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Interlinking Websites: Always a Penguin Problem?



1:10 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is it possible to link my two sites without incurring the wrath of The Penguin?

Widgets has been online for four years. Recently I launched Blue Widgets to give much more information on a certain niche within my niche. I could have made it a subdirectory of Widgets but decided to go for a separate domain.

Where appropriate, I would like to direct visitors to Widgets to Blue Widgets. Can I say "for more about blue widgets, click here", making the "click here" the anchor text? Better than making "blue widgets" the anchor text? Can I place similar links on appropriate Blue Widgets pages back to Widgets?

Or is interlinking websites to be avoided at all costs, regardless of how the subject matter may intertwine?


2:14 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Interlinking relevant websites that each provide significant value is not a bad thing. For example WebmasterWorld and Pubcon are interlinked. They complement each other and the interlinking is useful for visitors.

When you rely too much on that interlinking and do not develop a quality backlink profile with good diversity then you are very susceptible to algo tweaks and you are probably going to have a bad day.


4:25 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

What gave you the idea that interlinking is a Penguin-related problem? I ask because improperly interlinked websites have incurred problems for many years (see Inktomi), not just as a result of Penguin. And I've spent quite some time over the last couple of week trying to track back the "Penguin is all about links" meme with absolutely no success.


4:35 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I stand corrected. I do know that improperly interlinked sites can and have created problems. I just want to make sure I avoid them. It seems best to do the interlinking very, very judiciously at least until the sites get stronger backlink profiles on their own.


5:31 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

There are other ways to interlink the sites to help your customers as well. For example, if you feel there is commercial value in interlinking, but are worried about how Google sees the links perhaps use a javascript link? A properly coded javascript link can be difficult or impossible for google to follow if it's done right, yet the site visitor can see and click the link just fine.


7:27 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)



10:09 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

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

Bluejeans, shucks, thought you might actually have heard such and might have been able to track back. Still looking.


10:51 pm on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Definitely be very wary of sitewide links to your other websites. Google will not care if you own both sites and unless you have a strong backlink profile you will very likely be Penguinized.

One way to do it differently, and I have done this without a penalty so far, is to link a related page on site #2 to a related page on site #1, a different link for each page. In other words don't just link to the homepage of site #1 from all of site #2 pages. Link to many different internal related pages.


1:10 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

@thedonald123 That's precisely what I wanted to do. I want to direct users to the precise pages that give more information on the subject. The pages on Site 2 will have the very best information out there on the subject; there would be no point in linking to an inferior page elsewhere on the web. The link from site 2 to a page on site 1 would be to a highly relevant and useful page but no, objectively, I could not say it's the best page out there.


2:46 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I got hit during penguin pretty hard, lost about 90% of my traffic. I was sure it was not about links, I always knew that those playing the link game would get bit so I never played it.

For some reason it hit me this morning that my menu link to my "blue widget" site may be the culprit. I nofollowed the link and sent a reinclusion request.

and the wait begins......


4:55 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I nofollowed the link and sent a reinclusion request.

Good luck with that!

Definitely report back if the reconsideration request works.

It is my understanding that unless you got a unnatural link notice from Google and thus a manual penalty, (Did you? You didn't mention that you did, so I'm assuming not) then a reinclusion request will not help and you must wait for a Penguin algorithm update, not just a data refresh, which has not happened yet.

It's possible and logical that you could recover with just a Penguin data refresh, but I have not heard of it happening for those who never received the the unnatural link notice from Google.


5:06 pm on Nov 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

@thedonald123 That's precisely what I wanted to do.

@bluejeans, Well then I can tell you that I'm linking in a manner similiar to what you are asking about and those two sites were not struck by Penguin. However, it for sure depends on the backlink profile of both websites so you can't takeaway much from my experience.

A different site of mine, site #3, where I had sitewide links to it's homepage from another site I own, site #4, did get murdered by Penguin. However, site #3 has other problematic links pointing to it, so I can't blame it completely on the sitewide link.

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