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Reciprocal Linking and Google PageRank

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Blogrolling sites that you want to be connected to can lead to reciprocal linking. The nature of the blogosphere lends itself to linking. The process of exchanging links with other websites is called Reciprocal Linking.

One thing folks don’t generally know too much about is that Google PageRank ranges from “excommunicated”(removed from the indices) and from 1-10. My blog is a PR5, which you can check on the Google Toolbar. If a bunch of PR 6 & PR 7 sites link to me, I am likely to increase in PageRank. High PR sites can confer Google Juice to your site.

The Google algorithm seems to work like Chi — there is a careful reciprocity game. If you have too many outgoing links and too few incoming links, your PR will never increase. If you have an equal number, it is a wash. If you have lots of incoming links from a vertical market (all auto blogs, celebrity blogs, marketing blogs, etc) then you are going to get a better PageRank than if you receive all of your inbound link from all over the board — too broad a cross-section of blogs and sites — then you will not receive the same boost.

I have tried lots of way to stem the my outgoing tide of Google Chi, trying to maintain as much Chi in my personal blog as possible. What I do — and I am not certain it works — is to periodically do a global search-and-replace of all instances of “<a href” with “<a rel=”nofollow.” Basically, all outgoing links that are older than a month, are plugged as outgoing links. Your outgoing URLs would look like this:

<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.cabraham.com">Chris Abraham</a>

Here is a little bit about the rel="nofollow" attribute as nobody is quite sure if and how it works. I know that Wikipedia uses the rel="nofollow" attribute.

(Heres an interesting article, Google, Yahoo, MSN Unite On Support For Nofollow Attribute For Links)

Since both participating websites get an inbound link, it helps in building link popularity and PageRank. In your link building campaign some bloggers and webmasters will only link to your site if they receive a link to their site in return. Linking back to a site is reciprocal linking and is a very worthy endeavor. And it generally isn’t too hard.

And like all of my other advice, never abuse. Building links popularity and PageRank is a marathon and not a sprint.

May 14, 2007 12:00 AM