Dirk Johnson from DomainDrivers.com provides link-building services. Over the past year, Dirk’s firm has helped a number of our clients acquire the relevant incoming links necessary to achieve strong Google placements. These are not purchased links though clients do pay for the time it takes to find and get them.

Quite often the true price of a link is a link. If one website links to another and in return, the other links to the original, a reciprocal link has been established. Several articles about a perceived negative effect of the recent Google/Jagger update on reciprocal links caught Dirk’s attention and raised his ire. The problem with the statements is, it doesn’t prove true when examining Google’s SERPS.

Dirk is concerned the writers of these articles have not researched the material sufficiently to make such sweeping statements. He emailed us the following article in the hopes it would either put an end to the erroneous claims that recip linking is a kin to spam, or make the claimants provide evidence to support their conclusions.

The Reciprocal Link Morticians

by Dirk Johnson, Partner – DomainDrivers.com

Here we go again, folks. The reciprocal link morticians are writing the obituaries again. Singing their dirges. Digging the graves. Holding funerals.

This has happened with every Google update over the last several years. The SEO world is once again filled with “reciprocal links are dead” babble. It’s all very predictable, and it’s an old, worn-out routine. In all of these pronouncements there is never any factual data to support them. Simply innuendo and some passing observations that this must be the “big one” for reciprocal links. Maybe what they are not telling their readers is that there were other factors at play with sites that got downgraded, so they simply chose reciprocal linking as the “cause”.

We look at actual search results for hundreds of sites. Here’s what we have seen. The vast majority of sites that continue to hold top place positions for their main keywords rely on reciprocal links for much of their link popularity. What’s more, many of the sites that were displaced in Google were replaced by sites that use…reciprocal links!!! The reciprocal linkers are still right there, at the top.

Certainly, links seem to have played a role in this update. Raw linking games got hit pretty hard. But subject relevant, non-gamesmanship reciprocal linking is still a very valid method of promoting a website. There are several very good reasons why Google may not want to penalize legitimate reciprocal linking. But that’s another article for another day.

The noise out there right now is massive. Everyone is an expert, regardless of his or her experience or perspective. Don’t take my word for it, or theirs. Just look at real Google search results, lots of them, before jumping to conclusions and buying into these flimsy arguments.