Link exchange and reciprocal link building programs used to be an important part of SEO some years ago. But things have changed, especially regarding link exchange & reciprocal links.
You know that Google updates it’s search engine algorithm from time to time. Often Google will introduce unannounced algorithm changes to improve the quality of their search results.
This is one of the challenges that professional SEO agencies are facing: It’s highly important to stay up to date with new algorithm trends to ensure high visibility & high ranking for your customers.
Reciprocal link exchanges bye-bye. Long live unique quality content!
Many search engine optimizers, digital marketing agencies & web designers have focused on link exchange programs and reciprocal link building activities as a core part of their off-site SEO strategy.
This has now changed. Google does not assign any high value to reciprocal links anymore. In fact, it can even hurt your Google search engine page ranking if you participate in any low-quality link exchanges.
Google’s algorithm has been updated to identify the exchange of reciprocal links by two sites. And specifically been trimmed to know when two parties are doing this to build their inbound back-links.
Why is Google not valuing reciprocal link exchange?
You may ask why Google is doing this. Well, the answer is pretty easy:
Google is dedicated to show the best relevant answers and results in their search.
Any back-linking program that helps push a site up the SERPs is therefore again Google’s original intention. What if a site is merely participating in link exchanges and reciprocal link building? That does not mean that it actually does provide quality content. Google’s target is to provide users with quality search results. And ultimately lead them to a site where they’ll find compelling quality content.
The idea here is that quality content by itself will become linked to:
If a page provides useful and unique information on a subject, other sites are going to link to it.
Reciprocal link exchange on the other hand is an agreement that is mutual beneficial to two site owners. And who try to climb up the SERPs (search engine landing pages) by helping each other.
Needless to say, this is not really what Google wants to see.
Yes, still it might sometimes be feasible to link to another quality content site in a reciprocal way. Under certain circumstances this might still have a positive effect on off-site SEO. But merely exchanging links for the sake of building back-links will certainly not do anymore.
The good old days of exchanging links, well they are over and won’t come back. Instead it’s wise to really focus most of your attention on creating great content.
Focus instead on creating unique high-quality content. Build up a serious content marketing strategy. You’ll be able to establish yourself as an authority site within your given industry or niche.
With more than 10 years of experience with e-commerce and digital marketing, search engine optimization as well as web based Free Open Source Software applications, LAMP servers, systems security & web development, the author Daniel T. is leading the technical team at SEOptix and helps us ensure that customers benefit from state-of-the-art full service digital solutions with an amazing ROI.