Linking to a website is a method of indicating to Google that you like that site and regarded it as being valuable. Reciprocal linking is linkbuilding when the linking favour is returned, therefore linking to a site which links back to you. There has been much controversy over Google’s opinion of reciprocal links.

Advantages of reciprocal linking

•    Reciprocal link exchange can benefit both parties involved if the websites are relevant to one another
•    This works well to increase page rank
•    Opportunity to link to relevant sites
•    It is one of the most time effective ways of link building as it would generally consist of sending an email to the website concerned

Disadvantages of reciprocal linking

•    If there is no direct link between the sites as far as content goes, the reciprocal link exchange is likely to be less effective
•    If the sites are irrelevant to one another, then the reciprocal link will not add value to either site
•    It has been said that search engines regard a link to your site without returning it higher than if the link was returned
•    Search engines are aware of irrelevant link for link agreements and this will also not add value to either site

Some say reciprocal links work very well to build page rank and improve website positions in search engine results pages. However, others claim that there is a lack of efficiency from reciprocal links. But in an actual fact there is very little from Google and other search engines about what they really think of reciprocal links.

Sometimes they can be hard to avoid as websites that link to your website often only do so under the conditions that you return the link. Secondly, websites that you are linking to or are linking to you are hopefully being linked due to the relevance and value they would provide your site visitors, in which case reciprocal linking would be beneficial.

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