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.
Possibly related posts:
- Related posts on Site wide links
- techzoneX – Building Website back-links
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