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Old 07-16-2007   #1
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Question recipical link directory

Should I have any fears about providing a reciprocal link to a directory? I guess the first thing that comes to mind is fears about it being a black hat site. If it is listed in Google am I reasonably safe? I mean if the changes of it being black hat are relatively small and a single black hat link amongst many valid links may be fine.

It sounds like a dumb question, but I suppose I have to find out somehow.

Joe Jensen
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Old 07-17-2007   #2
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it depends on the directory.. does the directory require a link exchange? link exchange should never be required. It's ok to request a link exchange when it benefits the end user but when sites start requiring it, a red flag pops up.

My company owns and operates, one of the oldest link exchange directories on the web. A long time ago, we required a reciprocal link from all sites listed in our directory- a big mistake.. once we realized we were not bettering the web with that requirement, we dumped that requirement (about 3 years ago). The only thing we require is that sites publish active exit link resources (links page or similar).

Sites that require link exchange are doing so for reasons that don't always benefit the end user. When responding to a link exchange request, ask yourself, "does it help my end users by linking to this site?" .. if the answer is no or you aren't sure, best to not return the link even when required.

Make linking decisions based on what benefits the end user, first and foremost.
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Old 07-19-2007   #3
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I do agree to an extent but i personally think that reciprical linking can be used to improve rankings and if you offer something your competitors dont you are benifiting the end user by being ranked higher.

Now before i get reply after reply saying what? google only devlaues link equity from sites that reciprical link. That means they still provide some bonus albiet not as much as it did and in the furture this could change.

if you are finding it hard to get any more relative backlinks riciprical linking can be a slight bonus if done properly. but i would say 80% of your links to a site should be oneway with 20% being reciprical. All of my top ranking competeters have reciprical link pages and other competeters that dont rank so high do not. Now i no that is probly down to a million and 1 reasons poor seo, flash, ajax, black hat, the list is endless but it's still a fact and one at the present time isn't black hat. As i say this will probly change in the furture in my opinion.

If you do reciprical linking there are a lot of traps you have to look out for.
Links that use nofollow in the link back to your site will be usless to you. Links put on JS scripts that activate another page will be usless
php hidden links or asp, jsp etc.. will be usless.
You will be giving them a quality link and you will be getting jack.

Also reciprical linking can be detrimental aswell if you run a ecommerce site and you link to your competiters you are asking to go broke (if it is an internet only site) unless you provide a link page (which google will add a further devalue on as link pages in general are only there to increase search results) also you will lose a small amount of traffic to your competitors.

At the end of the day the majority of your linking should be oneway but there is no reason as of yet anyway why you cant use reciprical linking to some extent. Just make sure you dont relie on it and when you do use it spread it out around your site even if it's just a link to misc or resources (however i personally think a resources page might be devalued the same as usefull links, other links, links you may find helpfull. Googles algorithm will look for such pages i mean the page will only contain links and no relevant content and will only be there for a ranking boost any way so why give value to it) with two different links on every other page. this will also mean you will get more link equity back as less will be leaked out.

I'm sure lots of people will disagree but SEO is not an exact science something that works now might not work tomorrow. I mean noone knows if alt tags are ranked higher nowa days because few sites spam them because of being afraid of being seen of keyword stuffing or spamming. No i'm not saying they are but with image search becoming a bigger thing whos to say. Any way i like to think this post is balanced but if you think i'm crazy fair enough let me know i will like to hear an opinion to my crazyiness

Hope this helps

Last edited by Jazajay : 07-19-2007 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 07-20-2007   #4
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I personally stay away from reciprocal link building. It may have benefits, but I tend to spend the same amount of time looking for one way links that I would for reciprocal links - and with so many good sources of one way links out there - why waste time linking out?
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Old 07-20-2007   #5
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True but it does depend on your keyword if you have 1000 then yeah you have loads of one way links but if you only have 3 specalized keywords one-way links will be hard to come by (so will recips but at least it will help) check out this thread on recip. linking if the thread is right then by not using recip. linking you are not doing yourself any favours.

Recip. linking has peaked there is no arguing that but there is no reason not to take advantage of it while its on its way down (just remember to keep count as to which are recips. that way when they are dropped and i do think they will eventually you can get rid or use nofollow). sort of like a American 1930's stock market chart if you get my anallergy. The end of the day yeah i agree with gthing but oneway links can become harder to find after a site has been established.

Think of this you (your site) is a frog in a lake. Oneway links are the flys you feed on at some point the flies will be used up as you work your way though them. As in the longer the site is established. Now depending on your keyword you are optimizing for you could be in a ocean with limitless oneway links(flies) or a puddle with very few files. What i'm trying to say is if you find yourself in the puddle there is no harm in popping over to your friends pond and asking him for some flies (ricip. linking I know my anallergy isn't great)

The end of the day recip. linking is not the dog bollo*ks any more as us brits would say but if someone approaches you offering a recip and it's viable as in they aren't trying to jack you then yeah go for it but try to eat all your flies first
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