In the early 2000s, reciprocal links were a popular link building method. A reciprocal link is an agreement between two companies to trade each other’s links to boost SEO. It basically means, “I’ll link you, and you link me.” This is done by showing partnership between the websites or providing quick access to them. You could say they are a byproduct of owning a website.
Google announced that it would discount all reciprocal links. It has updated its algorithm to identify link exchanges meant to increase inbound links. Reciprocal links go against Google’s policy of quality content attracting links. All you are doing is promoting someone else’s content hoping to promote your own. The best way is to focus on high-quality content.
Is reciprocal linking harmful?
Reciprocal links may be useful, but if not used correctly, they will be harmful to your SEO. Here is how reciprocal links may harm you:
If you are abusing backlinks to manipulate search results, Google may penalize your website.
Decreased authority and ranking
If you link to sites that are not relevant to your content, you may see a drop in rankings and authority. Sometimes linking to low authority websites may not be bad, but excessive linking is harmful.
Boosting SEO for competition
When exchanging links, go for websites with similar content and theme but not your competitor. Because if you both use the same keywords, the chances of your link being reciprocated are low.
Loss of trust
Reciprocal links can result in the loss of trust in search engines. This happens if you have a high number of one to one links, or your anchor text is irrelevant or suspicious.
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