I have been saying it for a while but I will yell it today. RECIPROCAL LINKING is DEAD!. Not only link exchanges are dead and will not produce any benefit to your site; it goes further as it may even land you in a hole with my man Mr. Google.
How did it work before?
Before, reciprocal links used to work because search engines were not as smart. And as they developped their criterion for ranking at that time, they just saw a link as “a link” so it didn’t really matter, you were able to get the benefit of a link. The other and most logical explaination is that before search engines did not check for reciprocity in order to rank you. Again, they just calculated based on your link amount. As SEOers became aware of the value of a link, it became common to place an additional page called “LINKS” where reciprocity had it’s heaven. And heavnly it was…heavenly it was…
What will happen in 2008?
In 08′ search engines, lead by Google have evolved to become much smarter than before. Search engines are looking to give consumers reality and relevance, not vote competition. So Google, as it is all about offering contextual and relevant results is making sure that algoritms weed out importance and even penalize any page involved heavily in link reciprocity. Tim Nash’s Article reviews how search engine relativity works and why google has that fancy algorithm to determine the context of a link.
What works now?
First, staying away from any link exchange, you will see how so many of those offering link communities start to disappear as we get into the end of the year. Some will remain in denial and continue to argue against the vast fact that link exchange is dead.
What works today is creating and building relationships with communities of web masters and writers who share some common intersts with you. Create your own circle of friends who are looking to share a common grown with you. Publish your pages and articles, share with them and ask them for an oppinion. Bookmark your articles in communities such as DIGG while befriending others who also want your opinion.
You can also continue to post blogs, articles and work on your content for relevance and substance. Today link building is more important than it will be in a few years. So evolve as the nature of the beast pushes you to it. Stay informed and ensure to know what gets you ranked while applying best practices.
Today’s bottom line is social media and collaboration. This will get you links, this will get you traffic and referrers. This is what you need to look for. BURRY THE EXCHANGE, IT DON’T WORK ANYMORE!