Should I Dump My Reciprocal Link Partners?

Aug 25, 2008 • 9:28 am | comments (7) by twitter | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

Back in the day when reciprocal linking was useful, some webmasters were trigger happy and aimed to link to everything that would link back, even if there was no relevancy from site to site. Over the past few years, many of those reciprocal links were not as reciprocal as they used to be, as other webmasters became savvier and realized there was likely no value in these links.

With this being the case, a webmaster has looked into his links and noted that it's probably about time that he should revamp his "directory" of links. Should he dump everyone (especially the irrelevant links) or just a few select individuals who aren't linking back and aren't relevant either?

Forum members at WebmasterWorld suggest to keep only the relevant links (and pages that actually exist) and inform all webmasters that these links are to be dropped. Additionally, you don't need to necessarily aim for a 100% reciprocal link ratio. Instead, it should be "somewhere between 30-80% [reciprocal link ratio] which shows the search engines you are linking for your end user and not necessarily for reciprocation."

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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Lisa Melcher

08/25/2008 05:32 pm

go for it! watch your rankings drop at the same time! The search engines reward you for quality links. thet dont care if you get them via link exchange or smoke signal. What they are watching for is RELEVANCY and how often you get the links.

Tamar Weinberg

08/25/2008 08:47 pm

Lisa, I'm not sure I can agree with you on that. What about paid relevant links? According to your argument, my relevant paid links shouldn't have penalized me, but they did.

Lisa Melcher

08/25/2008 11:53 pm

depends on what else you have been up to. and how many relevant paid links are we talking about?

Khaled Alwan

08/27/2008 08:09 am

Telling people to drop their reciprocal links that in some cases may have taken years to build up is not very wise. I agree the links pointing out that aren't linking back should go unless you consider the resource to be valuable, in which case they should stay. If all that you have are reciprocal links making up back links to your site if you drop them all you will be sorry.

Dejan M.

08/28/2008 12:40 pm

Links should be dropped for sure... If partners web site is abandoned and hasn't grown up since link trade was made it should be dropped like hot potato, simple as that, especially if it's recip link trade... But if partner site is old site, well developed and doing good, with good number of back links and traffic i see no reason for dropping link trade like that, even if it's irrelevant and reciprocal... just my 2cs :)


08/30/2008 01:34 am

Oh everyone just stop it. STOP chasing the Google Mood-Swing of the day and SEO theory and Forum blabber of the moment. Just focus on building better quality related relevant links moving forward. You can't change the past - a critical life lesson we all eventually learn. But you can change the NOW - and that's what helps your website's future. Really, does ANYONE have a PROVEN method of ascertaining WHICH of their links are truly 'harmful'? And even if you did, could you really eradicate all-some-most-many of them? And by the time you did - would the algos-du-jour even be the same? This post reeks of advocating we go around picking up turds from our past. I don't know about you - but I like to leave those BEHIND ME! :)


08/31/2008 04:30 am

Not at all a problem, if link back from relevant sites with high PR and no doorway pages which are the best methods for Ethical SEO.

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