What Are 'Reciprocal Links' And How Can You Go About Creating Them Ethically?

What Are ‘Reciprocal Links’ And How Can You Go About Creating Them Ethically?

by Micah James — 8 months ago in Review 3 min. read

Link-building, to this day, remains one of the fundamental aspects of search engine optimization. Businesses that wish to dominate the SERPs and outshine their competitors need a healthy backlink profile. Of course, attracting links to your website is much easier said than done. With that in mind, what are ‘reciprocal links’ and is there a way to create them ethically? Read on and let’s find out!

What are ‘Reciprocal Links’?

Reciprocal links (as the name suggests) are links that are exchanged between two websites in ‘reciprocation’.

I scratch your back, you scratch mine.

The only problem is; Google doesn’t like them very much. In their eyes ‘reciprocal links’ are a “link scheme” and technically, go against their guidelines.

In any case, the internet is still littered with reciprocal links. In fact, reciprocal links are by definition a natural by-product of having a website. Over time, as you develop new relationships with other businesses and marketers, it is only natural for reciprocal links to occur.

So, how do you go about creating or attracting reciprocal links ‘ethically’ and without angering the search engine gods?

Also read: How To Make 5K Dollars In A Month? 20+ Easy Ways To Make $5,000 Fast + Tips!

How to Attract Reciprocal Links Ethically

Before we get started it is important to recognize that there are many ways to improve your backlink profile and you are always better off pursuing the ‘least risky’ approach.

For example, creating high-value, ‘share-worthy’ content that other businesses and marketers cannot resist linking to. The fact is, if you produce game-changing content and demonstrate your immense expertise, other people will invariably use your content and credit you as the author. This is the most organic and ‘ethical’ form of link building.

In any case, there are instances where reciprocal links are positive and can influence your SEO in a good way:

  • By forming strong partnerships with relevant businesses: don’t go after ‘reciprocal links’ purely and simply for the sake of improving your SEO. Instead, you should look for partnerships that can benefit both of you greatly – but more importantly your community. For example, if you have a fitness gym and there’s a local sportswear brand down the road, you can both benefit from sending each other referrals and promote your small business that way. In this case, creating blog posts individually and linking to one another, highlighting their USPs, and recommending their services can be seen as a positive reciprocal link.
  • Make sure the external website can improve your traffic: not all links are created equal and if you end up getting reciprocal links from an irrelevant or low-value website, you run the risk of hurting your website more than boosting it up. Make sure you only pursue websites with a high PR and plenty of regular, industry-relevant content that meets your standards.
  • Don’t link directly to competitors: in some cases, you may wish to link to or share a piece of content that was created by a competitor of yours. It is largely frowned upon in the world of SEO, however, if it means providing your audience with high-value information, sometimes it doesn’t hurt. In any case, when seeking reciprocal links, they should always be from non-competitor websites with some industry overlap.

Conclusion: Focus on Organic Link Building as A Priority

In conclusion, you shouldn’t make ‘reciprocal linking’ your primary strategy for building your link profile. It can be useful now and again, but we advise that you seek alternative routes, such as creating ‘share-worthy’ content as mentioned above and developing a guest-blogging strategy.

Alternatively, you should consider hiring a third-party SEO agency to assist you. Don’t forget to ask the difficult questions and make sure that they only use white-hat link-building techniques, otherwise, it could come back to haunt you.

Micah James

Micah is SEO Manager of The Next Tech. When he is in office then love to his role and apart from this he loves to coffee when he gets free. He loves to play soccer and reading comics.

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