It seems that some want to know whether or not reciprocal links will do anything to our SEO strategies if they are used. Alexandra posed this question at Search Engine Journal’s Ask an SEO:
Are links from websites you haven’t linked to more valuable than backlinks from sites you have linked to?
Link exchange can be easily done and I was wondering if Google saw this as a bad practice.
There are many high-authority websites (see Forbes) that add nofollow tags to all the links they add in their posts. Maybe this is one of their strategies of making it look like they are being linked to more often than they actually offer a link.
What are reciprocal links? According to Noisy Little Monkey:
“The term “reciprocal link” describes the practice of exchanging links between two or more websites. A ‘you link to me, I’ll link to you’ type situation. This practice is often employed in the misguided belief that Google will rank both sites higher. At best, this is simply a waste of time.”
Is this ok to do? The short answer is no, doing link exchanges aren’t allowed by Google, as it goes against their guidelines and can result in manual penalties.