Reciprocal Link Building – Pros & Cons

A reciprocal link is nothing but a ‘connection’; linking you to other sites like yours. The main agenda is to spread your connections on the web, and gain more popularity. The more popular you are on the ‘web’, the easier it is for the Google spiders to crawl over your site ñ leading you to a better ranking on the search engine. The reciprocal links are like sharing associations with other websites. The more you are connected, the stronger your hold is on the virtual space.

Reciprocal linking

Websites link to your site and in return expect you to link to their site. While this may look very appealing, there is a need to study the scenario meticulously ñ the pros and cons of reciprocal linking.


1. Better Traffic

People visiting one site, are diverted to the other site i.e. your site. So, you get traffic, perhaps from pockets that you haven’t tapped.

2. Effects Ranking

Search engines need you to have a certain number of clicks per day, certain amount of navigation on your website and other certain other metrics; before you are ranked well. Reciprocal linking, interestingly, serves this purpose. When other websites ‘refer’ you to the search engines, you automatically look more authentic to them. Consequently, your site performs better and reaches that SERP goal.

3. Cost effective

Getting many hits means a lot more advertising. A lot of investment and a good, recurring marketing budget maybe be required. Reciprocal linking can save this trouble and at least ease the financial load to some extent. Through reciprocal linking the agenda of more hits and more people coming to the site can be achieved.

Link building in such a manner can be used to promote products, specific pages and can also be controlled better than PPC campaigns and banner advertisements. The presence of the links, helps maintain a virtual presence.


1. Sharing leads

This is the greatest disadvantage of reciprocal links ñ you share all your leads! Say you are selling winter coats. A person looking for winter coats reaches your site through another site ñ due to reciprocal linking; and then, he easily moves away from your site, to another site due to the same linking.

Traffic may come to your site, and leave rather easily. The user is always looking for the best deal, and can easily jump sites ñ there are chances of being missed out in that buyer-quest-for-best-deal. So, you are actually sharing all your valuables leads and business!

2. Chances of Decrease in Rankings

Although, reciprocal linking is a form of Link Building, too many reciprocal links can lead to creating negative impacts on search engine rankings. Webmasters have even reported that sites have been penalized by search engines due to too many links, which are not perceived to be natural.

3. Links Lost

The other drawback in reciprocal linking is whether the referral site is worth it! There are chances that precious links to your website are lying on domains that are seldom visited by real people.

Moreover, with the upsurge in scams, its almost mandatory to check authenticity of websites before submitting to them. There have been many cases of illegal requests being sent to websites. On submitting to such website, there are chances of your site not appearing on searches at all. In order to reap benefits and avoid pitfalls, a good research and careful sharing of reciprocal links is a must.

Divya is an established SEO writer with interests in web business strategies and web optimization. She works as a consultant with a leading SEO Company which provides Website Development Services and has interests and knowledge in various allied fields like SMO, backlinking, and SMM

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