There is a bit of alarm at DigitalPoint Forums over June's Google Webmaster Guidelines update that addresses some of the outstanding questions regarding hidden links, cloaking, keyword spamming, and the like. More specifically, the panic is related to linking practices as seen by Google.
Numerous webmasters are afraid that they are being penalized -- or will be -- due to reciprocal linking. But that's not quite the case. As Google's Adam Lasnik says in the questionable blog post that stirred this discussion, Google is looking for relevant reciprocal linking, and not linking schemes that provide no value to the users.
When read with the initial paragraph (right above the list mentioning reciprocal linking), it becomes pretty clear that we are NOT inherently against reciprocal links.
Note in particular this sentence: “However, some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites.”
I think DigitalPoint forums members need to sit back, relax, and read Search Engine Roundtable for any clarifications. ;)
Forum discussion continues at DigitalPoint Forums.