Q and A: Are one way links more powerful than reciprocal links?

QuestionDear Kalena,

Which is more powerful – a link from Facebook to my website, or a link from Facebook, and my website linking back to that Facebook page?

Thanks, Robert

Dear Robert,

A very ‘dry’ answer to your fairly complex question would be that one way links hold more traction in search engine rankings than reciprocal links. So a one way link from Facebook to your website would be treated more favorably than reciprocal linking between Facebook and your website. However, I am not trying to imply that reciprocal link trading should not be done or discounted.

Since I would be doing injustice to your question if I stopped right here, I am taking the liberty to delve further in order to paint a clearer picture for you.

“One way links vs. reciprocal links” is an age old debate and has been beaten to death. Still, this topic carries an aura of ambiguity for the very simple reason that there are too many variables involved. Search engine ranking algorithms have grown in complexity and their link analysis techniques are far more sophisticated than they were a couple of years ago.

While many people would want you believe that reciprocal linking is dead and not worth your effort, I personally believe that this notion is not entirely true. One way links are better than reciprocal links but this does not certainly mean that reciprocal linking is worthless. A limited amount of reciprocal linking is not only normal but natural.

If you want to recommend a useful resource to your visitors and the other webmaster does the same because he believes that his site visitors would find your website to be equally interesting, then I don’t see search engines having a problem with it. There are thousands of websites that link to one another for the simple fact that it makes business sense. If search engines start devaluing all reciprocal links then they would be ignoring these legitimate link votes, and in the process do more harm than good. So, as long as you stay away from abusive reciprocal linking that smell of link schemes done to artificially inflate search rankings, you will be just fine.

In essence, the more important things to look at and consider are link relevance and the quality of the link. If these two parameters stand fulfilled, I would not be too fussed whether it is a one way or reciprocal link.

Saurav Verma

Further Reading:

What are Reciprocal Links and What do Search Engines Think of Them?

Link value factors

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