May 25, 2019

How To NOT Get Reciprocal Links

If you run a website, you no doubt get several emails like the following:


Mr. Webmaster
Hello, my name is Mrs Website Owner; I work for www.keyword1-keyword2.co.uk/ and I saw your site http://www.txt2day.com/ and I would like to make a link trade with you.
Our policy is to only work with a 3-way link trade. If you are interested in become our link partner please reply me. I will be waiting for.
If you are in agreement to adding my link to your page
please add my link to the site with this specifications:
Link text: unlock nokia
URL: http://differenturl.co.uk/
Description: unlock nokia
Thanks for your time

Seems ordinary right? It’s a related link so many people would be inclined to accept but there’s a few problems:

  1. This is a very generic auto generated email. It tells me that you didn’t even look at my site and you have no idea what you may be linking to – that’s not very helpful to your users. Know how I know? Because txt2day.com doesn’t even have a links page! Also, please don’t call me Mr. Webmaster. Mr. Webmaster is my dad – I’m Ryan, or Mr. Jones.
  2. The 3 way link trade tells me you’re only interested in PageRank. Again, not very helpful to my users. This makes a flag go off in my head saying “I’m probably not going to get any traffic from this link.”
  3. Your link text and description don’t make any sense. A link that just says “unlock nokia” and nothing else doesn’t tell your potential visitors anything about the site they’re visiting. Remember visitors? Some of them don’t come from Google.

Now, let’s look at the actual websites you’re proposing I trade links with.

The first thing I see when clicking on the link in your email is this:

Cellular Unlocking | Unlock Nokia | Nokia Unlock | Unlock Cellular | Unlock Mobile | Unlocking Nokia Mobile | Unlocking Nokia Phone | Nokia Cellular | Nokia Unlocking

These aren’t links.. it’s just text at the top of the webpage. How is that helpful to anybody? It looks like keyword spam to me.

The biggest problem though is that there isn’t a links page. I clicked every link on your homepage and didn’t get to the links page. I searched some of your sub pages, but didn’t see a links page either. If I couldn’t find the links page what makes you think somebody who’s NOT looking for it might stumble upon it? Is it even connected to your site?

When I clicked the 2nd link I saw even bigger problems. Both sites are the exact same text with just different images. In fact, you seem to have 3 sites all with the same content. The content is so good though that Anna H. managed to write in to all 3 of them with the same testimonial!

If I were you I wouldn’t worry about trying to find more reciprocal links. The reason your sites aren’t showing up in Google is because of things like spammy keywords and duplicate content. Your service is something my users may be interested in, but there’s no way I’m going to give you a link until you clean up these other problems.

About Ryan Jones

Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: www.RyanMJones.com