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Link Development Forum

Linking types.
...your opinion about reciprocal, site wide links

 6:38 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have a web directory and I want your opinion about some types of linking. I do not allow reciprocal link exchange on my directory but there are some I don't know what to do about.

-> Product sites/companies that belong to the same group of companies and link to each other
- a company have a site for each product it sells, the company main site links to each product site which links back to the company main site.
- an international company that have sites for different countries that link to each other

-> Sites with the same content/design, in the same or different languages that link to each other
- realestate-city1.com, realestate-city2.com, etc
- a_company.com, a_company.com.au, a_company.de, etc
- en_domain.com, fr_domain.fr, ge_domain.de, etc

-> "Design(ed) by", "SEO by" site-wide links

About site wide links, is there a problem showing sponsored links on all pages of the same category?



 8:03 am on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

The best advice I could give on link building is to use common sense. If you think what you're doing is a little fishy, then Google will probably think the same.

Some examples:
- company site A links to Company sites B and C (with B and C linking back)

This is not a spam recipricol link. The brands / companies are owned by the same people so it makes sense that they might link to each other. It would be unfair of Engines to punish you for this. We link between our various brand sites and it has a positive impact on search rank because some of those sites are looked on better by Google than some other sites. Again though, use common sense. If you suddenly added 20-30 links from one brand site to another, things would start looking odd and the engines may frown.

In terms of sites with different langauges, what you'll probably find is that they perform better in their related Google Country. For example, a site with the same content but one in german (on a .de) and one in french (on a .fr) would most likely just result in one ranking in Google Germany and the other ranking in Google France. Slight problems would arise however if you had identical content on a .co.uk and a .com, both of which could rank in the Google Uk.

Reciprical linking or link exchanges that often cause people problems are largely to do with surges of links appearing from completely irrelevant sites. So, if you sell cars but overnight receive 100+ links from a website about flowers, there is no relation and it looks spammy. Similarly, there was a phase of people paying bloggers to write reviews. I've seen instances of people dropping from rankings because of this ... because they suddenly received 40 - 50 links from blog sites that were unrelated - and that were being recognised as spam themselves.

Hope this helps.


 3:53 pm on Aug 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks webboy,

A company that links to its product sites and this sites link back it's normal, but the owner submits all this links to my directory.

Somebody submitted sites like realestate-city1.com, realestate-city2.com, about 5 or 6, all linking to each other. All this sites were fine, good design, content, with relevant cityX real estate results. I didn't approve this sites, they look like a little link farm to me.

And I don't know, to approve one site, all or none.
The funny thing is that the owner doesn't submit all sites at once, like he/she knows there's someting wrong.

And there's the "design by" thing. Some web designers submitted their web sites, then they started to submit the the sites designed by them. The problem is that each site has that site-wide "design by" link.

I'm asking this from my web directory point of view.


 4:00 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm not a directory owner but if I was here's what I'd do...

1) Real Estate mini-sites
If the listings are their own (i.e. not a feed from another site) and you break down your real estate listings by city also then I'd approve.

2) Designers submitting their clients
If the sites are quality and not all built to a set template then I'd approve. The common theme might be the fact that they all were done by the same person/firm, but if they're worth listing then that shouldn't matter to you or Google.


 4:59 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Reciprocal and sitewide or Run of Site (ROS) links happen naturally, particularly on blogs, but also between other kinds of sites. There is nothing inherently risky with reciprocals or ROS links. The quality of links is, imo, more important.


 5:15 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

OK, can I extend that question?

What happens if I take 10 high quality sites and reciprocal link them? Dangerous?

What happens if I take 30 high quality sites and network them together in some fashion, i.e. recips, triangular, and higher order?

Is there a limit? Will high quality overcome potential penalties associated with volume network type linking?


 5:25 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Will high quality overcome potential penalties associated with volume network type linking?

Absolutely yes. High quality means that a site has relevant backlinks from many types of sites: news sites, blogs, educational, niche, hobby sites about the topic, and forums. As long as each of those sites have rock solid backlinks I don't think there's a limit.

I know of networks that have fallen but those sites did not have quality backlinks. I know of networks that are thriving, those sites have quality backlinks as described above.


 7:22 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

OK, let me lay it out there, all stinky like a limberger cheese sandwich :).

Say I've got 100 clients in a niche. They all are owned and operated by individual and unrelated entities - say real estate agents (not that they are). They've all got their own discrete relevant backlinks. And they all have variations both product based and geographical based. So some sell red widgets in city A, some sell blue widgets in city B.

Say I have a program that will autopopulate a page on each website. That page will provide a link on that page (with a paragraph description) to others in the network with the following exceptions: No reciprocal links and no links to direct competitors (anyone who sells the same color of widgets in the same city).

That page is then static except for the occassional addition and deletion of members in the network.

If all members are hand reviewed for quality, am I still OK? Or on the verge of bringing down 100 sites? :)


 6:36 am on Sep 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ah, ok, I see where you're taking this. No, my statements are limited to the original post which is discussing sites owned by the same company.

Your example is more or less a link farm and most arrangements like that in competitive niches tend to low quality. Not saying they don't work, they have in the past and have been manually nailed, too. The sites in those networks are self-selecting in terms of quality. The OP is discussing something entirely different.

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