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Anatomy Of A Reciprocal Link Exchange

Categories: seo, guest article, general
Posted By Glen B. @ October 21st, 2011 01:29 PM

Reciprocal Link Exchanges have been an integral part in the early days of SEO as it does not only help any website gain traffic but each back link would mean some healthy link juice in one way or another. In biology, a reciprocal link exchange is similar to mutualism, where both parties benefit for coexisting and linking to one another—given that they are similar and relevant to each one. Otherwise, the link juice to be passed on would not be that effective as using an amoxicillin to cure flu—and this is only valid today and in the last couple of years. Way back, just linking to each and every blog or website you stumble is fine that is why link farms were created by many of the evil link geniuses of yesterday.

To simplify the examples, let us break down the whole anatomy of a reciprocal link exchange into two: natural reciprocal link exchange and a campaign link exchange.

Natural reciprocal link exchange happens when a website sees a trackback URL to a related website then eventually sends a reciprocal link to return the favor. This happens without any email exchange involved as this is a natural way of reciprocal linking.

On the other hand, a campaign link exchange happens whenever an organization or a company hires people or buys automated link exchange software to conduct a large campaign to get backlinks from other websites. In this case, email exchanges happen in between parties and agree to place relevant links into each one’s websites for some sort of mutualism.

Here’s an example of a campaign link exchange email:

Hello,

I have found your website XXXXXXXXXX.XXX through Google search for “website design”. I think our website is very much relevant into yours, so I have included your link to our website which you can find here:
XXXXXXXXXX.XXX

Maybe you can provide us some link back and use the following details:
TITLE:
LINK:
DESCRIPTION:

Best regards,
Link Manager

Benefits of Reciprocal Link Exchange

  • It’s free – only you will have to do it manually. However, there are some programs that will give you a month-long trial or offer their products at a cheaper price.
  • Aside from the potential link juice you get, you will also gain some targeted traffic and exposure as you link exchange with relevant websites or blogs.

The Downside of Reciprocal Link Exchange

  • It is very Time Consuming as it requires a lot of time having to send all the link exchange requests and to monitor which ones have approved or rejected, not to mention all the link database clean up you have to go through afterwards.
  • Websites being linked to have been previously banned or devalued by the major search engines because it can give a detrimental effect to your own website.
  • Some websites are already considered to be link farms. Always make sure to evaluate appropriately by using SEO tools and also reading through the main pages of the website. If you see a market-like setup for links, be forewarned.
  • Having the same anchor texts in thousands of websites in your link exchange will make Google suspicious of your links as unnatural and artificial, therefore reduces the positive effects of the link exchange campaign.
  • Your site may get reported to Google as spam.

Is it still good to put time and effort towards a reciprocal link exchange campaign?

The answers are Yes and No. It is a “Yes” because it is one of the cheapest ways to do an SEO back link campaign. Although it requires some time and effort, this is something that is very doable and achievable. However, it is also a “No” because you may spend the time spent for a reciprocal link exchange campaign into writing better content for your blog that encourages natural linking. If you are looking for link popularity though, there are other ways to get backlinks from related and relevant websites other than reciprocal link exchange and you may find them even more helpful. Now, the best answer to that question is "It is up to you.".

Guest Writer
Glen B

Glen is a part of the NetIdnow team that helps individuals and businesses alike on how to create a website using WebStudio Website Builder—an ecommerce website builder that allows people to make a website with or without HTML skills. Glen also enjoys sharing valuable information on SEO and Web Design.

Anatomy Of A Reciprocal Link Exchange Featured Image Photo Credit: derdoktor

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