Optimize Me

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What is reciprocal linking?

I thought I would answer this question, as it seems to be one of the techniques used by most companies to optimise their page rank.

Before beginning to answer such a question, it is important to define what a reciprocal link is, and perhaps more importantly, what it is not.

A reciprocal link is a text and/or banner link to a site that, somewhere in its pages, carries a similar text/banner link to your own site.

A reciprocal link is a commitment. This link basically says "The site at the other end of this link feels that my site is important enough to link to, and I feel that their site is important enough that I am willing to let visitors leave my site via this link."

A reciprocal link involves an element of trust. Few Webmasters have the time or patience to constantly monitor the sites that link back to them, so you are trusting the other site to maintain the link on their site, and not bury it under other information or delete it during a site upgrade.

A reciprocal link is not the quickest way to bring more traffic. I have seen sites with over 100 banner and text links on a single page -- now how much traffic do you think the sites featured on that page were getting from those links? I visited some of the linked sites, and most offered the same scenario: a collection of unorganised links and graphics, many of them broken or out of date, none benefiting the relevant sites.

Next time ill have a look at which sites you should submit to and ones to avoid.

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