joined:Oct 1, 2008
I work for one of the largest sites in the UK and we link between our site and our sister site, which are related in terms of topic and a slight variation in the name.
Site A links to Site B in the navigation (a drop down with almost 9 links to Site B) and in turn, there is a link to Site A on Site B in the footer on every single page. This can look like reciprocal linking. However, our site is big and ranks for some very lucrative terms. It ranks pretty well for over 500k keywords. Site A is pretty big and gives Site B around 60k links, whilst Site B, with its footer links, gives Site A around 4k links.
We've noticed a variant in our rankings which has been negative for both sites. I've been working in SEO for almost 6 years now, and I'm stumped on what could be causing this. I have gone through several ideas to find out what the issue could be, but none of the tests we've gone through have worked.
I'm thinking it could be the cross domain linking that could be negatively impacting us.
Sure, if we were 2 small sites and we did this then this likely wouldn't be best practice. However, we are a big site, like Amazon (they too link to their sister sites in the footer), so I'm wondering if that has an impact at all? We noticed a negative rank change as well as organic traffic YoY at the end of April (no, it wasn't the mobile update that impacted us).
Has anyone faced this issue before?