Comment on Reciprocal Linking by SEO Dave.

Reciprocal Links An SEO client asked a very good question regarding reciprocal linking. A link partner had removed their link because they believed they (the link partner, not our client) had received a Google penalty for reciprocal linking.

Here’s what I told the client:

It’s an SEO myth that they are reacting to.

Basically the belief is reciprocal links are downgraded and possibly penalized by Google (lots of people believe this).

It’s a very easy trap to fall into, a site embarks on a large reciprocal links campaign and gains say 50 PR4+ reciprocal links mostly from reciprocal links pages.

Most webmasters assume by reciprocal linking their PR will increase along with Google rankings. The reality is reciprocal links aren’t a particularly good way to increase PR or search engine rankings UNLESS you manage to gain more PR from it (rare).

A few months pass by and very little happens or some SERPs drop, conclusion Google penalty for reciprocal linking.

That’s how the SEO myth starts that Google penalizes reciprocal links.

The reason why reciprocal linking is unlikely to increase PR:

When you link from a PR4 page and receive a PR4 link back the PR gained/lost (one partner gains one partner looses) is minimal. So unless you are always getting higher PR links in return your PR does not increase OR decrease significantly.

This then only leaves the anchor text from the reciprocal links which will help, but because you don’t gain extra PR (or could loose some) it’s not as effective as one way linking.

There is nothing wrong with reciprocal linking, but don’t expect significant PR or SERPs increases.

David Law