Is anything more than one a crowd? The early days of linking saw incredible work being done in reciprocal, three-way and even four way linking. When Google got wise, a lot of people stopped messing with the system – but a lot of other folks just got plain irritated.
So what is the real deal? Many webmasters decided that inbound links were all that mattered and started spamming forums, blogs and directories for links. Many even bought links from high PageRank sites in a effort to increase their own PR.
Unfortunately, Google frowns on buying links, and everyone frowns on spam. Thus was born the age of linking tactics that we live in today – article spinning and submission to multiple directories; carefully laid plans to create multiple identities and post on the few sites that till allow do-follow links, and attempts to beg links from anyplace we can.
Reciprocal links are shunned, and webmasters do their best to only link in, and never out. However, if you look at some of the very best websites out there and especially the high PageRank blogs, they link out all over the place!
The key is relevance. Outbound links won’t hurt you if they go to a relevant place. In fact, they can help you by making you a valuable center for links that go to good places. You might even get yourself bookmarked as the go to place for information as well as valuable resources hub.
Don’t decide against outbound links thinking you can’t get any help from them! You just might end up with a lot more benefits than you would think. Just be judicious in all of your linking habits, and build a site that focuses on relevance. Build reciprocal relationships with relevant sites and offer to link with an open mind. Reciprocal links can actually lead to one way links if someone follows the link to your site and decides to link to you themselves!