For a long time, reciprocal links have remained at the forefront of most inbound linking strategies. This is going to have to change. Google now discounts all reciprocal links. The algorithm has been altered to identify the exchange of links by two parties to increase their number of inbound links. A reciprocal link is an arrangement between two webmasters to present a hyperlink or backlink inside their own website to each other’s site. Usually, this is created to give readers quick access to related sites or to designate a partnership between two sites. Reciprocal links can also assist to boost traffic to your web site in two ways. First, you may probably have some viewers who visit your site from clicking the reciprocal link directly. Secondly, most search engines also get into account the number of web sites that contain links to your web site; the more hyperlinks or backlinks to your site found, the higher up in the search engine rankings (depending on the search term or keyword) you’ll find your site.
Did You Know…? “Link love” is a slang term adopted to describe reciprocal links.
The concept of reciprocal linking defies Google’s original intention with the algorithm. Quality content should attract links. The exchange of links is nothing more than a mutual agreement to unjustifiably promote others’ content with the end goal of promoting your own. Google doesn’t particularly like this (see Link Schemes).
Some even claim that Google is now able to identify three-way linking schemes (i.e. website A links to website B, who links to website C, who links back to A). Whether this is true or not is hard to say. One thing is for certain though: inbound linking strategies should NOT be centered around reciprocal linking. This manufactured form of link creation is not well-received and is ultimately a waste of time. Instead, focus on creating unique, high-quality content in a given niche. The links will ensue.
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