Why Simply “Trading Links” Isn’t a Good Strategy

arudhra April 9, 2020 0 Comments

Why Simply “Trading Links” Isn’t a Good Strategy

In years gone by, trading links with other websites was a good way of getting links. It also became known as “link exchanges” or “reciprocal links” as a tactic. However, like a lot of link building tactics, it was often abused and pushed to the extreme. Instead of trading links with other relevant, good quality websites, many SEOs would just trade links with anyone they could. Therefore, the link was no longer being given because of the quality of the website, but more because the webmaster would get a link in return.This led to some websites having pages that were set up specifically for trading links. These pages would have URLs similar to www.example.com/links.html. Such a page would consist of a huge list of links to websites that were often unrelated to the website itself and were not always great quality.Because of this, Google seek to devalue links that are only given because a link is being given in return. They can even penalize for excessive link exchanges and have a section in their webmaster guidelines for it:

Excessive Link Exchanging (“Link to Me and I’ll Link to You”)When it comes to link building, Google want to see links that you’ve earned. They want to see links that you deserve because you have something of good quality to offer – not because you’re happy to take part in link exchanges.Having said that, Google has no problem at all with websites linking to each other for legitimate reasons. It is a natural occurrence on the web if a news story on the BBC cites an article on CNN, then a few weeks later CNN cite a story on the BBC. This is technically a reciprocal link, but do you think Google penalize for it? No, because there are genuine reasons for these websites to link to each other and they are doing it in a natural way that is good for users.Contrast this with a page that has thousands of links on it, all going to unrelated websites with no relevance at all and you can see the difference in what Google does and doesn’t like.

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