Are reciprocal links losing their importance?

Reciprocal Links vs. Authoritative Links

Posted by

Authoritative sites are gaining in the search engine rankings

One-way, "authoritative" links, may become the new wave of linking and leave reciprocal links in the dust (or the grave).

As long as there are people in the world that do search engine optimization (SEO), there will be change in the ways that search engines rank sites. This latest change has been rumored for a while, but seems to be picking up more steam with then newest "Jagger" update from Google. A few sites have quickly assumed that the reason certain sites are losing their high rankings is because of the "lessened importance" of reciprocal links.

While I feel that the jury is still out, I do believe that "authoritative" links, or one-way links, are a much better way to increase rankings and PageRank. Authoritative links are:

Links to sites that are the authority on a subject. Authoritative sites don't typically have to link back to sites that link to them. This is because authoritative sites are so influential on the subject matter that they attract links from other people naturally. Thus these one-way links are considered "authoritative" links.

Reciprocal links have been abused by spammers for so long that the search engines are aggressively trying to curb this increasing trend. (Although I doubt they will ever completely ignore reciprocal links, they might considerably lower their importance.) Many have tried finding ways around these limitations by tri-linking (I do NOT suggest doing this). These is where three sites (instead of just two) exchange links as follows:

However, search engines have watched and learned and have undoubtedly built in filters that will identify these types of linking schemes and punish sites accordingly.

Whether reciprocal links will die out is yet to be seen. I personally still believe that a link, is a link, is a link, is a link. Keep working on building links, but also focus on generating solid, important, relevant content that will make you the authority in your market (Face it, that is the tried and true world we live in. Proven for years before www became the world wide web.)