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Help, I can't interlink my own sites anymore!

 5:33 pm on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

While overly dramatic the title says it all and I'm frustrated. I have a site that ranks well and gets great traffic, it's about summer widgets, and I'm apparently not allowed to maintain search visibility if I link it to my other newer site about winter widgets. The sites completely make sense together but the rankings don't hold when linked together.

I tried a simple link in the sidebar, reciprocal from each site, and both suffered in rank. I tried a single link from the homepage, a footer link and lastly a single mention from a single article, same effect.

The effect is fairly quick, rankings suffer within a week and then take 3 weeks or more to recover after removal. I've left the link in the single article for now but I feel like this just isn't how it's supposed to work.

When I visit Google.com I am flooded with their other products and services and I AM free to do the same with my sites but doing so without losing rank, and visitors, is the cost?

What would be the best way/location/method for making sure my visitors know they can visit the other seasonal site and that i'm here year 'round without dropping 5 spots in search (it's the equivalent of a 50% traffic cut) ?



 6:51 pm on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Did you try putting nofollow metatags on the links?


 6:59 pm on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Seems to work for me. Maybe the interlinking is not really the problem?


 8:01 pm on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I interlink all the time with no issues sites realted to provide additional information. I don't think it is the linking either. BTW mine are in the nav so on every page of the sites. The links are not 1 way links but I link back to each site as each one provides good information related to the topic.


 9:14 pm on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Have you tried the same experiment just linking over from within pages which have very relevant on-topic content? That works OK for me and my network is transparent to Google (whois/WMT).

Robert Charlton

 9:19 pm on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nothing judgemental here... just trying to narrow down the problem and see where Google is on this....

- Does each site have a strong, independent backlink profile?

- Do the sites have link sources in common?

- Do the interlinks supply a substantial portion of the target site's link juice?

- Do the links contain targeted anchor text?

- Do the domains share common or related hosting?


 9:49 pm on Aug 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

I will answer for my sites.
1- yes
4-actually it is link and yes


 3:08 am on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

- no, summer site is solid but winter site is new(1yr - 300 pages - roughly 700 backlinks of mostly low pr in a seasonally competitive niche).
- no, other sites tend to favor winter or summer but not both.
- yes and no. yes for the winter site but no for the the summer site.
- yes.
- yes, I don't feel the need to hide them from anyone/anything.

There is a size difference in sites, in terms of number of pages, age, pagerank etc. The traffic dip is heavy on the newer site but still noticeable on the older. I have no way of knowing for sure the links are to blame but the timing, on repeated attempts for nearly a year now, suggests it is.

I'm beginning to think the size difference matters. If I can't interlink them and can only have a link from one to the other I'm not even sure which would be best. new to old or old to new. I wish I could tell Google they are seasonal but very related. I'm sure they know but it doesn't show when I add the links...


 6:21 am on Aug 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does each site have a strong, independent backlink profile?

That is a valid point. When a site has good link pop on its own from independent sources, interlinking doesn't really matter. Here you go as far as Google interlinking its own products. But when link popularity is mainly from interlinking, then you will have issues.

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