How to use Site Wide Links in your Link profile

Mainly because many people regard them as junk, whilst I regard them as highly useful if used in the correct way. A site wide link is such a link that appears on all the pages of one website.

I have written about site wide links previously. Mainly because many people regard them as junk, whilst I regard them as highly useful if used in the correct way. A site wide link is such a link that appears on all the pages of one website.

For example, a standard blogroll is a site wide link structure. A top navigation is also a site wide link type as it appears on all your pages, linking to the same pages. I use three general rules for site wide links pointing towards my website that I can “control”.

1. Point to root domain

All site wide links shall point to my root domain or to a sub domain. This means that you shouldn’t use site wide back links to individual pages other than your index page such as www.example.com and not to a www.example.com/category/somecategory.php.

2. Narrow or related topic

The website that link to me has a narrow topic that is closely related to my website OR completely off topic and have a keyword cluster that does not use the same words as me. The first of these two almost go without saying. If all pages linking to me are relevant for my main topic, then it is relevant to have a link from all of them to my root domain. However, the second of these two is probably a bit more controversial to claim.

3. Meta and content on linking pages

The title and description of the linking pages, as well as the majority of the content on the pages shall be unique. This means you cannot auto generate this content, and thus these links if you cannot assure yourself that you produce “unique” content. This advice can at first be seen as the most basic and retarded thing to say, but if you are aiming at the branding angle, then you shouldn’t forget the spam risk you take if you don’t make sure the content gets thorough work. It is also less expensive creating unique content than for example buying links.

Anchor text & co-citation considerations

Now, it is very important that the keywords used in the linking anchor text can be found in your domain, and in that order as well. Cause think about it. The search engines have had to adopt to the social web with blogrolls as a good way of determining who is a brand and who is not. The blogroll usually links with either the name of the author or the name of the blog as the anchor text. Those words linking are usually found in the domain. And the links usually point towards the root domain. This make these types of site wide links look and feel natural.

Now you should use site wide links with caution. If you get site wide links from a website that uses the same “main keywords” as you do, but they do not use them in the same context, then Google and other search engines might get confused about what type of the keyword you should be ranking for. This is of less importance though. More important are the other pages the linking page is also linking to. Ie. the neighborhood you get placed in as a result of the co-citation.

You shall make sure that you only end up the same context as other pages within your sector. Don’t put your link on a page with links that point to untrusted websites. It doesn’t matter too much if the other pages that are linked to are off topic, but it does matter if they are penalized or not trusted.

Some final thoughts

Remember that you need links, but also remember that they shall look natural, even if you build them. Try to imitate patterns you find online. This is one pattern amongst many others. Use it with care and don’t spam unless you can handle the downside and the risk. Always… I mean ALWAYS focus on your content quality first, second on your website architecture, third on the incentives to link to you, fourth about your social features and objects and fifth about ways to get good links for free (for example from partners, trusted catalogs and fans)…. THEN and only then think about less/more creative methods that will take you from good to great.

//J.

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4 Comments

  • The first rule you listed is:
    Point to root domain.

    May I ask why? Why I shouldn’t use site wide back links to individual pages other than the index page?

    • Simply to avoid penalization and simplicity for the search engine to index your website. Let’s say you have a website linking to an individual page on your website from all its pages. Is the link really relevant from all the pages? Is the content really related to your single page? Probably not. But all pages might be related to content found on your domain. That is why it is better to build your root domain with site wide links than to use them for a single url. If you get a lot of links with aggressive anchor texts from pages with unrelated content then you run a high risk of getting that specific page penalized or filtered out.

      If you manage to get a site wide link from a website where all the content is about the same thing as your single page, then you could consider pointing it to that page. However, if there are too many links created from one single source to one single url on your website (that is not your index page) you run a high risk of raising the suspicion of the search engines.

      Think about it. Do people often naturally link site wide to one specific page? I would say the answer to that question is no and thus refrain from using it as a tactic when building site wide back links.

  • Jesper the most important thing I learned from you-I learned from no one else, is that creating content is cheaper than buying lnks. I am an author and writer. I often get torn between efficiency isssues and where to make my priortiies. You also spelled out the four priorities very well. Thank you for your time!

  • Hi

    I have a question too, what if I get a site-wide link to my internal page and use site name from domain as anchor text, I think it would be safe and beneficial, or domainname+keyword as anchor would be better? For example the site about car tuning would link to internal page about stylish bumpers of a site that is also in automotive niche, so anchor would be Domainname+bumpers

    Thanks

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