Are Reciprocal Links Good or Bad from Google’s Point of View?

Before plunging headlong into this controversial concern it may be worthwhile defining or describing what a reciprocal link actually is

While a commoner would be happy with a simple definition that hints at “You link my site, I’ll link yours and we will both get an increase in traffic”, an internet geek is likely to come up with a smarter response such as “Outbound links, exchanged for inbound links” or “A link to a site in exchange for a link from a site”.


Be that as it may, reciprocal links are considered as one of the most effective forms of website promotion that are widely practiced amongst webmasters the world over. And rightly so, because under appropriate circumstances, they will not only help your site in regard to search engine optimization but also be beneficial for your visitors. However, Google will not point an accusing finger at you as long as you do it ethically. In other words, there must be a justification in such exchanges.


However, you will make a mistake if you think all incoming links will provide the same benefit. In order to make sure that your reciprocal links will generate the highest value for your site as well as its visitors, you need to comprehend the way links work in the search engines. More so, with link obsessed Google mania.


online SEO
online SEO

Nevertheless, when considering Google guidelines in terms of effective reciprocal link arrangement, think first about the interests of your visitors and ignore the search engines. The reasons are pretty simple. Whatever is best for your visitors to your site is also what makes the search engines happy. Remember, relevance, here is the name of the game.


Relevant links, as a matter of fact, are more helpful to a website’s visitors than links that have no linking with the theme or premise found on the site’s pages. Google’s search algorithm,online SEO to be precise, supports the same principle, emphasizing more on the theme link in place of one that is little related to the website. Needless to say, reciprocal links, to and from sites, that contribute to the same topic or theme are more appreciated by Google.


It may not be out of place to mention here that when link exchanges are executed between websites that share the common theme, visitors are benefited, too albeit in a round about way. Offering outgoing links to other functional informative sites invariably raises a website’s reputation as a resource. This makes the visitor to become respectful towards the site, regarding it as a source of useful links.


So far as search engines are concerned, they will view the site as remaining entirely within its overall themes. Higher visitor traffic and sales result, on the one hand, and higher Google PageRank and better results in the search engine results pages (SERPs), appear on the other. So, you see, there is nothing wrong with Reciprocal Links, so long they remain relevant, straight forward and ethical.