Don't believe the hype: reciprocal linking is a long way from dead. And for as long as reciprocal links are here to stay, reciprocal link checker software can help you to make sure that your linking partners are holding up their end of the bargain and helping your search engine optimization efforts. In this guide, we'll take a detailed look into why a law firm might want to use reciprocal link checker websites. You'll also learn about how Google views reciprocal linking, and how to avoid being penalized for having excessive reciprocal links.
What are Reciprocal Links?
Links can be one of two types: one way and reciprocal. In a one way linking scenario, someone sees your website and likes the way that you state something. They put a hyperlink with anchor text on their web page, and it leads directly to your website. For them, this would be considered an outbound one way link, while for you it would be an inbound one way link.
Reciprocal linking is two-way linking. If you and a friend both have blogs, you might decide to link to each other's content. This would be considered reciprocal linking, and has formed the basis of many search engine optimization strategies.
Should I Have Reciprocal Links?
It's not as easy as it once was to base your search engine marketing strategy on reciprocal linking. This type of linking was once the dominant form of search engine optimization link building. However, it fast became synonymous with spammy “link exchange” websites that did little but compile links and make it tougher to find what you were really looking for.
Today, if you have too much reciprocal linking, Google may actually penalize your website. This doesn't mean, though, that you should never use these links. Reciprocal links can still be very valuable, if they're to give higher PageRank websites. Just make sure that you don't have too many, and you can still use reciprocal linking as a vital part of your link building strategy.
Reciprocal Link Checker Functions: Monitoring Link Relationships
If you're using reciprocal linking in any form, you should periodically do an audit of your links. It's critical to run a reciprocal link checker every few months—if you don't, you have no way of knowing whether the people you're linking to are providing a link back like they promised.
The most commonly used function of any reciprocal link checker is making sure that this reciprocity is maintained. If you find that the reciprocal linking you thought you had is down, you can talk to the owner of the website. By telling them that your reciprocal link checker found that your links are no longer reciprocated, they can find the source of the problem and fix it—or you can simply choose to delete the link from your own website.
You can also use a reciprocal link checker tool to make sure that the links to your website are as prominently displayed as the ones that you are displaying to someone else's website. If they're in a very difficult to access part of a website, they may no longer be as valuable, because it may be more difficult for them to be indexed by search engines.
Reciprocal Link Checker Functions: Monitoring Anchor Text
Google considers anchor text similarity when deciding whether a website appears to have been over optimized. If almost all the anchor text you're getting in your reciprocal linking is the same few words, you may need to mix it up a little. Running a reciprocal link checker is a good way to learn whether you're getting a sufficient variety of keywords to keep Google's Penguin update from penalizing your site.
Once you look at all of your reciprocal links, you should be able to get a good sense of how many of them are using identical or nearly identical text. You can then send emails to the webmasters at several of the websites where the identical text is being used, asking for variations on the original text so that your reciprocal linking strategy works better.
Other Reciprocal Link Checker Functions
One of the biggest questions that you may have about your reciprocal links is what percentage of your links they constitute. By running first an inbound link checker and then a reciprocal links checker, you can look at how many of each type of link you're getting.
Any website that has a percentage of reciprocal linking that exceeds 40 percent or so should be very worried about being penalized. Continuing to monitor your reciprocal links with a reciprocal link checker can help you identify when you need to seek more one way linking opportunities. You can easily have 20 percent or so of your links be reciprocal without having to worry much about Google Penguin. This means that you can seek out link exchanges with attorneys or other professionals to raise your total number of inbound links, as long as you don't use this method to the exclusion of all others.
How to Check Your One Way Links
In addition to checking the status of your reciprocal linking efforts, you may need to also monitor the one way inbound backlinks that are coming to your website. This requires different tools. Backlink checker websites abound online, and you can even use Google Analytics to keep track of how many people are coming to your website from each of your one way links.
By monitoring your one way links, you can also make sure that changes to your website don't make it less user friendly. You can build in redirect pages to help people who are coming to your website from other sites, so that their interaction with your site is seamless no matter how much time passes since you received the link. Without a redirect page, you'll lose potential new business, and the links will appear to be broken to anyone who runs a link checking program.