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Are you guys really saying that we could lose ranking on google simply because we link between these sites.
Surely a cheap regional widgets site could link to a hairy widgets site without penalty? Even if they are both created by the same company.
If these were the same two sites as in the other thread [webmasterworld.com] then I personally would link only from the category page of the general site to ProductA.com, and from every page of ProductA.com back to the general site.
As far as I can tell from Google's listings up to now, a hub can have lots of spokes, but the spokes shouldn't all link up.
The problem, Nick, is that you don't know that the relatively careful hub and spoke approach that has served me well up to now won't land me a PR0 at the next update, or the one after.
shanz, I've seen enough penalised sites to be very wary of linking them all to each other, whether they're created by the same comapany (or on the same IP or class C) or not.
You would? Linking from every page of one site to another site? Wouldn't that stick out?
You are the Google expert here... but darn, that's what I thought would be risky.
BTW: where's the logic in linking from every page?
to revert to one of your areas of expertise - multi-lingual sites and the interlinking subject of this thread:
Do you know of any sites with basically the same content and layout, but all in the local language of the tld, all linking from one subject page in one language, to the other language subject pages. That is a strict one-to-one page linking from one language site to the other.
That is, from blue-cars page on site.com
to blaue-PKW on the page of site.de etc,
and that for every local language subject page and vice-versa,
without incurring Google penalties?
I am considering this as a service to the visitor, who would look for something in English first, because generally there is more information available in English, find it on my .com site, and to his surprise he finds there is also a version available in his native language.
Only some months ago I would happily recommend setting up multilingual content the way you described. I don't deem it neccessary to interlink every page though.
Still: the duplicate issue should be neglectible in such a scenario. The crosslinking issue however is a serious one.
My current strategy is therefore, as mentioned in the other thread on Nick's two sites, to interlink the sites , but also to develop the sites independantly.
Each site of the network should get as many incoming local links, which only go to that specific site of the network as possible.
Exactly that is one of the major advantages for SE promotion purposes in such a setup anyway, and not only a way to avoid crosslinking penalties.
I am very wary nowadays anyhow with heavy interlinking. I somehow still visualize the whole problem as maps of the web, where isolated closed rings of sites are easily recognizable.
No site is an island - no pair or group of sites should be either.
Let's say I had these six sites, (For Branding Reasons like you said)
I would not want a link from on every single page of ProductQ.COM to go to all the other domains. Clearly this could be for marketing, but what it is doing is creating a PR0 nightmare waiting to happen. Be smart about how you interlink. Allow CompanyABC.com to be your hub if you will, if you still want to do your interlinking with no penalty possibilities then do a redirect link and tell Google that the redirect page should not be crawled (in robots.txt). This means you will not pass PR and Google will not consider you for PR0. This will allow humans to follow your link nest, but Google will not see the interlinking.
The rule at Google is; Do not pass PR, do not go to Jail. Collect $200.
Yes heini, I should probably explain what I mean there. As I dig myself deeper and deeper into the hole of looking like I'm telling people they should do this, I want to be clear that this is very much my personal take; I do not advise people to do this, nor do I advise people not to. We each have to set our own safety margin.
'Cross linking' is left purposely vague by Google. First the easy part...Even with less than a half dozen domains, all linking to each other, I've seen people get PR0 and I'm 99% sure of cause and effect. Every hub and spoke relationship Iíve seen has no PR problem from it, even with plenty more than 50 domains.
In the quote above, I'm only describing hub and spoke between two sites. It's a common feature of link relationships and it's not a common feature of PR0 sites, or at least those I've looked into.
The hard question, for me, is where the domains come into this. It is safe to have heavy crosslinking within one domain (i.e. fully qualified domain name, not counting a.domain.com and b.domain.com as the same), as the ubiquitous navbar demonstrates. But not several domains. This gets away from the page based nature of Google, but that was always a possibility (they cluster results by domain anyway).
As far as I can tell, heavy cross linking between just two fully qualified domains isn't a problem, but I get nervous about that and wouldn't want to go as far as to write "Marcia, that sounds OK as far as Google's been up until now", even though I'm thinking it.
I've often read advice about getting links from sites outside the collection. Even if it's not "the PR0 cure" (I don't think it is) it's sensible for several reasons.
martinbuster, I'm wary about saying so, but I don't see a real problem with that so far, if each site links back to just one. I would be very afraid to have more than two domains for different languages linking all to each other. That's a pity, but we need to be aware of these things.
> I somehow still visualize the whole problem as maps of the web, where isolated closed rings of sites are easily recognizable.
Nicely said. For 'sites', it seems that we can read 'domains'; so far at least.
As heini and Nick said, it's not about getting more PR. Heavy cross linking is, in my opinion, a poor use of PageRank.
Googles concerns will also be slightly different, i.e. if every site cross linked, then it would travel the web the long way, through the hoops we tell it to go through.
We can only provide so many hoops...and I guess the hub and spoke approach as ciml puts it is a way to link I would feel OK about.
What about having several sites, in different language? (each site is just a translation of the main English site).
It would be fine that you can just click on a flag to switch to see the page in that language.
Does it mean that you would be penalized?
Extremely important point. There's much to lose for many folks, especially when it comes to the small company/guy/girl.
If you're building to last - be cautious. Advice as in linking for humans, not bots, is good if you need to stay on the safer side.
But then - we're here to learn advanced stuff, right? And we're all grown ups. Most of us, at least ;)
Recently, though, I get the impression that Google engineers sometimes remove the automatic PR0 penalty by hand. Maybe they now give them by hand, too?
One more disclaimer: We're talking about penalties here because some kinds of link relationships have been found to cause PR0. Penalties are rare; most people with a grey ToolBar PR graph have some kind of spidering problem, bad robots.txt or just haven't waited long enough to be included. The vast majority of Webmasters should sleep well at night.
www.widgetsinc.com <- your corp site
www.widgetinfoforyou.com <- a nice site for info about widgets, "sponsored by widgetsinc.com"
www.widgetsinc.com/widgetinfo/ <- info site moved under your other domain.
www.widgetinfoforyou.com <- forwards to above URL.
Seems this would make your "cross-linking" no more than navigation linking within your site, so no penalty, right?
Once again, not an expert, so I could be wrong.
ciml, I'm still confused. As in Nick's post 17, it is about PR. In post 13 it was pointed out the concept that PR from the index page is probably mostly redundant to PR from the second level pages. (unless you have a specially, mature site with lots of outside-targeted additional keywords on the sub-pages) But I was under the impression it is a new site and that Nick wants to maximize PR transfer to the develper site. So the question in post 13 still stands.