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Cross linking



2:25 am on Jun 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi guys,

i have 5 domains. and i'm using a cross linking in all of them. ist that bed? exp. a->b+c , b->c+a, c->a+b.
should i change this. i'm afraid if i do this, i can have problems with serps. now they are very well.

thans for help,


9:48 am on Jun 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Asja, first of all welcome to WebmasterWorld!

I wouldn't worry too much about cross linking if the sites aren't hosted on the same IP and are somewhat related. But why don't you try to get more external links to the sites to get natural links. I'd also change to a less obvious and unfortunately also less powerful linking strategy. Link from the high PR sites to the low PR sites but avoid any crosslinks.


10:25 am on Jun 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

thanks for welcoming, Thomas!

they don't have same IP but are somewhat related.
I have enough ext. links, but many links are coming from my pages. I’m trying to remove them, one by one. for now there are still present.


8:35 pm on Jun 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The problem isnīt only the same IP, but can even be the same class C Ipīs. If you donīt exactly know what it is, it just means that the same server can have several Ipīs, but all have the same class C.

So to avoid Ip confusion, you should host at different webhosters. Even so, cross linking isnīt 100% safe.


6:10 pm on Jun 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm sorry. I don't agree. It has never been my experience that the IP Address makes a difference.

Heavy cross linking however, I have found to make a difference. I try to be conservative with cross linking.

I think Google knows that many different sites are hosted by the same servers, and though I can't provide a direct quote, I'm fairly sure that GoogleGuy has mentioned this before in discussions about "Virtual Hosting." It may be worth looking into his comments on the topic.

Chris H.


12:01 am on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

seoArt -- can you be more specific as to what "excessive cross-linking" might mean?

We have a site that, in the last several weeks, got nuked. All last week, all of our several hundred pages are either not in google at all, or are there but not indexed (site:www.mysite.com shows only the URL, no title, description). By now, almost every page in the site has been affected this way, and, of course, we're getting no traffic at all. Our other site (on a different domain, using the same strategy) seems completely unaffected.

Our home page was PR8 (and apparently still is, though who knows...); we had lots of good content: yes, we do what we can to get ranked appropriately, but we really felt our site provides value that no other site in our area does. We got lots of traffic and lots of happy customers. We have been around for a year and a half and everything has just been getting better. Our site is not spam; it's really good content some of which we create and some of which we synopsize and aggregate and link from other authority sites. Cutstomers love it and find it a resource that allows them to buy with confidence. Or did. Now, we're gone.

As far as we can tell, our only transgression was that we had a navbar (on every page) that linked to the major pages in the site. It had links to each of the major searches, and to the most popular "widgets". This was a lot of links, perhaps over 100 that resided on each page. We added links we though people would find interesting.

We also had a corporate home page on a different domain that had only one page, and which replicated this navbar. We think this was our bad move. In effect, our navbar promoted the two domains our company currently runs, and provided some general information about the company. Also, each page on the three sites (nuked, corporate and other) had a footer that pointed to the home pages in our little network. Could this be enough?

Does this count as "cross linking"? We have, of course, since removed all links between any of our three domains. But the nuking continues; the only pages that still remain in the index are the pages that never had links to them, for example, search pages sorted a special way, or our 2003 holiday buying info. It sure looks likes anything that had a link from our site got killed. We're sure when PR is recalculated we'll have gotten a PR0.

The only other thing we recently discovered is that several of the links we had on our links page were to sites that appear to have been blacklisted. They looked fine to us when we agreed to link to them. They're gone now, but it was only a couple of sites amongst perhaps 100 (relevant) sites we linked to.

I guess we're still just in shock -- we thought we were taking the high road and doing everything we could to be good citizens.

Were we naive? Or could something else be going on?



9:37 am on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A navbar with 100 links isnīt a good idea. Most spam sites use that kind of strategy. So even if you werenīt doing that, maybe you were put in the same bag.

