Originally Posted by St0n3y
Recip links are NOT dead, and it's absolutely NOT true that they will get you penalized. Anybody telling you that is spinning yarns about that which they don't know.
I am currently running some tests on reciprocal linking. I'm several months away from publishing any definitive findings but the results so far show that that recip links still carry weight with Google.
With that said, if you have nothing but reciprocal links then Google will see an unnatural linking pattern going on with your site and it may discount a lot of them. Reciprocal links are a excellent part of a balanced link diet... but they should not consist of the entire link diet!
[added] A poorly implemented reciprocal campaign CAN do you more harm than good (less frequency of spidering, etc) but I would not say that this constitutes a penalty.
This is completely accurate… any other advice is uniformed. Merely go to Matt Cutts blog and search ‘reciprocal links’ he has discussed it many times.
I have researched, tested and written extensively about all things ‘Big Daddy’ (Google algorithm update) and I have read many, many comments and guidelines by the CUTTlefish on linking. As Goo is currently the toughest on linking strategies/patterns, it is a good indicator.
There is just so much, here are some tidbits;
The Q&A period at the recent; ‘Nov16-2005 - WMW Las Vegas Organic Site Reviews Panel’ - This panel, made up of representatives of the Big 3 and more, was giving general reviews of sites from the audience form an ‘organic’ SEO standpoint. Matt mentioned in a review of some sites for the attendees;
“TicketsToGo.com – “Matt Cutts said "tell me about your backlinks" ... uber spammy reciprocal linking campaign. said good news is no manual spam penalty, but few of the low quality links this site has are doing it any good.””
On his Blog as a follow up to the event;
“The main point I want to get across is that in 1-2 minutes, it was easy to tell whether a site was (over)doing reciprocal links or trying to buy links”
On his Blog in regards to Big Daddy and linking;
“The sites that fit “no pages in Bigdaddy” criteria were sites where our algorithms had very low trust in the inlinks or the outlinks of that site. Examples that might cause that include excessive reciprocal links, linking to spammy neighborhoods on the web, or link buying/selling.” - www.mattcutts.com/blog/indexing-timeline
My point is TRUST ME. Our friend here is very correct that advice to the contrary is simply misguided, (unless you don’t believe Matt).
It’s about linking responsibly. If you go out ‘willy-nilly’ buying links and trading with any irrelevant site you can find.. you can most likely expect to get devalued and see no measurable ROI on your link building investments.
It’s not dead… it just requires care.