Two sites that are similar but not directly competing should consider linking to each other when their respective readers might benefits from the presence of the links.
If your site doesn’t offer exactly what your reader is seeking, they will leave. By offering them a similar site, you are helping them in their quest for the exact product, service or information they want. They leave with a good feeling about the help you’ve provided.
Your site and your linking partner’s site will both benefit from found traffic and the search engines will see the links between you as positive votes for each other.
These votes used to be very powerful BUT too many marketers created link farms and started building links to and between sites that added absolutely no value to their visitors.
For example: A site that is themed around nutrition exchanging links with a site themed around electronics makes absolutely no sense. The visitors to either site will rarely, if ever, follow a link from one site to the other.
The above example is why search engines started devaluing reciprocal links.
If you use these reciprocal links as they were first designed and intended, the search engines and the visitors to each of your websites will benefit and you will be rewarded with quality visitors.
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