Interlinking Sites: Is It A Good Idea?
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With Google’s constant algorithm updates it’s no wonder webmasters are concerned about link building. What works today may be disallowed tomorrow and your whole site could come tumbling down around your ears. Should you interlink your own blogs and sites? Absolutely. As long as you follow a few important guidelines.
Google looks at the number of incoming links you have, as well as the quality and relevancy of each link. The more “good” links you have coming into your blog, the higher your authority. On the other hand, too many “bad” links and you’re doomed. What’s the difference? Let’s take a look at the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Regarding linking between your own sites, the Google Guidelines state that “building partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking” will have a negative impact on your site’s ranking.
However, the keyword in that sentence is “exclusively.” It’s been common practice to build Squidoo lenses or a Weebly blogs, or other off-site properties, throw in some shoddy content, and use those properties to link back to your main blog or website. Those off-site properties were used exclusively as a means to build links.
These days, if you want to use those same techniques, you have to use good content. If you build a Squidoo lens or a HubPage it has to be something that other bloggers would feel comfortable linking out to as a credible resource.
Now, before you think it’s too much work to create killer content just to carry a link, remember why you’re doing it. Those off-site properties often come with a lot more link authority than your blog has. Your blog might be a PR2 and Squidoo is a PR8. That link coming from Squidoo will give your site quite a boost, so it’s well worth the effort to create quality content.
Quality isn’t the only criteria, though, that content must also be relevant.
It’s easier to understand if you look at it from Google’s viewpoint. They want you to create quality content that generates its own natural links, content that other bloggers would want to link to. Which means the content on either end of the link must be relevant. Another blogger writing about African Elephants wouldn’t likely link to your blog post about Travel in Africa, and you shouldn’t either.
Your blogs may all be in closely related niches but that’s not good enough, especially if you’re just building those blogs so they can be used exclusively as a means to build links. If you want to interlink between your own sites, link from post to post, or page to page. Not from Homepage to Homepage. That way you’re linking between relevant content.
If you want to avoid even the possibility of a problem, forget about building your own links altogether and focus on creating the kind of content that generates natural links. Ideally, that’s what Google’s looking for. And why you may be able to get by the bots with these link building techniques now, who knows what changes Google will make in the future. Go ahead and do some interlinking between your own blogs and sites – where it’s appropriate – but focus on getting those natural links.