Reciprocal Linking - is this bad?

HoosierBuff

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Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
268
I have had the habit of telling my clients to "go and ask friends with websites to link back to you". They never do, but, it's always worth a shot.

One client asked today "can I tell them to link to me, and I will link to them". . . and I wasn't sure what to think.

But, lets say this happens, and we have a realtor with no other outside links, that suddenly links to a plumber, and that plumber, with no other links, links back to the realtor.

I suppose they could do this in a more sophisticated way, and link to several other businesses, to make it look not so shady. . . but, even if they don't, do you think Google would have a problem?
 

djbaxter

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Jun 28, 2012
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2,824
Reciprocal linking in itself is not a bad thing. It happens frequently in "natural linking" and is perfectly normal and acceptable.

Reciprocal linking is only a red flag when
  • most or all of your incoming and/or outgoing links are reciprocal: red flag
  • one party or the other is paying for the link: manual penalty
  • anything else that suggests the reciprocal links have been manipulated
In your scenario, both parties have no other links, so that is a red flag, but it's not likely that Google or anyone else is going to object to or care about a single link. And of course that single link is not going to have any real positive influence on how either site ranks. Get them to work on creating a more balanced portfolio of links.
 

HoosierBuff

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2013
Messages
268
Thanks for the insight

And of course that single link is not going to have any real positive influence on how either site ranks. Get them to work on creating a more balanced portfolio of links.
I'm not focused on linkbuilding, but, I'm surprised by this. When I look at most local businesses and their link profiles (using semrush), I see so few real links at all. . . a ton of directory, or other random links, but, so few actual links from local businesses. My thinking is, in a world where there are so few links, just one or two from another real local business has to help. Is this wrong?
 

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