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If you owned 10 or 20 or more websites. How would you link between them? Would you not link any of them together? Some, recip links? One way, three way?
How do some of you people link between websites that you own?
How much do you worry about over optimization and google thinking your trying to artifically boost your rankings by linking your sites to each other?
Thanks in advance!
Only interlink where it is appropriate for your visitors, and not just to get PR. If you have two sites, one sells blue widgets, the other one yellow widgets, it is appropriate to link them together because they are the same theme.
However if you sell blue widgets on one site, and offer, say, sheet music (that has nothing to do with widgets in any way) on the other site, this may not be a good thing to link to.
I think google takes a dim view on off-topic off-theme linking, especially when you own all the sites involved.
G is very clever!
BUT, where I work at, I linked two of our sites together, same themed, and Google smacked us for it! Smacked us HARD as I recall. Why? not entirely sure, BUT they were on the same "C" Block so that might have done it. We took off those links and all went back well, and even better in the end. Google does have a way of knowing, somehow, what your users like and what you are doing for the engines (possibly click counting, etc.?)...trust your instincts as well!
What I've noticed is that the sites which have rarely updated content do not get a boost... Perhaps a PR boost after the next update but nothing in terms of traffic increase.
Now from my interlinked sites, the ones I am working on constantly which are daily updated are doing great...
The others just stay as they were (traffic-wise)...
Looks like what Google says (do the site for your visitors not the search engines) starts to come into effect gradually...
Truth is that I have had more success starting a site with under 10 quality links (not reciprocal.. from similar sites) and obtaining top SERP rankings, beating sites which dominate those keywords for years...
I also had success with some of the interlinked sites, but Googlebot has been seeing daily updates for the past year or so... Fresh content, blogs/forums linking in to specific pages and so on. The ones which are just interlinked with no frequent updates or content are simply not ranking for any serious keywords...
Additionally, the sites which have similar theme (red widgets instead of blue) do get a big boost, even if they are updated once every 2-3 months (even less sometimes).
We dominated the serps for almost every key phrase we cared about. Then one day we were completely gone from the serps.
After a tremendous amount of time here and at other places I found out we were penalized for the interlinking. I removed all links to my main site and suffered through a six month penalty. We are back now but it was painful.
Lesson to be learned - don't link to unrelated sites, they can and will find out... even if it takes 7 or 8 years.
I also try to keep links from my own sites below 30%of the total links to the site. I'm sure that google understands giving yourself a few links to start things out, but I would go with no more than 3 till you get a few good links from other sites.
First, this happened Aug 23, 2005, no warning, no pr drop. There were 4 other sites involved. As an example of the links, we would have a Los Angeles music site link to our main travel site with a link that said things like "Traveling to Los Angeles? Use mysite.com".
Things like this were on hundreds of pages on our other sites. These had been this way for at least 5 years. We were always so afraid of hurting the rankings that the SE's had given us that we touched almost nothing on the other sites. Then...
...one day our pr6 travel site which had been #1 for one of the most searched for terms in our biz for about 5 years totally disappeared from G. Other se's no problem.
Nothing to be found anywhere going up to the 800 results on ANY of our keywords and phrases.
We have since returned by correcting the linking problem. Last May we started to re-appear and are close to where we were previously. We could not identify any other problems, and the linking was the only major change we made.
We did make other changes to try and get back in before we found out what the real underlying problem was, but they were just adding content to many internal pages.