algorithm updates from Google, Yahoo and MSN it has led many to
question whether or not link-building is still worthwhile. Particularly,
people have been questioning whether or not reciprocal link-building
is still a valuable effort. It is.
may be true that in some instances reciprocal links on certain
websites may have been devalued due to algorithm changes, it does
not mean they are not still valuable. It is a matter of degree
here and not a black or white issue.
engines have become better recently at asserting their core values
through their algorithms. This means that tried and true methods
still work, while other more dubious methods will be devalued
significantly or get a website in trouble.
if a webmaster or web marketing firm is using some methodology
to trick the search engines into thinking a particular website
has more back links than it truly does, then eventually the search
engine engineers will catch on and write some code to devalue
or penalize websites that use this methodology.
remember that for the last year or so, the search engines have
made a huge effort to "clean up the web". In the Fall
2004 season, Yahoo started penalizing image alt tag abuses. Later,
Google started penalizing sites that had more than two links on
a page pointing to another internal page. In the Spring 2005 season
Google started to discount back links placed in may free general
directories and paid text links.
have all been with the intent of getting back to core values.
In regards to reciprocal linking, if webmasters and marketers
stick with the core values of reciprocal linking then those links
will still be of value.
core value of reciprocal linking: put your visitor first. Place
links on your website as if the search engines did not exist and
you were putting them their solely for the benefit of your visitors.
If Site A links to Site B because it has some great content that
is of value to its visitors and then Site B does the same, well
then this is a good match for both sites and stands on its own
weight. The search engines will not penalize and in fact will
place a positive value upon this linking scenario.
webmasters and marketers get in trouble is when they start linking
to other websites that have no value to their visitors. Linking
to off-topic sites is one example. Linking to too many affiliate
sites is another example.
all wrapped up in the "stinkin' linkin' blues". Reciprocal
linking is still alive and well and when you put your visitors
first, you site will also, as an afterthought prosper in the search
engine rankings as well.