Site-wide links: kill or cure?

Posted on May 17, 2011


The scenario: a growing website gets site-wide links from a more powerful site. With a link either in the footer or sidebar of the linking site, suddenly you’re getting a link from every single page, adding up to thousands of inbound links. The question: is this a good thing or a bad thing?

You may not get penalised for obtaining 4,000 links from a single site, but it’s likely you won’t be rewarded, either. The current thinking is that site-wide links get counted as four or five links at best.

Why does Google punish us?

It may feel like Google is punishing sites with such hefty links, but it is in line with the search engine’s general attitude to multiple links. Many search engine optimisation experts believe that it’s not worth trying for more than one link from a site.

Google has long seemed to value link diversity over link numbers. This means it’s more important to look out for broad opportunities, much like advertising all over the county rather than just in Ellesmere Port. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put energy into targeting high-profile links, but that you should move on once you’ve secured one or two links.

While it is theoretically possible for a powerful website to feature you site-wide without accepting payment, in most cases money or favours have changed hands. Basically, anything that looks paid for is going to look suspicious, and Google isn’t stupid. In the end, it’s far better to concentrate your energies (and your budget) on other opportunities.


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