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Reciprocal links: Look before you link

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A reciprocal link is when a web site links to you and you link
back to them.

If you own a website, I’m sure you’ve received emails asking for
link exchanges. This article’s purpose is to help you decide who
you should be linking to and why.

Look before you link!

Indiscriminate linking can be harmful to your search engine
rankings and your reputation. When considering another website
for a link exchange, always check out the potential link
partner’s web site and the page that your link is going to be
placed on.

Five essential rules to follow when choosing a link partner.

1. Make sure that the website is related to yours. For
example, if you’re a real estate agent, don’t exchange links
with pages about diet pills or casinos. Link to other real
estate related web sites, like mortgages or real estate agents
in other areas.

2. Don’t link to link farms. You can tell a page is a
link farm by the fact that there’s usually no company logo,
hundreds of links and no real content.

3. Think of your outbound link as a recommendation for that
If the web site or link page is of poor quality, don’t
link to it. Ask yourself: Would I recommend this page to my

4. Ensure your link will be found by search engines. Just paste
the URL of the web page you’ll be linked on into Google, Yahoo,
or MSN. If the page comes up in the results, it’s indexed.

5. Examine the links on the potential link exchange partner’s
web page. Make sure the links point straight to other sites and
are not redirected or use JavaScript linking code. Look at the
HTML source code and check the the links for the following text:
rel=nofollow. This code tells major search engines not to count
this link in ranking algorithms.

If done correctly, reciprocal linking can be a great way to
increase your online traffic. So, don’t forget! Always look
before you link!


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  • Posted On May 22, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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