A link building strategy designed to create two one-way links between sites that want to complete a link exchange. The 3-way link exchange (also known as ABC link exchange or ABC link) is one of the worst kept secrets in the SEO space. Even though they're a black hat tactic in Google's eyes, countless websites take advantage of this approach and increase their traffic without being detected at all. The owner of a website or SEO can operate several websites, offering a link from one and requesting a link to the other.
Links that are out of context are easier to track than links that fit the narrative of the articles in which they are found. A guest post can have several links to the writer's website, but also mention several partners, and then use these links to request a reciprocal link. ABC link exchanges can multiply guest posting efforts and other link building activities, making them the best way to generate more links quickly. This is especially true for agencies that work with multiple clients for link building, create a network and manage links between those websites and external partners.
What Google considers bad practices are excessive, fraudulent, out of context and useless link exchanges with the sole purpose of creating massive amounts of links. For that reason, I can't recommend in good faith that any of my followers follow this type of link building structure. Before explaining what the exchange of three-way links is, I must explain how and why it evolved from the much simpler exchange of direct links A-B. If the page you're linking to is about cat food, it doesn't make sense for it to appear on an office supply website.
Link building is the bread and butter of any SEO professional, and creating links to increase your website's authority is important. Bidirectional link exchange is a direct link exchange, in which two websites agree to link to each other through collaboration. However, a study conducted by Ahrefs on reciprocal links shows that 43.7% of the best-ranked pages have some reciprocal links. Although the exchange of three-way links goes much more unnoticed than the exchange of direct links, technically it is still as serious a violation as the exchange of direct links.
A tripartite link exchange occurs when website A links to website B in exchange for a link from website C, thus avoiding a direct link, something that Google advises against.