Google Revises Reciprocal Linking Rule

I’m a bit late to the party on this one but you’ll have to give me a break. I was on vacation last week!

In the post previous to this one, I commented on Google’s decision to outlaw reciprocal linking. Now, they’ve clarified the situation somewhat. They added the word “excessive”, essentially saying that reciprocal linking is okay so long as you don’t go overboard. Here’s the original wording of the guideline, which was grabbed in a screen capture and posted at Search Engine Roundtable:

Examples of link schemes can include:

Link exchange and reciprocal links schemes (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)

Here’s how it’s phrased now:

Examples of link schemes can include:

Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)

It’s a subtle change, but it makes a world of difference. The previous wording would have penalized, for instance, me linking to Startup BizCast and then linking back from the podcast site. The new wording does what was intended originally — weed out some of the sites designed for purely spam reasons.


Comments for this post

  1. Laurie Evans says:

    it sure does make a world of difference basically letting webmasters know that link exchange is accepted as long as you dont go crazy and maintain normal volume. We use linksmanager to maintain human control of our linking. the key is to avoid high volume irrelevant linking and you will have no problems with google or any other search engine.

  2. Steve says:

    Agreed. The rule was intended to penalize sites that were doing mass linking in order to try to game the Google system. They should be able to do that without penalizing honest sites that just want to link to other relevant sites.

  3. […] The change, especially because of the specificity of it, represents a change in policy by Google. While Google would like to ban all linking schemes, it has certainly lost the battle in that regard to all the hungry SEOs (and evil spammers), so it’s allowing the more innocent. Many SEOs say that there are certain supposedly “black hat” techniques that only an idiot wouldn’t use, since staying competitive is impossible without them, and Google is being a little more reasonable for the good guys. (via EndGamePR) […]

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