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Busted for crosslinking - what can I do next?
lost in space

 7:23 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I recently got hit hard from what I believe to be a crosslinking penality. I have an old travel site that did fairly well in Google and now my hits and sales are down by 75% since Friday. After pulling out some hair and using a few choice words about my situation I remembered that 1&1/2 weeks ago I added links to this old site from another travel site hosted on the same server. The other site has over 13,000 pages and I added this link on the bottom of all 13,000 pages. I hoped that by adding the new link to my old site that it might capture sales. Now my old PR6 site is way down in sales and I don't know what to do... I removed the links. Will Google forgive me? Please help me!



 9:20 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am by no means an expert but when we were penalised I put it down to crosslinking. I de-crosslinked and slowly but surely traffic returned. This might have been a coincidence but it seems like the most likely scenario.

I hope this is of some comfort.


 10:59 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

You honestly think you added a link to a website and within a few days Google manually reviewed your site and place an invisible ban on you? I really doubt it.


 11:03 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Never had a problem with crosslinking, and I've been known to go overboard at times... ;)

Perhaps there's another reason? Have rankings changed? Have you changed anything else?


 11:07 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

NO need for a manual check by Google. Cross-linking I suppose can be easily figured out by algorithms.


 11:27 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Could just be my suspicious nature, but it seems to me an overnightish appearance of 13000 backlinks might be enough to raise a flag or flip a switch. Then again, I'm just small taters and I might be mistaken.


 11:28 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Jupiter Media seems to do very well with cross-linking.


 12:06 pm on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Pretty much everybody seems to be doing well with cross-linking - I've seen some situations where cross-linking is used as an excuse and safety-blanket when the real problems are much deeper. I'm not devaluing what you're saying, lost_in_space, just saying that cross-linking might be the most obvious conclusion to come to, whereas the problem might be something else entirely.


 12:22 pm on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

In Oct 2002 we lost everything because of heavy cross-linking. So now we never cross link and only reciprocate when forced to. Only put links on your site that appear to be there naturally. Spread your links about your site. Remember, G sees everything.

lost in space

 9:02 pm on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

PR remains 6, but hits are down 75% since Friday. I am looking at other reasons for what may have happened as well, cound it be that both sites that I own (same IP block) sell the same material and have a similiar look to them? Interesting, the newer site with the 13,000 that links to my old site has an increase in hits by 50% since Friday. Any thoughts out there?


 12:14 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, its the "outbound link effect". Google just adores sites that point at other sites.

Conclusion: build multiple landing sites and push the users to their final destination.


 1:50 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

13,000 new links? Overnight? From another site on the same IP? Ummm, yeah, that might be a problem.

I got a buck that says he's back inside of four weeks, now that he's taken them down. Whatdaya say edit_g? ;-)


 2:35 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

My experience is that when you cross-link similar, on-topic sites, one of the sites benefit. Mostly the bigger site/ the older site.

I think the increase in visitors to the other site is because of this. A chunk of SERPs where your first site used to appear now show the new site's pages, in my opinion...


 3:00 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

From my experience G is pretty cool with getting you back to where you were if you tried something crazy that is not totally just a blatant spam attempt on your own site. Rather then the people at G but the algo of course. It tends to forget the past and only considers the current as long as you didn't hardcore spam something. I have one off thread comment as far as linking to other sites. G likes this as long as they don't link back to you. I have never understood why G likes one way links better than reciprocal links. Well I guess it's harder to get one way links but still. It's pretty hard to get quality recip links. It's the web right. sites are supposed to link to each other not just one way.


 7:46 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

We constantly discuss filters/ penaltys and people mention the fact that other sites get away with it so it cannot be so.
I think Google sees things differently!
What is on the page (within reason of course) when you initially publish it is probably OK, i.e.
'your keyword' as anchor text to return to index on every single page.
If however you later add or change the above on every page you'll trip a filter/penalty.

I see grandfathered sites in my area with huge KWD and if you optimised to match them you'd be flushed instantly.

Just my opinion


 8:31 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I doubt if crosslinking would be your real culprits. I got 5 websites that still maintain crosslinking with one another by 100% and the rankings are still fine up-to-date and this has been nearly a year now (although they had to weather the storms of Florida, Brandy and missing index page). The only problem that I see is that there is not much PR boost (or PR transfers among the sites are heavily discounted), however, it seems to be good for visitors to get quick access to the desired destination.

lost in space

 9:07 am on Jun 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just want to thank you guys/gals for replying to my post. I removed the links... I will give it a month, add fresh material to my site daily and see if all will be forgiven.

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