There has been a lot of talk over the past few months, even more so with the latest Google update, about the value of linking. What types of links are better, whichtypes are still seen as value added to a website. Well if the truth be told, the only people who can tell us are not saying anything. I am speaking of the engineers at Googleand the other search engines, the very people who are the one who determine the value of all linking.
According to some people at the various search engine optimization companies, reciprocal links are no longer being considered when determining link popularity for a website. Just like so many of the other theories search engine optimization, outside of the engineering labs, no one really knows for certain. I have read some of the reports that have been issued on this topic and these reports are far from conclusive, offering little more thancontradictory examples taken over several days of testing.
For my consultation clients I am going to suggest that they be extremely selective on who they link with now. Spendmore time evaluating the potential linking partners. If the site measure up to their standards of web development and the theme of the linking site matches their site in some manner then, go ahead and trade links.
Another strategy I will be advising my clients on is the use of 3 way links. For those of you who do not know what three way links are here is a brief, simplistic description: Site A links to Site B, Site B links to Site C, Site C links to Site A. Pretty straight forward eh? The process is prettystraight forward but the application often is not. The onlyway three way links work is when all the parties involved are honest and are willing to maintain those links.
Recently I tested one of my sites and discovered that approximately 80% of the sites I traded links with were not honoring our agreement. Now I fully expected thatthere would be some shiftless webmasters out there whowould be less than trustworthy but, I never expected the number to be so high.
You see a 3 way linking deal requires slightly more effortdue to the necessity of documenting all of the information regarding this agreement. If you are going to go through all of that effort to set up a three way linking agreementyou certainly do not want one of the partners to sour thedeal by dropping one of the links without notifying any of the other partners.
Once you have the three sites picked that you would like to trade links with make sure you research themthoroughly. The things you want to be checking for are;
Three ways linking in this manner revisits the days when linking was more natural. This type of linking will demonstrate to the search engines that you value your linking recommendations and therefore the search engines should value them as well. If the search enginestrust your site to make these recommendations then there is no way that the applied due diligence will get you in trouble with the search engines.
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