It was early 2007, when the idea of reciprocal linking (you link to my website and I’ll link to yours) suddenly became a bad idea. Google declared that link swapping was not only an irresponsible linking practice, but a ranking penalty could be imposed if done in excess.
And 3-way linking was born……
The idea makes sense. Instead of trading links with another website, an SEO firm would create another custom site from which to bounce links, creating a ‘triangle’ effect. Now, links can travel to and from trading websites without breaking the reciprocal linking bad practice.
A great idea…………………4 years ago.
This is a practice that Humankind SEO endorsed, but the latest Google algorithm updates have given many reputable SEO firms reason to pause. It seems that the value of links traced between the same three websites has dropped significantly. Today, webmasters requesting 3-way links might mean well, but their ideas are ‘late to the party’, as well as on Google’s radar.
But why? For what reason does Google de-value these links? The answer, we believe, goes like this:
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Google believes that the best ranking should go to the website that offers the everyday Google user the most relevant content. Subsequently, these relevant sites shouldn’t need to offer anything in exchange for quality links. Google feels that, if you need to offer money, discounts, special treatment, or any other benefit in exchange for a link from your website, then that site probably doesn’t deserve your link. Think about it. If you are owned bariatric clinic and a local hospital system with a powerful, well respected website requested an article from you on your opinion of the latest, cutting edge bariatric procedure, you would most likely feel honored by the request and submit said article (even if you had an assistant write it for you). This article, if published on the hospital system’s website, would almost certainly include a link from the hospital website to your bariatric clinic website.
And there you have it! A high quality, relevant link direct to your website that you acquired correctly.