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YouAsk&iAnswer: Three Way Link Exchanges

Norhafidz asks:

what’s your opinion about three way link? I notice it has become popular now in webmaster forums where forumers asking for 3-way links exchange.

My answer:

Actually, I’ve read an SEO e-book telling people to stay away from this practice or you might get penalized. But, I don’t think there is something wrong with this as long as you are exchanging links from related sites. I actually prefer doing 3-way link exchanges than a simple reciprocal links. With 3-way link exchange, you get a one-way link in exchange for a link back to his other site.

Google is finding it hard tracking paid links that they have to sort to encouraging people to report to them sites that sell links. It will be harder for them to track 3 way link exchanges because 3 way links occur naturally, even if people don’t do it purposely.

For example, I found a certain blog and liked it, I put it on my blog roll. Then, this blog found my text messages blog useful to him and link to it on his blog. I did not ask for it. But it looks like we did a 3-way link exchange, isn’t it?

Here’s a real world example. I found Cellphone9 blog useful and link to it on one of my blogs. Cellphone9 found my text messages blog and link to it on his blog. We did not talk about it. We did not exchange links. But it looks like we did a 3-way link exchange, right?

So, how can Google know which is 3 way link exchange done purposely and should be penalized and which one occured naturally? That’s too hard to tell. Penalizing all occurences of 3 way link exchanges seems illogical.

So, is it ok to make 3 way link exchanges. In my opinion, yes. Just make sure you know where your links are being exchanged to. If they are simply from blogs to blogs with the same niche as yours, I don’t see any harm on it.

Marhgil Macuha

Marhgil Macuha is a Computer Engineering graduate of Batangas State University. He is currently a Senior Solutions Developer at a Canadian IT company.


  1. Google usually says what it doesn’t like. Most probably it has not said anything about 3 way linking yet is because it has not yet found a way to track it and to penalize sites.

  2. It’s hard to track accidental 3-way link exchanges, but it’s pretty easy to uncover automated 3-way links. Some people participating in such schemes do not take the time to remove tell-tale footprints. Also, with “Report This Site To Google” forms, 3-way link networks will not be able to hide for too long.

  3. 3 way links do not occur as naturally as we think. There are so many websites out there, its hard to have 3 way linking. Maybe 1-5 of it on a webpage is ok. but having so many will definitely give a red flag to Google.

  4. It is ok to use a 3 way linking strategies as long your sites/blogs are in right category or in related sites/blogs..I do 3 way especially in my new sites…

  5. Google can find a 3-way (both related and unrelated). I am not allowed to tell how, but they can.
    If they did not bother until now, that means that they had different priorities.
    But the day will come.

  6. 3 way Link Exchang:
    It is generally accepted that one site trading links with another is pretty useless as to improving your position in the serps. So the idea is that three sites exchange links (site a links to site b – site b links to site c – site c links to site a)

  7. Maybe google hasn’t found a way yet to track a 3-way link exchanges. If they haven’t, then there’s no problem in doing it, but if they did, then that’s a problem.

  8. I would rather prefer exchanging links if there’s a catch on 3 way links. Although 3 way links I think is not traceable. http://lilyarchives.blogspot.com/2008/08/link-add.html

  9. If 3 way link exchange programs are catchable then service providers should be banned/red flagged first and should had been, even they don’t use 3 way link exchange, at least you can read the textures and there are not much in market.
    But the are getting higher and higher rankings– 3-4.

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