Marketing_Guy - 3:09 pm on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)
@robdob @cr1t1calh1t are sitewides really that much of a big deal anymore? Like you say many sites do it and there are loads of non "internal network" variations on the theme - wordpress templates, design agencies including footer links on their client sites (a practice which pre-dates Google), etc.
There was a point cicra 2002-2004 where site wides worked really well for SEO and Google put a nail firmly in that coffin by limiting the amount of benefit a site can gain from multiple links from the same domain. If that process happens automatically (i.e. you never get credit for those links in the first place), then there's no way it would result in a penalty (most likely just ignored).
Only exception might be if you suddenly introduce site wides overnight with juicy keyword anchor text, but even so I can't see that even triggering an over-optimisation penalty.
@robdob there can be a load of different reasons your sites all drop at the same time. Interlinking may seem like the obvious common factor, but I'm sure there are more.
Is there any crossover in the themes of the sites?
Similar layouts / CMS / ad positioning?
Similar IBL profiles?
Similar content (i.e. just articles, just affiliates, just forums, etc)?
Google updates are essentially Google casting out a wide net to catch a specific type of website in - there are loads of reasons one site can be caught, so if you are producing similar sites (even across different topics), then it could be something about your design / copy / SEO process that is Google is filtering out.