What is a Reciprocal Link and how does it impact to SEO website?
Reciprocal links in the world SEO are very common things because basically, the formation of backlinks from one website to another is a process that cannot be controlled by the site owner.
If you already have a blog or website for a long time, maybe you often accept offers to exchange links from other site owners.
Among SEO practitioners, reciprocal or link exchanges are often regarded as something that is not recommended and tends to be avoided. This prejudice is due to the large amount of suspicious link exchange practices that occur among the owners of illegal sites.
But the fact, not all link exchanges that occur can be counted with illegal and suspicious practices.
Before we discuss further the practice of reciprocal links, it’s a good idea to discuss the understanding first.
What is a Reciprocal Link?
A reciprocal link is a link that occurs between two websites and leads to the site with each other. In general, this happens when a website owner installs a backlink towards another website with the notes of other website owners do the same.
The existence of these links usually indicates a link between the two sites, both in terms of ownership or content.
Is the reciprocal link not good for SEO?
In the world of SEO, reciprocal links often receive negative connotations because they are considered not to have special values in the search engine or search engine.
Instead, many Seo practitioners argue that the link exchange that occurs will be considered as a negative thing by search engines.
If a link exchange can be associated with link exchange schemes that often occur in illegal sites, then related sites will be labeled negatively by search engines.
On Google’s Link Scheme page, there is a paragraph that states that excessive link exchanges between two sites to connect the two websites without any other function are things that should be avoided.
For marketing purposes, of course, link exchanges between two websites are beneficial for website owners.
But one thing that is more important to know is: good marketing always has value for the audience.
So the answer to the question “Is the reciprocal link is not good for SEO?” is: depending on the function of the link.
- If a link has a value or benefit to the user clicking the link, the link exchange is a good thing.
- Conversely, if a link does not have other values outside of mutual backlinks, the exchange of the link is a negative impact on SEO.
How to use reciprocal links to improve SEO website
As the answer to the previous question, link exchanges can provide a positive effect for SEO a website if the link has value and improves the experience of reading your site visitors.
Based on the concept, you can use these two steps to improve your SEO website by exchanging links.
- Give links to relevant & quality sites that enhance the experience of reading visitors.
- Make sure the link that leads to your site also has relevance to the content on the page.
- Build good relations with other sites so that reciprocal links occur organically and naturally.
If done correctly, even reciprocal links can benefit both parties simultaneously.
Based on the survey conducted by Ahrefs, as many as 43.7% of pages ranked 1-10 in the Google search engine have a reciprocal link that leads to the site with each other.
This indicates that the reciprocal link is a natural result of the formation of an internet network.
But the results of this study cannot be used to determine the relevance of the link by ranking a page on the Google search engine. It’s just that this research shows that the reciprocal link is indeed a common thing in the web world.
Risk of Use Reciprocal Link
Reciprocal links that occur organically and without agreements between the two site owners will certainly provide a positive effect. But if done without the value or usefulness of the link, the exchange link can be a boomerang.
The following are some risk exchange risks that can damage SEO a website:
1. Penalty site
In the Google Webmaster guide, reciprocal links are something that is strictly forbidden.
Excess link exchanges indicate an effort to manipulate search results with link exchanges between related sites.
If a site is indicated to do this, there is a high risk of Google will give a penalty to the site.
2. Reducing Authority & Ranking
If you provide links to other sites that do not have relevance to the content on your site, there is a risk that authority and site ranking on the search engine will decrease.
Before giving a link, make sure the content on the page has relevance to your content.
In general, you are advised to provide links to sites that have a domain authority and page authority higher than your site.
3. Improve the SEO competitor site
If you don’t do careful research and give a link to a site or page with the same keyword target as your site, then you will directly help the site to get a higher ranking.
Plus if the site looks at your content as a competitor, then it is likely that the site owner will give a link back to your site.
4. Loss of trust of the Search Engine Algorithm
Trust of a search engine algorithm is difficult to obtain, especially if your site has received a punishment.
The loss of search engine trust can be caused by two things:
- There is an exchange of links in excessive amounts.
- Anchor Text used in link exchanges does not have relevance to the content.
Do you need to build a reciprocal link?
The short answer: no.
If you actively try to exchange links with other sites, then there is a possibility that the effort will backfire for your website SEO.
But if you build a relationship with related sites so that the exchange of links occurs organically and naturally, then your website SEO will increase by itself.
Construction of this relationship can begin by providing links to relevant content belonging to other sites in the same industry. This will bring up the name of the site to another site owner’s radar in one industry – which can trigger a link that leads to your site.
So be careful in giving or receiving links. One or two low-quality links may not have a big impact. If there is a low-quality reciprocal link and impresses spammy, your site can be punished.
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