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Google now officially bans ’Link exchange and reciprocal links schemes ("Link to me and I’ll link to you.")’ in it’s webmaster guidelines.
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from onreact 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Via Threadwatcher: http://www.threadwatcher.com/2007/08/07/66695-the-reciprocal-link-ban/

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from Sebastian 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Actually, that’s somewhat old news, but well worth a reminder. Google has devalued reciprocal link exchanges for ages (covered under the vague "Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank." policy) and this page was around for a while now, although widely undiscovered. What has changed is that Google’s artifical recip detection was constantly enhanced until it covered nearly all plain vanilla attempts to boost PageRank with reciprocal or three-way links, and that Google meanwhile clearly states that these link swaps are disliked. Sphunn.

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from onreact 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Google has devalued such links long ago, but now it’s officially acknowledged in the webmaster guidelines. Until now Matt Cutts and the Google Webmaster Central repeatedly stated that some link exchange is OK. So this is in fact a big difference.

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from Sebastian 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Define "some link exchanges" :) Is it possible that you heard "naturally gained reciprocal links are OK" and translated that bit to "some link exchanges are ok"? I don’t want to start a debate on semantics but there is a huge difference. So called natural links aren’t exchanged, in an ideal world they’re earned in the sense of reap where the seed is compelling content.

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from Sebastian 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 0

To make my point clear: Google usually does not penalize techniques or patterns, they try to figure out the intent and judge based on that. Hence from Google’s perspective "I link to you and you link to me" literally addresses link trading but not situations where you link out to a great page and after a while the other Webmaster returns the favor because he found a nice piece on your site (not because you guys were talking about links).

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from fantomaster 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 2

This is essentially a theological debate: Attempting to determine any given action’s (and by inference: actor’s) "intention" (as in "sinning") is always bound to open a can of worms or two. It will always have to work by conjecture, however plausible, which makes it a fundamentally tacky, unreliable and arbitrary process. The delusion that such a task, error prone as it is even when you set the most intelligent and well informed human experts to it (vide e.g. criminal law where "intention" can make all the difference between an indictment for second or first degree murder...) can be handled definitively by mechanistic computer algorithms is arguably the most scary aspect of this inane orgy of technological hubris and naivety the likes of Google are pressing onto us.

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from onreact 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sebastian, check this out to know what I mean: http://www.seobook.com/archives/001675.shtml

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from Sebastian 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 2

The keyword in that quote from Matt is "excessive" IMO. Probably excessive means traded, artificial, evil ... ;) However, I wouldn’t read that as "Matt Cutts and the Google Webmaster Central repeatedly stated that some link exchange is OK". Google’s definition of a natural reciprocal link as I understand it doesn’t include terms like "trade", "swap" or "exchange". I’m sorry, I don’t get your point from Aarons post. Google has just manifested a well known fact with this help page. And yes, it’s newsworthy, that’s why I’ve sphunn it :) Here is my longish interpretation: http://sebastianx.blogspot.com/2007/08/google-manifested-axe-on-reciprocal.html

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from mvandemar 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Sebastian, sorry, but actually you’re wrong. This is new, Google used to actually *suggest* trading links with other sites. This is, as near as I can tell, a reversal of policy.

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from Sebastian 3699 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Perhaps we’ve a different understanding of "trading links" *from Google’s POV*. Also, the quote provided with the submission lacks context, actually Google talks about links pages created for the sole purpose of PageRank manipulation on that page: "some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results." I don’t remember that any Googler encouraged link trading, and bits like "Have other relevant sites link to yours", "Make sure all the sites that should know about your pages are aware your site is online" or "Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites" from the guidelines don’t exactly promote (reciprocal) link exchanges/trades/swaps/... I may have missed such suggestions from Google, can you point me to a source or two?

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