage pattern might fare just as bad or even worse than a reciprocal link arrangement.

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