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    Are Natural One-Way Links Devalued When The Linkee Links Back To The Linker?

    ::: Are Natural One-Way Links Devalued When The Linkee Links Back To The Linker? :::

    How would YOU answer this question?

    We're simply opening up this discussion in the hope that it will shed some insight on a few issues about linking and SEO that some people may not have thought about before.

    Of all the factors that make up a search engine algorithm (and according to Google < http://www.google.com/webmasters/4.html > there are more than 100 factors) we would have to say that link analysis is one of the most confusing of all the factors.

    Many people who have no clue about this aspect may actually be following advice that may do more harm to their search engine rankings than good and then there are others who may be spinning their wheels.

    In light of this we'd like to offer up a few things for you to ponder and to comment about.

    Some of you may have read articles or forum posts that suggest the following.

    Reciprocal Links Are Dead

    Reciprocal Links Cancel Each Other Out

    Reciprocal Links Are Being Penalized

    One-Way Links Are More Valuable Than Reciprocal Links

    To assume that the aforementioned "GENERAL" statements are true is to assume wrongly (in our humble opinion, of course).

    Next, we'd like to offer up some linking terms and if you are so inclined how would you define them? (Terms may have the same or similar definitions.)

    1.) A natural one-way link

    2.) A nonreciprocal link

    3.) An unsolicited link

    4.) An unnatural one-way link

    5.) A solicited one-way link

    6.) A reciprocal link

    7.) A natural reciprocal link

    8.) A solicited reciprocal link

    9.) An artificial link

    10.) A genuine link

    Just to clarify our question ...

    Are Natural One-Way Links Devalued When The Linkee Links Back To The Linker?

    ... We'll provide the following scenarios and reword our question below it.

    SCENARIO #1:

    1.) Site-owner-A discovers site-owner-B's page while conducting a search for valuable information. Site-owner-A links to the page because it is exactly what they wanted.

    1A.) Let's say that Google is providing site-owner-B's page with "100 points in link weight" from site-owner-A's page.

    2.) A month later site-owner-B discovers site-owner-A's page while conducting their monthly referral analysis. Site-owner-B is quite excited and honored to have received a link from such a credible site and therefore decides to provide a link to site-owner-A's page.

    2A.) Let's say that Google would provide site-owner-A's page with "90 points in link weight" from site-owner-B's page if it were a natural one-way link.

    QUESTION: Because neither of these links are now natural one-way links but rather, they are now both natural reciprocal links, will Google provide less points for "scenario 1A" and/or less points for "scenario 2A"? If less points, how many less, all the way down to zero, so that they cancel each other out? Or would the devaluation in points for link weight be more like 50 points for scenario 1A and 45 points for "scenario 2A" (a devaluation of 50% let's say ... Or some equal percentage, whether it be 99% less or 1% less)?

    DEFINITION FOR LINK WEIGHT: By link weight we are simply referring to those points given by Google that help to increase the rankings for a specific page for a specific term(s) via a specific link that points to that page.

    SCENARIO #2:

    1.) Site-owner-A has been hard at work exchanging links with related and complimentary sites for the last year. They now have a total of 1,000 reciprocal links (all pointing to their homepage) and their homepage has a PageRank6.

    1A.) Let's say that Google is providing site-owner-A's homepage with "25,000 points in link weight" as their combined total from all the sites that they have a link exchange with.

    2.) At this time Site-owner-A receives and eMail that starts out like this ...

    "As you may have been hearing and reading, Google has recently changed their link algorithm. The new algorithm is now canceling out any and all reciprocal links. Therefore, neither Website will benefit from these kinds of links anymore.

    Be one of the first ones in your industry to benefit from our new link building service whereby we will link to your site with up to 10 genuine and natural one-way links from 10 different Websites which are all related or complimentary to yours.

    In order to help you to restore any and all link weight that you may have lost with Google via your reciprocal links please show your interest by first linking to the following 10 Websites.

    Once you have, please send us the URL(s) where the links are located and we'll then send you further information about our services."

    Now, rather than participating in the aforementioned link building service, Site-owner-A decides that the risk of removing all of the links to her link exchange partners is worth it for her. So she removes all of the links which means that she now has 1000 one-way links, right? One thousand solicited one-way links, right?

    2A.) Let's say that Google would provide Site-owner-A's page with "an average of 25 points in link weight" for each solicited reciprocal link and "an average of 75 points in link weight" for each solicited one-way link.

    QUESTION: After Site-owner-A has removed all of the links to her link exchange partners and Google has respidered, reindexed and recalculated her link weight points for her homepage, will Site-owner-A now have "75,000 points in link weight" rather than the "25,000 points in link weight" she had earlier, just because she removed all of her partner links?

    If you answered yes, then the likelihood that Site-owner-A's homepage would move up in the rankings would be great, right?

    Just for illustration purposes, let's say that the Google algorithm is setup as was just described and one-way links are more valuable than reciprocal links.

    Now, how much of a risk is Site-owner-A taking if she currently ranks #20 for her keyword phrase and by removing all of her partner links she quickly moves up to rank at #6 but she realizes that a certain amount of her partners track and analyze their link partners each and every month to see if they are still linking to them and if they find that they are not, they then remove their links?

    In other words, is the risk she is taking that ALL of her link partners will eventually realize that she is not linking to them anymore which means that she will no longer have any rankings high enough to speak of?

    Or is the risk minimal and at most maybe only 10 or 20 out of the 1000 partners are actually tracking and analyzing their link partners each and every month?

    A good roundtable discussion about these issues and those related to them will certainly be able to help us all to put the link analysis aspect of Google's algorithm into a somewhat better perspective, don't you think?

    ::: Ponder This :::

    If you had a voice in designing the Google algorithm, what would your solution (calculations) be for SCENARIO #2?

    1.) Reward the homepage with a higher ranking?

    2.) Keep the ranking the same?

    3.) Devalue the homepage with a lower ranking?

    And how would you go about accomplishing your solution?

    Your Friends,

    Sharon and Roy Montero
    Last edited by Sharon & Roy; Jul 17th, 2005 at 08:54 AM.

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