Reciprocal Linking Can Get You Banned From Google
Well for years now, actually since the Big Daddy update, webmasters and SEOs have been pondering and discussing amongst themselves and the community whether Google has been penalizing or discounting links to a site because it is a reciprocal link. There is no need to wait any longer though…according to the new Google Webmaster Guidelines regarding Search Engine Optimization, “Web sites are no longer permitted to exchange links” which is one of the fundamental practices on the internet. It explicitly states “Link to me and I’ll link to you” is Reciprocal Linking an activity that Google considers a “Link Scheme” that has a likelihood of getting you BANNED!
I think it is ridiculous, and Google should not have released this kind of information until they had the proper context and wording. Over at Esoteric Labs Google’s Adam Lasnik is trying to paraphrase the Google Guidelines stating “We Googlers are nonetheless chatting about ways we can better clarify our stance on this subject.” Reciprocal linking was a part of the internet before Google existed and will continue to be part of the internet during Google’s existence. I understand if Google wants to discount links from Bad Neighbourhoods, but there is no need to release such a general document without clarification that could cause all the commotion in the webmaster community as it has.