I have a few medium/large news sites in English and German. Sites are established with good traffic, tens of thousands of organic links etc.
We are about to launch some more in-depth topic sites that will act as sort of sister sites.
So say on the news site we have a page called Baghdad, that acts much like a tag page on a blog, except we can addattributes etc. Any relevant story we run on the news site links to that page and it just lists the stories.
On the topic site we will have more information on that so a description and other assets we don't carry on the news site.
I was going to link each tag type page on the news site to the equivalent topic page. Figured handy for users and good for seo. I was not going to recipricate the link as the topic page might well carry news story headlines from the news site.
I was also thinking on doing some text linking from actual articles, making it obvious with a little icon that an external link for further info. So a mention of Baghdad would go not to the news site's Bagdad tag page but to the topic site.
We also usually have our main sites in the footer on every page.
Should I do all three or are some harmful in terms of search? I have no hesitation from a user point of view but I don't want to do any harm to the news site.
Also does the fact the sites are owned by us devalue the links?
Well handy because will give them a link if they want more info on that topic. Like we often have hundreds of photos on a topic but we don't show them on the main news site. Likewise we don't give say an overview, weather or anything like that. But we will do that on the topic pages plus I hope to maybe have them almost like microsites with an editor or maybe some on-the-ground amateur reporting. I mean we could do all this on the main news site but I am trying to not have one site be everything to everyone.
In terms of linking topics from keywords in articles, you think I might be better to link to the tag pages on the news site itself then? So user stays on the site unless clicking on one of the external links on the tag page to the topic site.
What is the Best Way of Linking Two Sites Together
On the "about" page. People tend to snoop and will read it and since internal links to your about page are likely nofollow there is very little drain on either site.
When you link two sites together one inherently benefits (the larger site) while the other one takes a hit (the smaller site, sounds weird but i'd need an internal link tool to show you why). The dynamics of each sites internal link structure and total number of internal links is extremely complex, especially when determining individual page value.
Whatever you decide to do can be undone so feel free to experiment and monitor the results, there is no better way to learn.