I hit on this a bit last week with my Linking 101 post, and now here’s more from Google’s Matt Cutts about link trades, aka reciprocal links.
It comes from a Threadwatch discussion complaining about the effects of Google’s “BigDaddy” infrastructure update on the quality of Google’s SERPs. Cutts replies and says that a lot of the complaints were from
“…sites in co-op link exchanges not being crawled as much.”
The way I read that is as confirmation of what I said in Linking 101, that trading links isn’t a way to boost your rankings. In fact, what I think Cutts is saying is that trading links just for the sake of trading links (i.e., to unrelated sites) can actually lead your site to be crawled less often. Keep that in mind as you build links and consider link requests.
Cutts also offers a somewhat related glimpse into one of the changes web site owners might see under the new BigDaddy infrastructure:
“Bigdaddy does have different crawl priorities, so a site that had more pages indexed by the earlier Googlebot won’t necessarily have as many pages indexed in the future.”