Even though reciprocal linking has
come under scrutiny by search engines such as Google,
having links from other websites is a critical element in
every search engine optimization campaign. Linking is at
the center of how the Internet works. Link popularity is
and I believe always will be a key component in getting
top ranking website.
An election analogy works well in explaining link
popularity. Each link to your web page counts as a
"vote" for that page. "Votes" from
websites with high link popularity count more than links
from other sites. Links that use keywords that match your
page also have their "votes" count more.
These "votes" add up to PageRank, which Google
uses to determine the importance of a web page in the
search engine results. If your site gets enough
"votes", your website can "win the
election" with top rankings and increased web
The "election laws" are set and enforced by the
search engines. The job of the search engines is to give
consumers accurate and relevant results if they want these
customers to keep coming back. The search engines are
constantly changing and improving their algorithms to
detect "election fraud" from those who are
trying to trick their way into a top ranking spot. The
best way to succeed with the engines is to focus on giving
good content that visitors would be interested in and then
you are working along with the search engines toward the
same goals. This includes how you approach your linking
The SE's are now clamping down on "campaign finance
violations" in the form of paid text links. These
links typically have poor anchor text and may be on a page
that is over saturated with links. Many times these
identical links appear on hundreds or even thousands of
web pages. The search engines, particularly Google have
set-up methods for detecting these links. These links now
are being devalued or filtered out completely.
Search engines are also clamping down on "unfair
campaign practice" This includes link farms, hidden
links, search engine spamming, cloaking, doorway pages and
other black hat SEO practices.
So exactly what is a link farm? This is a type of
"ballot box stuffing." A link farm is a web page
(or even an entire website) that is set up for the sole
purpose of allowing webmasters to exchange links with each
other for search engine ranking purposes only. These links
are usually unorganized and many have little or no
relevance to the topic of the website. The key element
here is that link farms are not created for the website
visitor, but for the sole purpose of getting good
What do the search engines consider ethical
"campaigning"? Don't opt for the quick fix in
order to generate instant sales. Focus on good content and
designing your website for your visitor, not the search
engine. Make your website compliant with what the search
engines want, rather than tricking your way to good
Does reciprocal linking work today? Absolutely! Here are
some things you should consider as you develop your
linking strategies. The websites you select to trade links
with should be of interest to your site's visitors. Choose
a theme and topic that is consistent with your website.
Keep the maximum links per page to 10 and categorize your
links to make it easy for visitors.
Choose only websites that are high in quality, high in
PageRank, and links with your targeted keywords. To get
links, try www.freelinkcentral.com.
I like this link exchange directory because of its
research resources. It has keyword search capabilities and
shows the PageRank of every link... and best of all it is
Other ideas to consider, try adding a paragraph of text or
content to each links page. This tends to give a natural
look and less like a link directory. During any link
trading campaign change your link text regularly. Add your
links on a slow and regular basis rather than all at once.
Link building has always been on the scene, and links have
a nice benefit, they drive direct traffic to your site
when clicked. They have an added benefit in that they
greatly improve your standing with the search engines. But
be very careful if you are doing link building purely for
the sake of the search engines.
Link building is usually the most time consuming and most
powerful part of effective broad based SEO.
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Copyright November 2005