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Is it Good to Link Sites Together?

     

NurLag

3:12 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hi all,
I'm working on a new network which will have a large number of websites. I planned to add a section on each website which adds a link to all other unique websites ( newspages, not content ). But I read something called PR0 <=> Bad ranking. So is this a good idea to link own websites?

funandgames

5:19 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If the sites are related, but don't have duplicate content, go right ahead.

ThomasB

8:57 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Don't make your network too obvious. You could loose it earlier than you think....

steveb

12:44 am on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



It's a good idea to build one website instead of a network of little ones with the intention to make yourself look more important to a search engine than you are are.

Marcia

1:02 am on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Is there any particular reason to have a network of sites rather than just one site?

frup

2:00 am on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It is easier to attract interest/links to a brand new never before seen site than it is to add-on links in an already existing site.

Personally, I also believe that Google makes a distinction between links within a site and links from external sites.

steveb

2:47 am on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



yes, whereas internal linking is always fine, excessive baloney crosslinking can get you penalized.

Stefan

3:22 am on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So is this a good idea to link own websites?

No. You risk being seen as a link-farm.

GoogleGuy

3:33 am on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hi NurLag, welcome to WebmasterWorld! My rule of thumb is how it would look to a visitor or to a competitor. I'd be careful with brand-new + lots of sites + lots of cross-linking to make sure that it wouldn't look bad to someone checking out the site.

Best wishes,
GoogleGuy

NurLag

3:06 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think you missunderstood me a bit. There are very different websites in my new network with different look, content and so on. But I plan to have a section which includes links to other pages of the network. So will Google rate this whith a bad rank?

SlowMove

3:30 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There are very different websites in my new network with different look, content and so on.

Maybe they shouldn't be a "network" of sites or cross-linked. I don't think Google minds if you put very different content on a single site and link the pages, but when you start doing it across sites, it could be considered spamming the search engines.

synergy

3:41 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The golden rule of site building:

Do it for the benefit of your visitors.

The web is built on links.. keep them clean, on-topic, and in plain sight and you can't go wrong.

BigDave

3:53 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Link to others freely, link to yourself carefully.

If there is a good reason to link to a different site of your's go ahead.

If you are just linking to boost it's rankings, be careful how you do it and try to come up with legitimate reasons to do the linking instead.

Heavy cross-linking, for no obvious reason, is asking for trouble if someone from Google checks it out.

I don't really thing that there is a cross-linking penalty. I believe that they do consider cross-linking as a factor, that when combined with other factors can lead to a penalty.

If you are just doing this as a way to increase your PR, then go for the hub and spoke method to be safer.

All your sites in the network should also stand on their own. Ask yourself if the site would be able to draw its own natural link from other sites, or is it just being a resource for the sites you are building?

While the internet move database [imdb.com...] is an amazon site, and it gets a lot of links from them, it is also a valuable resource for the public in general and receives all sorts of links for that reason. It would pass the test.

You also don't want to have all your sites filling up lots of searches, because it then becomes a quality control isssue for Google. Then they might have to ding you just to maintain *their* quality.

beakertrail

4:52 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'd be careful with brand-new + lots of sites + lots of cross-linking to make sure that it wouldn't look bad to someone checking out the site.

Someone checking out the site? Who would be checking out the site?

Do you mean a visitor having a look or someone carrying out somekind of "do I list/penalise this web site" kind of person?

Beaker

rogerd

4:59 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



[quote] Who would be checking out the site? {/quote]

1. Competitors and webmasters ranked lower in particular searches, who might then file spam reports.

2. SE techs following up on spam reports sent in by competitors or generated algorithmically.

ogletree

5:01 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You can link them no problem. Google could not penalize that. It is done for legit reasons all the time. Look at all the time warner websites or the cnet sites. If it is for the visitors and it looks like it is then it is ok. GG is saying that if you make it look like spam then somebody might turn you in and G or Y might penalize you.

All of my sites link to each other. I rank well on Yahoo and Google.

Marcia

5:33 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



>>a section on each website which adds a link to all other unique websites

Just from reading that, what that sounds like is a "directory" or link section that's possibly there for the purpose of interlinking them. There better be plenty of links to and from independent, unconnected sites other than those - in fact mostly others or it could stick out like a sore thumb.

>>all other unique websites ( newspages, not content ).

That's one clue - is it content, what would read like original, unique content on each site, thematically different enough to warrant having different sites, or is it just news, which could be links to news sites or articles or just newsfeeds with some select outbound links - with keywords in the anchor text of those links for the purpose of ranking for them?

