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Dangers Of Network Linking
Posted 09 May 2008 - 12:48 AM
Letīs say we have a few (15+) websites, all on the same server, domains having the same owner. The sites are fairly new, 3-6 months, but they alreday have a fair amount of content, spread over some 50 subpages. The content has grown slowly. Inbound links are hitherto vey few.
The topics of the sites are not identical at all, but many subpages on the them have a content from which it would be justifiably (from a visitors as well as search engines perspective) to put links to one or more of those sites (mainly to the homepage and with a anchortext that is in the field of a very competitive keyword; links to subpages with less competitive keywords would in general, unortunately, be harder to put if they are to be "natural").
Linking between all the sites (15x15) is out of the question as there a not that many options for natural links. But, between individual sites and some clusters of sites it could be done. There are potentials - no doubt, the text is already in place! - for one sided as well as reciprocal linking between single sites (A →B, A↔ and less or more complex linking within clusters (3+) of site. Without doubt, the all of them could be indirectly connected if desired.
Thus, links of value for visitors could be put, the text is already there, the question is - do we dare to put the links?!?
If we do, to what extent? In particual regarding reciprocal linking.
Greatful for all suggestions!
Posted 09 May 2008 - 03:13 AM
Posted 09 May 2008 - 06:26 AM
(īcause Iīve heard of a filter like that - against extensive linking between sites on the same server - but I havenīt been able to corroborate it in person).
Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:39 AM
Where you could get into trouble is if you try to get sneaky and hide the relationship between the sites. As long as you're totally up front about everything you should be fine.
None of my sites have ever been penalized for linking to each other where appropriate. The keys being they're only linked together where it's appropriate and I don't try to hide the fact that they're owned by the same person/company. In fact, I'm very up front about this fact.
Posted 09 May 2008 - 09:33 AM
1. topic-relevant links between sites, within the text of the pages, exactly as you suggested...when it would make sense to do so from a navigation of both humans and robots.
2. Links to all sites from the bottom of the home page or from a "Our network of websites" page. Google knows the ownership is the same, so there is no point hiding it. It is totally legitimate for an owner to link to one's own websites, and it would seem unnatural that you don't. There are exceptions to this of course, such as a legal firm that does both criminal and corporate law and thinks its criminal law prospects would convert better without a boardroom image and that its corporate prospects would convert better without being distracted by criminal references.
The one caveat, of course, is that variety is the spice of linking. If most of your links are internal within your network, I suspect it won't help you as much as if they are a small percentage of much wider link-popularity.
Posted 09 May 2008 - 05:12 PM
I feel confident now that I can put relevant contextutal links between the sites, and will do so, although I will be a bit careful perhaps, not putting them there all in the same day, and waiting a little for more external links (not within my network) to show up for each site. Better safe than sorry, and in this game I think patience is very important.
I might also link from all sites to a "corporate" site, but thinking of putting those with a no_follow not to waste linkjuice on that one. And I might put relevant contextual links from the corporate site to the others. But as far as Iīve understood singleway links are more valuable than reciprocal (?).
Posted 10 May 2008 - 09:31 AM
Why? You're not doing anything wrong. Why act as if you are?
You don't actually trust your corporate site? That's basically what you'll be signalling to Google.
Posted 10 May 2008 - 07:36 PM
Are these pages spread throughout the 15 sites or are you saying the total number of pages in each site is around 50?
It sounds as if your content has been spread out across 15 sites, perhaps in an attempt to create several mini-sites rather than different sections of the same site, thinking this might help you rank better. Could this be the case?
Did you get a bunch of different domain names containing keywords you want to focus on and try to spread your content across them? That would help explain your apprehension about linking between your sites.
If you are trying to hide your relationship between the sites, this is a problem.
If these sites are legitimate and you are not trying to manipulate the SERPS in an attempt to get additional rankings, you won't care who knows the sites are related and linking between them won't be a problem.
Is it really worth spreading your time and marketing budget across 15 sites, or would you be better served by combining the content you have and putting more focus and more of your budget into one or two sites, promoting different sections rather than different sites entirely?
Posted 10 May 2008 - 10:16 PM
50 pages total between 15 sites is another ballgame altogether.
Posted 11 May 2008 - 06:50 AM
Those are not satellite-sites or MFA-sites.
They all have good content, and that content will grew extensively and in depth.
I have heard about "filters" against sites seemingly creating a network.
We donīt wanna take any big risks now that we are putting a real effort into creating great sites.
But we have nothing to hide.
EDIT: Miss Spelling
Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:14 AM
FWIW, Filter != Penalty.
Filtering is done on a per SERP -> Per Keyword Phrase level and is applied during the SERP display phase, which happens well after the Scoring phase. Filtering does not indicate any sort of penalty being applied to any site that runs into this phenomenon. There's no risk of penalty at all in the equation.
Posted 11 May 2008 - 07:37 PM
May I ask what FWIW means?
If you have any further reading on (keyword)filters and phases that you would recommend I would be greatful!
Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:07 PM
For what it's worth, getting Filtered does not equal a Penalty.
Posted 11 May 2008 - 08:13 PM
Look at http://www.smh.com.au/ and see how many intra-network links there are. Brazillians!
The issue is always the micx of links. if you have no other links, then different sites will be abotu as effective as sub-pages of whatever ddomain has external links. Not a problem, just not very good.
Posted 12 May 2008 - 09:01 AM
An easy trap to fall into, Jill. When NoFollow first came out, I started playing around with all sorts of things, such as putting NoFollow on affiliate links and on less important links (like "about us", etc.) But it quickly occurred to me that on internal links or any other, NoFollow is really bad.
I've been continuing a bit of a rant about Wikipedia, arguably the website that gives the most scrutiny to its external links, yrt they place NoFollow on them. It's like saying, "We spent hours scrutinizing this link, but we don't trust our own judgment, so let's place a NoFollow on it so that Google doesn't accidentally follow our poor counsel. As for real humans...oh well, let them suffer with our poor judgment."
The bottom line is that any use of NoFollow creates at very least a sense that your website might not be up to par.
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