• http://www.10e20.com skore

    Excellent Danny – top post on SEL yet..

  • http://seowebmaster.com/ ★ Search Engines WEB

    Exchanged Links Are Bad BUT I Say Ignore This: You can pretty much ignore this since it’s so badly defined as to what they are that you’re likely going to worry about the wrong thing.

    MSN SERPs reflects their an anti-reciprocal link policy …. so, perhaps it IS something to worry about.

    The reason being no one knows if Google is slowly introducing a similar algo into their serps.

    The algo could detect and compare the amount of a site’s LINKS to its BACKLINKS from the same domains. then apply some sort of neutering algo.

    And just in case someone is engaging in Three way links to avoid this, an advanced algo level could look for LINK NEIGHBORHOODS.

    Also, since automatic link exchanges are frowned upon – dynamic urls that end in php or asp could also be devalued or send red flags if a sites has many backlinks from them.

    So for now, non recip, human reviewed directories, with static URLs could be the safest option (see the link in the username)

    Have Good Content: Because it will naturally attract good links.

    That – unfortunately – is not always true nor valid.

    No matter how good content is – THERE HAS TO BE A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO DISCOVER IT EASILY!!

    ADDITONALLY, not everyone comes under the ‘good content’ umbrella. Many small bu$inesses are just putting up a business web site or ecommerce sites that explain their products or services. They just want some business, they are not interested in becoming the next Micro$oft. They have every right to have a share of potential, relevant customers – and they should not be forced to use PPCs as their only hope.
    The fact is, few users are using Local search, and in a Web world, you can shop online to anywhere!

    What incentive is there for the high ‘trustranked’ Nytimes or Digg or Fortune of MSN MONEY to do a story or link to a tiny, nothing ecommerce Website??????

    If they issued PR releases, how many news services would pick it up and run with it????? LOL

    PrWeb use to be the hope for the small business, but now Google has discounted their link love ablilites.

    Search Engines MUST acknowlege the root causes and stop this denial. Whenever millions of’Basically GOOD’ people worldwide are doing the same behaviour – it means a VOID exists! Millions or people are not going to collectively change their behaviour or repress their ambitions. That is just life.

  • http://www.seo4fun.com/blog/ Halfdeck

    Quotes from my a post i just published:

    http://www.seo4fun.com/blog/2006/12/19/wmw-google-bashing-over-reciprocal-links.html

    “A reciprocal link can just be coincidental, an exchanged one denotes some deliberation, and it’s the deliberate targeting of the PR algo through linkage that the blogpost is all about.” — Glengara, WMW

    Also, an Adam Lasnik quote:

    The key here is, indeed, moderation :). If, say, 90% of your backlinks are reciprocal, that’s probably not going to improve how our algorithms view your site. Or worse, if 90% of your backlinks are reciprocal and not likely to be of interest to your user.

    But exchanging links here and there — *especially* when
    done with clear editorial judgement (e.g., you’re not just
    accepting dozens of link exchanges willy-nilly) — that’s
    not the sort of thing Google looks down upon.

  • http://www.ericward.com eric_ward

    My two cents -

    I’ve said before, and will say again, it’s not possible to determine reciprocal link “intent” with 100% accuracy by algorithm alone. Cannot be done. Never will. I’ll argue this point to my grave. But you can get pretty darn close.

    Thus an engine, once it comes across a pair of recips, needs only to look for what I call “signals of intent”. An engine cannot penalize a site based the existence of a recip. That’d be just plain insane. There’s lots of valid reasons why reciprocal links exist. It’s all about intent folks. And intent can be determined with a little algorithmic foraging. Not perfect, but it can be done. And it is.

    Of more concern to me is the potential for unintended consequences.

    For example, if Small Company in Idaho makes national news and gets a link to their site from CNN.com, isn’t it pretty logical that the owners of Small Idaho Company would mention this on their site like…

    “Read about us at CNN.com”

    and then link to the CNN.com page that mentioned them? Of course they would. And in so doing, they just created a reciprocal link between themselves and CNN.com.

    So would Small Idaho Company have been better off algorithmically to not even mention the CNN site on their site so as to not raise the reciprocal suspicion ? Now that IS whacked.

    I have many recips on my site because I spotted coverage of my site and a link to my site on those sites and I wanted to tell my sites readers about them. It’s for trust, branding, credibility. Like this one

    http://www.inc.com/magazine/20001115/21032.html

    If Inc. magazine writes about me and links to my site, wouldn’t it be nuts if I didn’t link to that Inc. page so my site’s reader’s can see this cool publicity?

    My intent with this link is 100% NOT algorithmically driven/motivated, but the moment I linked back to Inc.com I turned that Inc.com link to me into a reciprocal link, potentially making that Inc.com link to my site less trustworthy. I’ve hurt my site.

    Google has their hands full. Recips are the backbone of the web since before engines ever showed up. But Google must look for “signals of intent” before they ignore or penalize.

    Eric Ward

  • http://www.netexperienced.com mfshearer

    I appreciate the clarification and analogies on “reciprocal” and “exchange” links…it has been a confusion of mine in developing link strategies for my clients (of course, getting them to help me build link bait worthy content for their sites is an entirely different story). Question, though, as a web designer/seo consultant, am I taking a questionable liberty by including a link back to my site on websites that I design? I figure it helps me at least twofold: in the SE algos AND leads coming through who like the site design.

  • http://www.webdesignid.com/blog zkatkin

    I couldn’t agree more… do right by your audience and you’ll be fine.