>It sure looks likes anything that had a link from our site got killed.

:) Of course that couldnīt happen, or you could link to your competition, or to major sites, and they would be killed :)


11:12 am on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

this sounds like a bad neighberhood penalty to me.

My experience is, if you link to a bad neighbood site, from within 2 clicks from your home, expect your home page to take a major hit.

Especially with accommodation sites


1:05 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

bluelook -- what I meant to say was that anything that was linked *from within our site* got nuked. All that is left in site:mydomain.com (with some exceptions) are pages that didn't appear on the navbar.

nippi -- the bad neighborhood theory is certainly well documented, but I guess this requires a lot of dilligence on the part of a webmaster. We very carefully evaluated all sites before we linked them, and all seemed on the up-and-up. Then time passed and in trying to undo whatever badness we might have done, we found that several seemed to be spammers. I guess you have to check pretty regularly. Lesson learned the hard way.

Thanks to both.


7:32 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


What you described is what I was talking about when I mentioned "excessive cross linking".

Here's another example:

I am a website designer. I used to link to my home page from the bottom of every page I designed with the text "website design". It was an attempt to help my site show up for those keywords.

That was excessive cross linking, and I no longer do that just based on principal. I never got banned because of it, but I think it could have easily happened.

Only place relevant links where they are useful to your visitors. a navbar with 100 text links is useful to no one, because no one will take the time to read through them all.


9:24 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think that nearly every site is guilty of excessive crosslinking according to SEOArt's example. I mean, how many sites do you see with a disclaimer, privacy statement, or 'about us' link at the foot of every page?! I always do it as a matter of good design - people don't want to go searching for this basic info. Surely that can't be considered bad practice or malicious by Google?


10:55 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree that 100+ links on a page could easily trigger a penalty or filter. Any site I visit that has that many links on a page I automatically assume is a linkfarm and probably a waste of my time and seldom stay long. Maybe you could trim the list down to a managable number.


11:05 pm on Jun 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a glossary on one of my sites with more than 300 terms. Each definition is on its own page, and the main glossary page lists each term with a link to the definition. I think this is good site design. It makes it fast and easy to get a definition.


6:42 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

suggy, I see what you are saying. What I did was a bit more than that though. I had like twelve websites with completely different content, all having every page linked back to my web design site.

I now consider that excessive cross linking. I removed all the links but the ones from the home pages. I think a legal disclaimer is different. It's only a link to one page, and only from one site usually. They're fairly common.


6:47 am on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ah hah. Now I get it. I can see that linking every page of one site to one page on another could cause a problem. However, even this has legitimate uses. Say you want to reassure your customers of security... do you put a link to paypal or your secure certificate provider on every page?! I think discussions like this just highlight how difficult Google's job!

I have several sites which I cross link, but only modestly - ie a link or two. I hit upon the idea of having three sites to generate unreciprocated links. A links to B, B links to C, C links to A!




3:15 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We have a similar issue of concern, but on a much smaller scale.

We've got a secondary domain which we simply do not have time to devote to building. The url is complimentary to our main site and at present it has a simple static link within some copy to the main, nothing else, and has for some time.

It gets a fair amount of type in hits, and is ranked 1/2 way decent on some engines. Google PR runs 2-3...

I'm considering moving our monthly eNewsletter there (and off the main site) so that it will have some real content and potentially rank better on more terms. In turn, perhaps it would build PR, get more outside links and even return some extra PR to the main...

It would be linked off the main site maybe 2-3 times (total main pages are about 45) and itself contain multiple links (about 8) back to various pages on the main. The links would vary somewhat (monthly) issue to issue.

Good idea?

Or, risking everything with Google for the main site (which we have hard-earned, top keyword ranks for wide spread and excellent PR).

Any and all tips, comments much appreciated.


