Simple answer – YES, these link techniques are outdated.

More honest and complicated answer – It depends on the situation.  If you are asking this question then you are probably looking for a shortcut.  The shortcuts you are looking for are the shortcuts that I spammed Google with over 10 years ago.    Do you really think Google is so dumb that they wouldn’t catch up to link spam tricks that are over ten years old?  So the link development shortcuts of using reciprocal links on link exchange pages with 200 other unrelated links is a really poor use of time.

What about three way links?  Do you really think Google with all of their PhD employees and super duper computer network can’t figure out a three way link?  Even if they couldn’t figure out this ancient SEO trick, let’s look at the math.  If A gives B a dollar, B gives C a dollar & C gives a dollar – who made money?

But what if you have figured out a new twist to this trick?  You haven’t.  Please do not be naive enough to think that just because you are fresh to the SEO industry that your link tricks are also fresh.  They may be new to you but they are not new to Google which has been fighting link spammers like me for many, many years.  (It is technically possible you have something new, but highly unlikely that you are doing something that the thousands of other creative spammers over the years did not think of.

So what are your link development choices?  You can either go clean & mainstream or churn & burn.

Churn & Burn refers to breaking any & all Google guidelines for short term profit.  Imagine it costs $100 to launch a website and you make $200 revenue before Google bans you.  You just profited $100.  Simply churn out as many spam sites as possible and hope you make enough profit before they are eventually burned by Google.  Each year this strategy becomes harder & harder to use since Google becomes faster at burning spam sites.  You need to be very smart to use this one.

Clean & Mainstream is when you try to develop long term quality backlinks.  Forget about worthless reciprocal links.  Think about developing links that will actually drive you traffic.  If a link never generates a real click to your website it is probably not a very good link to have.  You are probably thinking that is not possible.  By all means continue thinking that, it just makes my life easier to compete with weak competitors.  It is possible if you have a creative mind.  Be creative an you can imagine countless ways to gain one way links from relevant sites that will actually drive traffic to your site.  Write a quality ebook and give it away for free.  Many industry sites will link to your free resource and users will happily click those links to your site.  Another idea is to offer industry bloggers free guest posts.  Bloggers take vacations and when they do they need someone to cover for them.  Step up and offer quality content, not sales pitch content that just so happens to have some relevant links to your site embedded in the content.  Be creative and you can always come up with ways to gain clean, mainstream, one-way long term links.

ps reciprocal links aint 100% dead.  i often swap reciprocal links with big sites.  i don’t call it reciprocal links, i call it cross promotion because that is what it truly is.  if you are thinking about reciprocal links you are probably doing poor seo (sorry just being honestly blunt).  if you are thinking about gaining traffic and generating quality signals by using cross promotion & other marketing strategies you will likely last much longer in this industry.

This article was filed under SEO.