Site-Wide Links

January 4th, 2007 by Chris

Site Wide Links

For whatever reason I’ve noticed a lot of forum discussion recently on site wide links, cross linking multiple sites together, and or links from the same IP address. All of which are fairly overlapping issues.

So I thought, why not blog about it?

I also thought I would share a golden rule of link building.

It is better to have 1 incoming link from 1000 different sites than to have 1000 incoming links from a single site.

That is the concept you must understand. Having diversity in your incoming link sources is good because there is less chance of any major shifts disrupting your SERP positioning. Diversity equals stability.

Additionally, Google likely (though no one knows to what degree or by what factor) devalues some site-wide links. For instance many websites have footer links that exist on every page. This may, depending on topic and number of links, raise a red flag and indicate to Google to have your site checked for spam. Additionally the links may be devalued in a way as Google may see it as an artificial linking scheme. PageRank is still passed, and with that PageRank you can gain an indirect benefit by laundering it through your incoming links (in fact, you’ll still get raw PR even through nofollow links), however the actual direct benefit to the page with the incoming links is what you’ll see lessened.

Anyone who reads this blog knows that for website publishers with multiple unrelated sites I recommend a hub and spoke linking methodology as a way to legitimately share PageRank between your sites. I only recommend straight site to site links when they are very closely related in topic.

As for IP addresses of links, Matt Cutts recently tackled this in a blog post that was part of a series of myth busters. While his post does leave room for interpretation I take it to mean that while IP address does matter when Google is doing spam checks, there is no direct discounting of link value if the links are on the same or a similar IP address. Also, my own experience bears this out. Most of my sites end up on the same or similar IP address and I’ve never noticed any loss of link value because of it.

Even if there is devaluing, I’ve never heard of a penalty for honest (non-spam) cross site linking. So there is no harm in doing it.
So there you have it. Don’t worry about IP address too much (unless you’re doing black hat things and don’t want the black hat site associated with the legit sites). It is better to have links from as many unique places as possible, but that doesn’t mean that many links from a single source is anything to scoff at. Also, remember how important the context of your links are, number and weight of links will not matter if the context is not related to your site’s topic.

4 Responses to “Site-Wide Links”

  1. Mickey  Says:

    Thanks for posting this. My topic on SitePoint is one of the recent forum discussions that you’re referring to, and I appreciate your input there. This information is great to have. Thanks again.

  2. Dave White  Says:

    It is better to have 1 incoming link from 1000 different sites than to have 1000 incoming links from a single site.

    That’s very true and I think most of the webmasters get confused regarding this and by the time they understand the important of this it is too late.

  3. Kevin Craig  Says:

    Great info!

    I have always wondered about cross-linking multiple websites from the same IP. I was actually considering building another website and having it hosted in a separate location just so that my IP address would be different from my other sites when I linked them but now I see that there is really no need to and I can save on hosting fees!


  4. Ashley  Says:

    Thanks for the info, particulary interesting is the IP address part. Consider your blog bookmarked!

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