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Reciprocal links are bad for SEO and should be avoided. They are a clear attempt to manipulate the search results which is a big no-no. That's why Google specifically outs them in their webmaster guidelines. Additionally, by exchanging links you risk being considered part of a link farm which is another way to find yourself banned from the search engines.

Even without those two problems, reciprocal links have no SEO value. They negate each other or, even worse, you may be on the losing end of one and weaken your SE positioning. Link exchanges should be saved for websites in your niche that are well established and ahead of you in the rankings.


Actually that's a myth. Google will only ever punish sites that sell links, not purchase them. If they punished sites that purchased them, or it seemed like they purchased them, then a competitor could purchase links on your behalf and get your site penalized.

Is it "Stymiee" because you try to stymie a normal debate? Before this I was being polite, but you seem to have no idea about what Google is all about. First, Google promotes fair, democratic competition on the Web. This comes off as heavy handed sometimes in the application of their policies, but, nevertheless, this is what their after. What this means is that they would consider a company having deep pockets buying text links to be unfair practice. They want to be certain that an advertisement is recognized by both themselves and others as an advertisement.

Exchanging links. Again, you are dead wrong. Google says,

"When your site is ready:

  • Have other relevant sites link to yours. ...
  • Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites ... "

Exchanging links, or, having other sites link to yours and yours to others, is a very natural and democratic process. It can't be easily manipulated and it generally can't be bought (which is totally unecessary anyway). Think of link exchange services as dating services. They're just an intermediary or liason. The good ones serve a very valuable service, including linkmarket and linkalizer.

But, again, where you are fundamentally wrong is that SERP with Google comes from PR and PR comes from page count. Believe this or not, but don't try to misguide someone who is new to web publishing and looking for straight answers.

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"Additionally, by exchanging links you risk being considered part of a link farm which is another way to find yourself banned from the search engines.

Even without those two problems, reciprocal links have no SEO value. They negate each other or, even worse, you may be on the losing end of one and weaken your SE positioning."

Both of these statements are absolutely false!

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Backlinks are incoming links.The links to your site.
Page rank depends upon Backlinks.
check the Backlinks for a site:
Link:www.answer.com
We can increase our backlinks for your site by following tips:
Directory Submission
Forums Submission
Blog commenting
Article marketing
Press Release
Link Exchange

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Is it "Stymiee" because you try to stymie a normal debate? Before this I was being polite, but you seem to have no idea about what Google is all about. First, Google promotes fair, democratic competition on the Web. This comes off as heavy handed sometimes in the application of their policies, but, nevertheless, this is what their after. What this means is that they would consider a company having deep pockets buying text links to be unfair practice. They want to be certain that an advertisement is recognized by both themselves and others as an advertisement.

Exchanging links. Again, you are dead wrong. Google says,

"When your site is ready:

  • Have other relevant sites link to yours. ...
  • Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites ... "

Exchanging links, or, having other sites link to yours and yours to others, is a very natural and democratic process. It can't be easily manipulated and it generally can't be bought (which is totally unecessary anyway). Think of link exchange services as dating services. They're just an intermediary or liason. The good ones serve a very valuable service, including linkmarket and linkalizer.

But, again, where you are fundamentally wrong is that SERP with Google comes from PR and PR comes from page count. Believe this or not, but don't try to misguide someone who is new to web publishing and looking for straight answers.

"Additionally, by exchanging links you risk being considered part of a link farm which is another way to find yourself banned from the search engines.

Even without those two problems, reciprocal links have no SEO value. They negate each other or, even worse, you may be on the losing end of one and weaken your SE positioning."

Both of these statements are absolutely false!

You're clueless and that's ok. That's why I am here to help.

1) Seek links to your site. This means get links to your site. Notice how it doesn't mention make links to other sites? Now why might this be? Let me explain for you and I'll try to use small words. Incoming links are good for a site when they are unilateral. That means one way In other words you don't link back. Links are votes (in Google's eyes) and if a site links to you in is a vote. When you link back to a site that links to you that is basically seen as vote swapping. It is a manipulation of the SERPs and it disregarded.

2) You need to learn about PR. Do you know how PR works? What happens when a page links to yours? The PR for that page increases. That's a good thing. But what happens when you link to a page on another site? You "send" PR to that page thus leaving less for your site. Most of the time this equals itself out meaning there is no gain for either site. But what happens if your page "sends out" more PR then it gets back? You hurt your site.

3) You need to know what a link farm is. Link farms are a one way ticket to getting banned. Everyone knows that. But a site cannot be considered part of a link farm unless it links to other sites in the link farm. When you exchange links you run the risk of being in a link farm because you are linking to sites that are interconnected in a way to manipulate the SERPs. That's a link farm.

4) You mention link exchange services. Ever hear of the DigitalPoint coop? It was a big link exchange network. What happened to it? Once Google was able to figure that out every website in it suffered in the SERPs. In other words they got screwed for exchanging links and being in a link farm. It's happened to other link exchange sites as well. That's why most link exchange sites go out of their way to try to hide how it all works from Google. Once Google is able to sort out their details their members' sites will feel Google's wrath.

5) Reiteration: link exchanges are a manipulation of the SERPs. You talk about fair and democratic. Well, then you clearly don't understand pagerank as it handles fair and democratic. It calculates the effects of incoming links and outgoing links and it is no surprise that incoming links have a positive effect on PR and outgoing links do not. That's why one way links are so important and reciprocal links are useless.

6) Your google information is outdated. Read their current guidelines and see they don't mention link exchanges anymore. It's old news that they don't like them anymore. Time to get caught up with the latest SEO news. http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769. Make sure you read the section "Quality guidelines - basic principles", too.

Hopefully you are up to speed now on why link exchanges are bad for SEO.

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