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Customers are invited to join a program of reciprocal linking.
To avoid becoming a link farm, customers should not be able to choose every other member to share links.
They should be able to choose like minded businesses by reviewing member profiles.
Links are automatically established on the member website.
Sometimes the link would be reciprocal, because you assume Online Stores are likely to choose other Online Stores to share links, but not always.
Anyway, my question is this; is this a bad idea! And, more pertinent to my subject, all our customers are hosted on a single I.P. number and I wonder whether this could be a red flag to the search engines?
[edited by: paynt at 6:17 am (utc) on Mar. 12, 2003]
[edit reason] snip url and keyword [/edit]
Another question, let say I just move half the sites over to the shared server. Is it bad to ever have a site that shares an IP address with other sites (even if I don't care about the links to eachother)? Does google recognize that 5 sites share an IP address? Does this mean that no one should ever be on a shared server?
Thanks for your help!
Much of the web right now operates on shared IPs so there is no inherent problem. Like anything else, all is okay unless it is abused. Google and other SEs keep their eyes out for heavy crosslinking among sites on the same IP or same IP blocks. A few links among your sites should have no adverse impact.
As Google states in its Webmaster Guidelines [google.com]:
A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you.
And keep in mind that many experienced folks recommend a dedicated IP. If you can do it for a buck or two extra a month it might be worth it in the long run.