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Why is reciprocal linkage so important?

hammiesink
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Joined: 28 Oct 06
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Why is reciprocal linkage so important?

Two gurus I trust: Dr. Andy and Colin McDougall
Two other gurus I also trust: Charles Heflin and Mark Ling

Andy and Colin say, essentially, not to bother with reciprocal links, that the effectiveness of them is diminishing or gone. Colin says he doesn't do them at all and he is near the top of Google for an absurdly competitive term.

Charles and Mark say they are absolutely essential and key to their success.

I ask because it's quite a pain acquiring them and this is one key area where my four favorite gurus (that I use in harmony) don't overlap at all, and in fact are at odds.

What's the story?
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chatyak86
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Links count. Period. You will not and can not rank well for a competitive search term by just making a "nice" website... sorry.

Adrian,
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sean06
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Adrians right. If you want proof. Fire up Traffic Travis and check the backlinks for any top ranking site in google. I bet you will find that they have tons.

Having a nice site will help too, but links are still very very important.
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chatyak86
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Here are my thoughts on this..... especially regarding new reports being released.

Everything that is being said is important, however, not one can be done without the other. You will rank well for search terms with only 10 competing sites if you do good on page optimization. However, you will never rank #1 for anti virus software just by having a nicely organized site on anti virus software. Will not happen.

Links have been an integral part of the web since it was formed. In fact, the web is nothing but links. Links is what made the web and will continue to drive the web. So I go against what Charles Heffin has to say about just making an organized site and ranking well for high search terms. His advice is solid though and you should organize your site into proper slios and categories. If it came down to two websites with the same number of links from the same PR sites yet one site was organized over the other, the organized site would win.

After you have done this, you need to focus on targeted backlinks with the keyword choice that you want as the anchor text. Get high PR links and submit to directories. These are just general guidelines that must be adhered to if you plan to rank well.

Also, just because a site has 30,000 links pointing to it does not mean you cannot outrank it. Numbers don't count (although they help), quality does.

A link from a page that has a pagerank of 6 is worth the same as 68 links from pagerank 3 sites. (generally speaking, this varies)

1 PR6 link = 68 PR3 links

ALSO........ most of those links may have the same IP, which causes each one to be decreased in value since it is coming from the same C class. C class is a way of categorizing the IP address of a URL.

Adrian,
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markling
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Adrian has some good advice there.

I think backlinks are important for the moment. Remember the video that Marc Lindsay provided for the blog a week or so ago where he ditches a PR6 link from his site and watches it plummet down the search engine listings. You're left to draw your own conclusions as to what was the actual effect at work, but it seems pretty indicative to me.

I definitely emphasize quality over quantity.

Also the key word here might be "reciprocal". Are Andy and Colin saying that they have *no* links to their sites whatsoever? Or are they saying that they don't go out and actively pursue links, saying "you link to me, I'll link to you"? If you build a high quality site, you'll naturally get others linking to you without you having to link back.

Regards,
Mark
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hammiesink
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You're right, Mark. The key word is in fact "reciprocal." Of course one needs links to their website, and the proper anchor text in that link, but Andy and especially Colin emphasize that actual TRADING of links is ineffective. That when you get links they should point only to you, and you not back to them. So the emphasis is on building such a quality site that people just link to you naturally.
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chatyak86
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hammiesink wrote:You're right, Mark. The key word is in fact "reciprocal." Of course one needs links to their website, and the proper anchor text in that link, but Andy and especially Colin emphasize that actual TRADING of links is ineffective. That when you get links they should point only to you, and you not back to them. So the emphasis is on building such a quality site that people just link to you naturally.


I am going to test this strategy with my site I am doing now. I am only going to have one way links coming in, and see what it does.

Adrian,
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