Reciprocal links do not guarantee link popularity or increase traffic unless they are links from high traffic web pages.

Reciprocal linking, like most other Internet marketing strategies has been hijacked by unethical and misguided individuals out to profit from the ignorance of webmasters who do not understand the search engines.

Originally, the idea of exchanging reciprocal links was designed to provide useful information to website visitors and profit from quality traffic to each other's sites. This helped the search engines determine the popularity and relevance of a website or web page.

It didn't take long for some companies to recognise the income possibilities of providing link exchange services under the guise and promise of increasing search engine traffic and the whole system was corrupted.

Exchanging reciprocal links with all and sundry became the order of the day, with web directories holding lists of thousands of unrelated links and companies plaguing the life out of busy hub sites to exchange links with their clients worthless websites.


Despite all the rubbish you will read on the Internet about exchanging links with other websites, it only needs a little commonsense to untangle the realities about reciprocal linking strategies.

  • It didn't take long for the search engines to realise that reciprocal linking was being abused and that webmasters were trying to fool them into thinking that their website was a popular hub site.

  • As a result, most of the major search engines built counters into their algorithms.

  • Websites with hundreds of reciprocal links are therefore discounted as cheating by most of the important search engines and penalised accordingly.

  • To gain link popularity you have to have hundreds of inbound links from busy websites.

  • It can also be assumed that the search engines are also tracking traffic levels from these links to these websites. Therefore, links from low traffic websites are either a waste of time or even a rock that your website is dragging along.

  • Just having hundreds of inbound links will do little for your search engine positioning if your website has not been designed for the search engines, optimised by professional search engine optimisers, and already getting high volumes of traffic through the search engines.

  • Reciprocal links are just a small part of a successful website optimisation process and the last thing on a search engine optimisers list of priorities. Everything else has to be in place and functioning correctly before thinking about trying to persuade other websites to link up.
Success on the Internet requires financial investment. You cannot hope to compete on a serious level if you have a website that does not have the backing and resources to go head to head with the Titan websites that dominate the top rankings in the search engines.

These companies are investing fortunes in their online strategies and only a very na´ve business person would think they could compete without the backing of a major Internet business partner.

When you have a website that is receiving high levels of traffic and being seen in the top ten of the search engines, you will have a good flow of website owners either asking for a reciprocal link exchange or simply linking to your website. This is the only way to guarantee link popularity.