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Cross-linking my own sites - how closely should topics be related?



12:55 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I own four sites. Two are similar topics. I've just watched a Youtube clip of Matt Cutts explaining if you should cross link sites.

Now I know I'm not supposed to mention my own type of site here, so I am going to make up two examples (my sites aren't about jogging, riding, cooking or roof repairs).

Site 1 is about jogging
Site 2 is about bike riding

So, both are about exercise, but riding and jogging are different. Some people do both. Would you cross link those sites? I understand linking a site about cooking to a site about roof repairs might be a bit weird.

Robert Charlton

7:24 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Saffron - For everybody's reference, here's the most recent Matt Cutts video on the topic...

Does linking my two sites together violate the quality guidelines?
Matt Cutts - Apr 24, 2013
trt 2:24

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0-jw_PfwtY [youtube.com]

As Matt says, it makes "perfect sense" to link together a limited number of sites that are "thematically related".

In the example you provide...
...both are about exercise, but riding and jogging are different.

These are certainly thematically related in the context of exercise... and for my taste, the interlink would depend on the context.

I'm probably more conservative than most about interlinking sites I control. I would never link these for the sake of PageRank, and I wouldn't interlink the two sites with global footer links.

If there were a situation where it was appropriate to say something like: "Another exercise site in the SaffronSite Group of sites", and it was something you felt it was helpful to users, then I think it would be fine.

I'd more likely do it on a Company or About page than I would, say, from home. I'm sure others will differ with me on that. I'd also make sure that the sites have established independent backlink profiles before interlinking them.


7:44 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thank you Robert. That was the clip that I saw too. I got the gist of what he said, but doing anything like that makes me nervous.

The problem is, one site is quite large, the other site much smaller, but was hit even harder by Google and has lost 90% of traffic. It has hardly any back links. I don't actively engage in link building, if people link, they link. I'm just trying to give the smaller site a boost. I actually have put the link in the footer.

I have two other sites, but they are completely unrelated to the "jogging & bike riding" sites, and I haven't linked them at all.


9:41 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I would never link these for the sake of PageRank, and I wouldn't interlink the two sites with global footer links.


Would you please elaborate why you would not use sitewide footer links? After looking at Google, they not only have sitewide footer links to their other properties that are unrelated to search, but they have upper navigation links to the some of the same unrelated properties.

I then looked at Amazon. They have a huge list of sitewide footer links to all their properties.

Microsoft has footer links on each properties homepage to every other Microsoft property.

Yahoo has either sidebar or footer links sitewide to other properties.

I am not saying you are wrong. I am just wondering why you feel this way when the top sites are doing different.


2:45 pm on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What about if you use no-follow? Mueller has said having inbound nofollows won't hurt you because they just aren't really used by the algo. But I know a lot of people around here speculate that they COULD be seen as a signal to distrust the other site. Is that pure FUD, or has anyone done any actual testing or anything?

Nofollow *should* strictly indicate "I am not linking to this to improve its pagerank, but rather just to send it traffic." Which, if that's the case, should be perfect for what Saffron's wanting to do.


8:42 pm on Jul 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I don't think I have ever thought about page rank. I don't even know what the PR for my main site is. In the 11 years I've had it, I've not once looked into page rank. Oh dear.

I might do that then, I clearly don't worry about PR. It is purely to get more traffic to the other site.

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