4:07 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I remember reading somewhere that cross-linking wasn't so much a risk in terms of a penalty, but is devalued anyway. Perhaps one of the mods or seniors will remember that thread...? There was some technical explanation.

I would say the number of links you are talking about is inconsequential and apparently natural, so don't worry. Wouldn't bet my house on it though without a second opinion!



5:28 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

seoArt - It's not really crosslinking if you're not reciprocating links and if your clients are not linking to each other.

In your case just use varying text and you're good to go with a lot of nice one-way links. I'd recommend just the homepage and one or two key internals rather than sitewide.


5:45 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is this considered crosslinking?

We're a travel agency. We had a big site for our country. We were doing fine, so we made another site for another country, and so on. We have now 10 sites, all in the same host, 'cept for the first one(it has its own host). We have links like this:

...etc in every site for every other site. Is this crosslinking? Also, DOes having different IPs like
helps? Or should it be more like

Thanks in advance!


8:24 pm on Jun 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It's crosslinking to link all ten sites to each other. It would be extreme crosslinking if every page of every site linked to the home page of every other site. It is a little less so if you link only from one page on each site to all the other sites. Still, I would avoid it if possible... you could very easily fall victim to a filter that is designed to catch "networks of sites". Google explicitly mentioned their desire to prevent networks of sites from gaming their results in their IPO filing.

I would guess that different IP addresses make it less obvious that multiple sites are related, but not if every page of site 1 links to the home page of site 2 and vice versa. I would think that IP addresses in a different class C range are sufficient [A.B.C.**** not equal to A.B.D.xxx].


12:19 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This network of sites thing is very interesting. While it certainly makes sense that some clever campaign of linking various sites to each other in a surreptitious way must be bad, it's pretty common for sites that are related to link to each other in a footer (repeated on every page). Can it really be that a simple footer link, which is open and honest, provides full disclosure to users, and pretty much put there for non-SEO networking reasons can be said to be bad?

Perhaps this kind of interlinking provides no special benefit? But why should it provide less benefit than interlinks between pages of a site? But a penalty?

It would seem to me that Google needs to be more clever than this. Penalties are a dangerous thing as they can catch people unwittingly doing something as well as they can catch the real bad guys.

The other thing that seems to be going on is that PR seems to be playing a less important role than it used to. So the pure PR-passing schemes that were dicsussed a year ago might have worked then, but now it seems less likely. How much weight could the link text of a site about widgets with N pages/links inter-linking with a site about gadgets with M pages/links really provide?


1:34 am on Jun 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think that cross linking penalty coming over 20-30 domains. for now.
I can't imagine that ip's make at time any problems (think: 1&1 domains - they are bigger then google and google theke care about it!)


1:53 am on Jun 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I used to link to my home page from the bottom of every page I designed with the text "website design".

Hang on a second. I gotta know. This is a very specific example and I need to know "what's what" from someone in the know.

Is it or is it not a bad thing for a web designer to put a "Designed by Whomever" link on the bottom of the sites/pages that they have created? This is a very standard practice, no?

I have some such links and many of them are from web sites that were designed by the person who previously had my domain name (and the same business name but in a different state). I usually only put such a thing on the home page but these other sites (from the previous domain owner) have them on all of the pages.

I would have never thought of this as crosslinking.


4:41 am on Jun 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>Is it or is it not a bad thing for a web designer to put a "Designed by Whomever" link on the bottom of the sites/pages that they have created? This is a very standard practice, no?

This is not the same as the 'network crosslinking' concern. IMO the risk increases when its basically a web or link ring of x number of sites all linking from every page of every site to the home pages of all the other sites in the network.

Your "This site designed by..." link wouldnt fit this profile.


2:47 pm on Jun 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Most sites who think they should crosslink, don't really need to. If you are doing it for increased anchor text boost, then you will approach a dangerous level (number of interlinked domains) before seeing much effect.

Use a top down... link to them all from your top level domain, then back up again.

4-5 shouldn't be a problem.


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