Get some sites done that way ranking nicely and there will be people churning out more of them daily to do likewise.

>>But I read something called PR0 <=> Bad ranking. So is this a good idea to link

If there's valid original content on each it's one thing, but if it's a site each about internet news, computer news, business news, fashion news, new books released, music industry news, etc. - and it's newsfeeds or just links to other sites with stories and there are few quality incoming links to the sites except the ones each other it, it could easily raise suspicions.

There are people who look at sites when surfing, something unusual catches their eye, and they go digging around - checking backlinks, looking at the code, the works.

Imaster

5:52 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



What about a few sites on the same broad topic (say Science) which all have their very unique content, but on similar topics. Then interlinking the common topics from respective pages. How does that sound?

If I ask myself, would I do this if there was no search engine, then I would say, Yes, each site has unique content and would definitely help the users to see content from different sources.

What do you guys say?

SlowMove

5:56 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Will a competitor complain. If there is a complaint, will the Google rep that checks the sites think that the linking is useful for users?

NurLag

9:12 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The definition "index" sounds good, because it shows the index of my network. Each unqiue website has an own subdomain, so I looks like some kind of hosting ( and in fact it is ).

Dpeper

9:26 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Do it for the benefit of your visitors.

SEO is often overused, it pushes mediocre sites at best to the top of the results, If no one spent time doing trickery and just built quality (which more people would do if they didnt have to worry constintly about people trying to cheat to the top) then the best would naturally rise to the top.

Guess that just my little Utopia Internet world...

Ohh yea and my point, crosslinking sites and internal links... I would say the best way is just to keep it simple. After all everybuddy understands simple.

yankee

10:59 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



These are the best two rules to follow, in strong agreement with BigDave.

1) Link to others freely, link to yourself carefully.
2) All your sites in the network should also stand on their own.

GoogleGuy

11:09 pm on Apr 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member googleguy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Most of the others have covered it even better than I could put it. I would just try to look at it with fresh eyes as if it were someone else's site. If you think it makes sense to do when you're pretending to be (say) a competitor or someone checking out a spam report, then that's a good vote.

Pimpernel

12:26 am on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



That's right. Just do it normally and if what is normal is to create lots of sites and crosslink (the way you create divisions within a company and brand them separately) and all thse sites are sitting on the same IP address, or are owned by the same person or share common characteristics, or form a web ring or whatever whatever (in the same way divisions within a company share an office), watch yourself be blasted to hell for it.

Bottom line, there are landmines out there that you have to avoid, and I don't think that you are well served by people telling you just to build for users.

I think this is a very important change with Google that now affects everyone, no matter how well rated their site is or was. Half the trick now is to know what not to do as opposed to know what to do, and this avoidance of filters brings the issue to every business on the web, no matter how much they are thinking of users when they design / update the site.

mayor

11:05 am on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I subscribe to what Google Guy says, and to what Pimpernel says too.

The search engines (not just Google) are at war with the spammers (define spammer as you please), and the battles are getting hotter and there's a lot of collateral damage taking place.

You sure don't want to be the enemy, or look like the enemy, and come up on the SE's radar screen.

But you can make your site squeaky clean and still step on a land mine, or find yourself positioned too close to ground zero on a nuke attack. And friendly fire incidents are on the rise.

These days you need to design for collateral damage. There's going to be casualties, and some of them will be gut-wrenching.

A casualty strategy is just as important as a link strategy.

webmktg

11:51 am on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Is it necessary to have unique IPs when you cross link websites?

Pimpernel

12:53 pm on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Different IPs, and preferably within different ranges is safer.

SlowMove

3:54 pm on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



But you can make your site squeaky clean and still step on a land mine, or find yourself positioned too close to ground zero on a nuke attack. And friendly fire incidents are on the rise.

That's a good reason to have more than one site. If something happens to one site, you still have the other sites. Just don't cross link them unless you're sure you won't be penalized.

Roomy

4:12 pm on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I am about to add a 3rd site to a "Nautical theme" Network. The first site is a sailing portal, everything from weather to the latest Americas cup news (PR6) The second site is Nautical stock images, If you need a hi res image for an ad you can buy it here. (PR5)

The third site will be a Yachts for sale and marine classifieds. All use the same host and there is 1 solitary link between the first two sites. The new site is complimentary to the network but it's new and I want the traffic (The other two are 12 months plus and doing ok) It seems completely reasonable to me to link from my first two sites to the new one. Dare I? (and if I do how many links would seem reasonable?)

Jakpot

5:16 pm on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



How about a shopping mall site where all pages are
cross linked? Will this be a problem with Google?
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