Back links are very important with the search engines and reciprocal link exchanges are an easy way to get them. But there’s some reason to believe that the bots know very well what’s going on, so their value is somewhat attenuated. What the bots do like to see is an inbound link from a site with a significantly higher page rank than your own. But, of course, it’s more difficult to obtain such exchanges.
Reciprocal linking is well known in adult circles: “One of the most effective ways of getting your site known and included in the sought-after top ten lists is through reciprocal links…one of the oldest and most established ways of getting your site ranked high on search engines.”
But Michael Klasno goes so far as to say that reciprocal link exchanges are dead: “this practice does not indicate either site as being an authority and actually gives a slight edge to the lesser ranked site. This strategy has already become obsolete and very soon the search engines will change their algorithms and teach their spiders to take it into account.” So what’s left? One-way inbound links are almost impossible to obtain unless you already don’t need them (they’re like bank loans that way). What’s left are the usual link popularity strategies such as paid listings on directories.
But what Klasno does recommend is using an article you’ve written for three-way non-reciprocal linking in which all three sites get a unique inbound link without having to link back in return. Seems complicated (and unlikely!) but how it actually works is very simple—you send your article (linking back to you) to another site, a third site will refer to that article and thus link to them, and finally, you may want to link to that third site to drive traffic to your article and thus back to you. All three sites get a one-way inbound link:
Delivering relevant links from relevant content is the key. If you come across an opportunity like this, simply send an email to the website owner requesting a possible three-way link exchange. Ask them to visit your site and read your article first before making a decision. If your site is laid out well and the article content has some quality, a smart webmaster will jump at the chance.
Walsh also recommends this method of getting one-way inbound links by distributing content and it doesn’t have to be the three-way version: “The idea is simple: you give other websites content to put on their sites in exchange for a link to your site. The beauty of distributing content for links is that the links generally generate more traffic than links on a resource page. Plus, your article will pre-sell readers on the value of your site.”
Sources and Further Reading
Michael Klasno. “The Silver Bullet of Inbound Links,” Mainstream Webmasters 01/26/06. http://www.mainstreamwebmasters.com/article837.html.
Gary Bruce Smith. “The Importance of Reciprocal Links,” Klixxx Magazine. http://www.klixxx.com
Joel Walsh. “Getting One-way Inbound Links: The Five Major Strategies,” Mainstream Webmasters 07/25/05. http://www.mainstreamwebmasters.com/article594.html.
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