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Downfall Of Reciprocal Linking

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Author: David Andrew Smith


All the literature, articles, experts and e-zines devoted to Search Engine Optimisation inform us that links to websites are graded as to importance by the page rank of the linking site and the relevance of its content to the content on the other site. Reciprocal links are of no importance especially with regard to Google although they are not penalised. The higher the page rank of the linking site the better. So we are constantly berated to seek out these high ranking sites to get them to provide a backlink to our own sites. Often they also intimate how you can go about this but when reading on you are never given a definitive plan of for example how to convince the BBC to link to your own site.

I cannot give any ideas as to how to achieve this either. Even if you were fortunate or lucky enough to get a backlink from a site with a PR of 8 would the link be considered relevant? Only it seems if the content of the overall site was related to the content of your own site? Google we re told looks carefully at the content across all the pages of a site and not just the content on the page where any link might be found. So I personally have stopped trying to achieve such links.

Running a website with a page rank of 4, I am personally inundated with requests from other webmasters to provide them with a reciprocal link. They always use the same standard argument ..'you will appreciate the importance of links to search engine positioning'.. . Where have these people been the last two years? I always reply to them positively by refusing the reciprocal link but suggest that I will place a link to them if they can give me a good reasoned argument as to why I should. To date I have had not a single reply. These website developers would have better fortune if they asked directly for a backlink without mention of a useless reciprocal link. I am quite happy to accommodate someone who asks nicely with a reasoned argument. So webmasters out there take note.

Returning to the idea of relevant backlinks. The greater majority of my own backlinks are obtained from writing and publishing articles. Thes provide PR of two to three and of course totally relevant content because the content of the articles are related to the services that we provide. One problem with writing and widely distributing articles is the penalty Google imposes on duplicate content. Google will only take one of the sources and count it as a relevant backlink whilst the majority of the other search engines will often count all the places where the article has been published. Despite this article writing is still the best and easiest way of getting good backlinks. It could, based on my own experiences take anything up to one year before Google will recognise this as a backlink.

About the author: David Smith is one of the founders of Sparkle Cleaning Services UK Ltd to be found at http://www.wesparkle.co.uk . This company provides cleaning services throughout the UK. He has built and runs this site as well as organising the cleaning contracts generated from the website.



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