Reciprocal linking…does it work? Yes it does. One can debate the value of reciprocal linking compared to other linking strategies. And without a doubt, one way links far outway the value of a reciprocal link. However, if done correctly, reciprocal linking can be a powerful SEO strategy for your website (See Search Engine Optimization Specialist for additional tips).
Search for reciprocal links from pages that have a Google PR equal or greater to your own. By doing so, you are enhancing the quality/value of the reciprocal link improving your overall success in the eyes of the search engines – especially Google. The higher the Google PR the more valuable the link becomes.
Exchange links only with sites that are related to your site/industry in some way. For example, don’t link to web sites about athletic clothing if you’re selling hardware. Sites that you’re exchaning links with need to be contextually relevant. When they are, you earn extra points in the eyes of Google and other major search engines.
Make sure that your anchor text, the text that comprises your link contains your keywords. This is one of the most important aspects of linking. For example, a link to my primary site should look like this: “Internet Marketing Expert Marketing Secrets” instead of “http://www.marketingscoop.com”. Doing so will signal the search engines with the specific keywords that you’re optimizing for. This enhances your search results when someone searches on your keywords or keyword phrase.
Your links page should never include more than one hundred links. Keeping your link quantity below one hundred ensures that search engines do not discredit the value of your site or challenge it as SPAM. One way to include more than one hundred links to to create a mini-link directory. Develop categories and group your links appropriately.
Check your partner’s websites on a regular basis to ensure that they are still linking back to you. Often I’ve exchanged links with a site only to find that they removed the link back to my site only days after the exchange. You can do this manually or utilize software to do it for you. There are a variety of options out there. No matter how you validate reciprocal links, check them on a regular basis.
View the title of the links page where your link will be placed. You can do this by visiting the link page and then pressing “view” on your browser menu bar. Then select “view source code” and find the meta tags. The title tag should include keywords relevant to your site. It doesn’t have to, but if it does, the more valuable it becomes.
Quality over quantity. When you being the process of building reciprocal links for your website, go for quality over quantity. Once you get started, you will undoubtedly have numerous sites looking for an exchange. If the sites don’t meet your linking criteria, you must say no to the link exchange.
In summary, make sure your reciprocal link program includes relevant links that have an equal or greater Google PR. Check your links often and make sure not to include more than 100 links on your link exchange page. Follow these tips and you’re well on your way to a successful reciprocal linking campaign. Lastly, be patient. The value of reciprocal links is most clearly seen over time.