Reciprocal Link Checker

When links between two sites have been created, these are called reciprocal links. The links can be created for some reasons. If you are examining a website, you will, at some point need to use a reciprocal link checker. What this tool does is that it will tell you the links between your website and other sites.

If you are familiar with SEO terminology, you may have read somewhere that search engines don't like reciprocal links. The truth is far more complicated. Blog posts link to other posts; a store owner decides to create more than one website and links them. Then some sites cover the same topic and have links to each other. These links help visitors to visit the various sites without having to search for them individually.

Let's examine what search engines think about reciprocal links. What happens if you put a description or anchor text on your site that links to another site? It helps visitors to view the content on the other site. Now if the site you link to also decides to link back to you, will that make a difference?

Google does warn site owners that some links might impact the ranking of their websites. Google in its link scheme states that it will negatively rank sites that:

  • "Links intended to manipulate PageRank"
  • "Links to web spammers or bad neighborhoods on the web"
  • Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (“Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)
  • "Buying or selling links that pass PageRank."

Yahoo, also in their Search Content Quality Guidelines has given examples of what they don’t include in their search engine, which is:

"Sites cross-linked excessively with other sites to inflate a site’s apparent popularity (link schemes)"

Some website owners and SEOs are familiar with Google PageRank. If their sites have been indexed and ranked by Google, they would be familiar with the term. But they may be unfamiliar with "link schemes" and "link farm."

There are valid reasons for search engines showing concerns over links between pages.

What do search engines do? When you open a search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. You enter your search parameters. The search engines compare the key words entered and searches for sites that are related to the search criteria. It ranks them and displays them on the browser.

Ranking content is a huge challenge for search engines. It has to sift through thousands or millions of content pages that match your search criteria. Search engines use different signals to determine which pages are the closest to a user's requirement,

When viewing and ranking your website, a search engine will look at three areas, which are;

  • Content
  • Links
  • User behavior.

Search engines examine the relevance of the content and whether it's authentic. Secondly, it looks at the links of your site with other websites. Thirdly it examines how visitors react to the content on your site. No one except the search engines staff know exactly how search engines do ranking and the importance given to links.

If we open a page of Wikipedia we may notice a number of word level links in it; also a list of references. These are external links to Wikipedia. If your web content has similar links and reciprocal links to authentic sites; search engines will rank your site. However if you have irrelevant reciprocal links to spam link farms, your site will get penalized. Therefore stay away from spam links; they will eventually hurt you as search engines are smart.

As a website owner you should read on how to get links to my website and selling links on my website.

If you are searching for a reciprocal link checker to check the links to your website, open searchenginereports.net on your browser and click on SEO tools. Scroll down the icons till you come to Reciprocal link, the checker. Click on it and it will prompt you to enter your URL. Do that and click 'check'. It will list the reciprocal links and their status.

You can also enter up to five domains to perform a reciprocal link check. This facility allows you to check your own site and of those sites with which you have reciprocal links. You can also use the checker to search on your closest competitors' sites. Enter the sites and see the links they have.

You can use this information to start building links to website which are in the same industry as you are. Linking with other sites in the industry will help you and the others in generating more traffic for each other. This will also help in improving your and your competing website's ranking.

Running this check periodically will also insure that spam links are not linking to your website. Spam linkers have a nasty habit of doing this. Once you spot such a link, you can remove it immediately. By doing this you will ensure that your search engine ranking does not get affected.

Remember the saying, 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'. This is exactly what reciprocal links is all about. Every website jostles with other websites in the same industry to get a top ranking on search engines. Quality content and authentic links are the way to achieve this. Yes, the more traffic you get and the more revisits, the better will be your ranking.

The reciprocal link checker also comes in handy when you decide to link with another site. You create the link and you check to make sure that the other site has returned the compliment by creating a link to your site as well.

A word of caution here; don’t fall for 'free link' spam's. Getting links to your website requires thorough investigation to ensure you get quality links. Creating links to your website requires time and hard work. It may take months for your website to get ranked; be patient and you will be rewarded.