I have a well established, largish site (1500+ pages) on say 'playing wigets'... it contains a few related topics on a page or two.
Over time some of these related topics (say 'eating widgets' & 'widget made products') have become more popular - both with vistors and with potential advertisers.
As these related topics could easily be stand alone web sites, I've decided to develop them as seperate sites.
I plan to change all the internal links on my established site that currently point to 'eating widgets' & 'widget made products' to link straight to the new web sites.
I will also organize relevant links from other sites & industry directories.
With all the talk over the years of cross linking penalties, I have put this off till now.
My motto is always 'do what's best for the visitor', and I'm sure my established site would become too big and confusing if it grew to cover these related topics.
Surely the SE's understand this... and the reasons would be clear from a manual inspection of the sites.
I also worry as, like many Internet people who've been around for awhile, - I have say 20 web sites covering this style of widget... but only one has enough demand to warrent full sites for its related topics... but these 20 site also link to each other, which may add to any potential penalty problems.
(In time some of these other sites may also grow to warrent splitting off to related topic sites.)
Again - these 20 sites are sufficiantly different to require seperate sites, yet related enough that a visitor to one may well want to visit others.
I hope this is clear (I'm not so good at talking widgetspeak).
So - I've got a tree of sites (say 20 branches), and now the biggest branch is becoming a tree.
Does anyone have any experience with this situation?
Do engines really have cross-linking penalties for sites with unique content?
Are there any cross-linking penalties built into the algos - or do they all warrent a manual inpection?
Is there a safe relationship between the number of links from within a network of sites to the number of links from outside the network (say- if you cross linking makes up less than 25% of your total links its okay)?
Or do you all think I'm barking up the wrong tree?