Reciprocal Links and Non-Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal Links and Non-Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal Links and Non-Reciprocal Links

Reciprocal links are two-way links between different web pages of different websites. Each website links to one another (also called link exchange) to share information, visitors, and also to get good rankings in the search engines. The non-reciprocal links are one-way inbound links to your web pages that originate from other websites. Non-reciprocal links are considered as recommendations by other websites to their readers. These non-reciprocal links get highest values when they originate from the relevant and high-ranking web pages, and also if the anchor text within the link is one of the best keywords of your web page that it links to. The non-reciprocal links are also given much importance in the search engine optimization methods and the search engines also value them immensely.

Difference Between Reciprocal Links and Non-Reciprocal Links

The chief types of links are reciprocal links (link exchange) and non-reciprocal links. These two types are crucial while generating link campaign. There is a big difference between the types of links that are generated while optimizing the website for search engines. The main goal of creating links to your web pages is to draw a huge number of visitors to your website. Now let us check how these links are effective to our website’s link campaign.

To begin your link campaign effectively, you must first understand the major differences between these reciprocal links and non-reciprocal links. While a non-reciprocal link means that the link to your web page comes from other web pages on the internet without any reverse linking, called the link exchange, to that website from your website, reciprocal links are the links created between the two websites. In reciprocal link method, the two sites link to each other’s web pages and generate web traffic to each other’s websites.

The non-reciprocal links are also called one-way links, while the reciprocal links are called two-way links or link exchange, between two websites. Such links, either the reciprocal links or the non-reciprocal links, can either be quality links that are considered very important by the search engines, or links that are irrelevant and have little importance. Quality links are those links that originate from relevant websites with good content and page ranks, and also from web pages that enjoy high web traffic to their web pages.

Link Strategy

The aim of every web page should be to get as many quality links to it. Link strategy is the planning to get quality and relevant links to your important web pages from other popular websites. These links that point to your web page are also called inbound links to your web pages, and the links that your web pages point to the other websites are called the out-going links. Relevant links are those links that originate from other website’s pages whose theme is similar to your website’s theme, especially the theme of your web pages that are directed to by those quality links. To understand the relevant link, understand the following example:

Example of Relevant Links

Suppose that your web page’s theme is “golf equipment” and it gets inbound links from a web page whose theme could be related to golf. So, the theme of that web page can be golf equipments, or golf techniques, or golf balls, or golf masters, golf tournaments, etc. Such themes are relevant to each others and when a link is created between those pages then such a link is called relevant link. If the link’s anchor text contains one or more of your web page’s top keywords, then the search engines give a lot of importance to such links.

Disadvantages of Reciprocal Links

Hence, the best linking strategy is to get a lot of non-reciprocal links (or one-way links), which are also relevant links to your web pages from high ranking and popular websites. You can also try to generate reciprocal links (or two-way links) to your web pages by either asking the webmaster of good and relevant websites while linking back to their websites, or even by paying some money and also linking to other quality websites.

When your website receives a lot of quality non-reciprocal links, the search engines consider your websites and the web pages that receive these inbound quality links as containing highly valuable web content. Logically, it is also a fact that if your website contains great content that is also very important and is helpful to its readers, then many websites will gladly link to your website (as a recommendation) so that their visitors can benefit from the information present on your website.

In contrast, if your web pages and the website get a lot of reciprocal or two-way links then the search engines will assume that these are solicited links. The search engines do not give much importance to such two-way or reciprocal links. The search engines are also programmed to find out whether the links are reciprocal links or non-reciprocal links. Such reciprocal links can also actually hurt the web traffic of both the sites because if your web pages do not contain high-quality content, then the visitors will certainly know about it and will feel cheated by the website that linked to under-valued content.

It is therefore prudent to choose the reciprocal links with care if you must have reciprocal links. Always share links with quality and relevant websites. This will have a positive effect on your web traffic because the readers will be happy about the fact that your web pages have sent them to good and quality website. You must always choose your linking partner with care and time spent on finding such web pages, and then further requesting its webmaster for a reciprocal link, will definitely create great information for both the website’s visitors.

Writing Reviews To Get Reciprocal Links

A good method to generate quality links is to write good review or testimonial about a high-quality and relevant website that you wish to link to. Your review will have link or links pointed to the other website’s interesting pages. You can then approach the other webmaster and inform him about the review.

Most of the webmasters will be very happy to see quality and positive remarks about their web pages and products or services that they offer, and they will gladly trade links (exchange links) with your website. In your request, invite the webmaster to visit your website to see the high-quality content present, and also email him a ready-made link that points to your web page. This will help them to immediately insert your link on their pages as a gratitude for writing great content about their website. This is a proven and successful strategy that gives positive results most of the time.

Valuable Link from DMOZ Open Directory

The other method that can produce non-reciprocal links or reciprocal links over a long time is to submit your site to the various web directories in their relevant sections. Although some of the web directories take a very long time to include your website in their directories, the wait is worthwhile because these web directories are highly respected.

Web directories like the Yahoo! and the are the best web directories, and inclusion in their directory can mean better search engine ranking and more web traffic to your site. DMOZ is a large open directory that is managed by a lot of volunteers. Your website must be submitted to the correct category of DMOZ else your site may be rejected or get delayed for inclusion in the open directory. Also, your site should ideally have unique content and not be filled with advertisements of affiliate content. Follow the guidelines of the web directories and your chances of getting included in them will increase positively.

Disadvantages of a Reciprocal Link Web Page

Earlier, it was quite natural to have a separate web page on the site for displaying the out-going links, especially the reciprocal links. But now-a-days, a link page can do more harm than good. The best links are those which are embedded in the content with appropriate keywords in the anchor text. You can set the link to open in a separate tab or window while keeping the web page still open.

It is also worthwhile to remove all the “dead” or “junk” links from all your web pages on the site. Keep only those highly relevant links that can give vital and interesting information to your readers. Reciprocal links are also considered good only for a new website, and so when your site gets slightly older, for example, about two years old, then it is good strategy to remove all the reciprocal links (two-way links) from all your web pages and concentrate only on getting high-quality relevant one-way links, also called the non-reciprocal links.

You may keep the reciprocal links on your site only if they are beneficial to your site and its visitors. Now-a-days, many webmasters consider two-way linking strategy (reciprocal links) a waste of time in formulating and execution of their linking strategy and the search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. If trading reciprocal links is absolutely necessary then trade them with only relevant and popular websites in your niche that also have continuous great web traffic.

Link Strategy for Commercial Gains

Link strategy builds trust about your web content on the internet. It also is considered as a vote of confidence and acceptance of the valuable information present on your web pages. To get a lot of one-way inbound links (non-reciprocal links), a useful and proven method is to create a useful affiliate product or an ebook. Put your website’s links in the product or the ebook and give it with all the rights to your affiliates. This creates a viral campaign and generates massive backlinks to your website. This is a well-proven method of building non-reciprocal links and also generates a lot of viral commercial income.

Hence, a good link strategy will create plenty of reciprocal links and non-reciprocal links to your website if planned properly.


Santosh is an experienced content writer with good search engine optimisation skills. Santosh works with our marketing department in the creation of articles and how-to guides for our company blog and knowledgebase.


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