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A while back, when blogs were still in their infancy stage, Google updated its algorithm to diminish the value of reciprocal links. That was a long time ago. Around 5 or 6 years, probably.

If you listen to the average SEO, reciprocal links are bad. You shouldn’t have them. And that goes for Blogroll links as well, reciprocal or not.

I’ll have to disagree. Blogroll links and reciprocal links are not bad. They’re not necessarily as good as other links, but you won’t be penalized for them unless they are spam links or paid links. So why do so many SEOs think they are bad?

Post-Penguin, it’s even worse. More SEOs are coming out of the woodwork advising clients to kill their Blogroll links. Why?

The idea is that they are outbound links and siphoning off link juice from your inbound links. It makes sense on the surface. If you consider that an inbound link gives you 2 points and an outbound link takes away a point, then you should just get rid of the outbound link and you’ll have 2 points again. Unfortunately, that’s not how link building works.

Besides the fact that outbound links have the potential to send traffic away from your blog, they can also give search engines clues about what your site is about. So they actually DO have some SEO value.

Think in terms of relevance. Does linking out to that site establish a relationship based on relevance? And I’m not necessarily talking about keyword relevance.

If you own a local small business, you could link to other local businesses even if they serve a different niche and that’s OK. You could link to other sites you own. You might link to sites owned by your relatives. If it makes sense for your business or web property, it’s OK to do it. Is that SEO who doesn’t know your business in a position that make that judgment? No, he’s not. And if you don’t hire him, then he won’t be in that position in the future either.

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