Should I Build My Own Linking Network?

Written on May 8, 2008 – 1:18 pm | by bigoak |

This SEO question is from Joel Cohen, RestaurantMarketing.com

SEO Question:
If I have a furniture store website in a first page position on Google for “home furniture Houston” and I decide to do a separate website for my “kids furniture division” and it gets a top position for “kids furniture Houston” and I do two more separate sites for (example) outdoor furniture and recreation room furniture and they all get top positions on Google, AND they all link to each other, does Google discourage this? It’s like building my own linking network.

SEO Answer:
This sounds like a sound business practice. Too often in the Internet world we base on decisions on what Google would want. Google, in fact, says to market your site as if the search engines weren’t involved. Straight from Google’s Guidelines, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?” I personally would say this is a solid idea and focusing on product lines on each website can be a seen as a clever business decision. Interlinkng between them is would also be encouraged. Why would it be considered bad to link to your similar themed sites? If you owned more than one brick and mortar store you would certainly point visitors to it, so why should the web be any different.

You should make sure you don’t have duplicate content on your sites. If you are going to break out your outdoor furniture from your “main” furniture site, be sure you aren’t showing the same products with the same descriptions. Interlinking should be done strategically and with an eye towards marketing. Just don’t place a link in the footer, create a page that talks about the other site and its line of products and place multiple links to the other site. You want to drive targeted traffic that is well-informed of its link destination.

In summary, creating topically focused product sites isn’t a bad thing, it is a business decision that should be thought out. There will be more work and stores to admin, of course and cross-site linking won’t encourage visitors to view other related products as much as everything being on the same site. Pros and cons to each, as with most things in life. Just don’t let Google control your business decisions, after all, controlling the search results is enough power, don’t you agree?

If you have a question you would like us to answer, please send to contact[at]bigoakinc.com.
Due to time constraints and the fact we run an SEO business we may not answer all questions.

  1. 17 Responses to “Should I Build My Own Linking Network?”

  2. By joel cohen on May 8, 2008 | Reply

    Why not, instead of having various separate web sites, just have various pages within the main web site. What would the difference be?

  3. By Shell Harris on May 8, 2008 | Reply

    Of course you can do it that way a well. That is what the majority of commercial sites do. That is your prerogative. The important thing to remember is that all your major interior pages (categories) will need optimization and link building. Sometimes it is easier to build links to a separate domain name rather than an internal page. Many things need to be considered before making the plunge into a multi-site strategy, cost and time being the biggest.

  4. By geri on May 8, 2008 | Reply

    Thank you for the information in your article.

  5. By David Leonhardt on May 9, 2008 | Reply

    I agree 100%. It is not natural to own several topically related websites and not link to them Google knows you own them all. You won’t fool anybody by not linking them.

    The one thing that the search engines might do is to filter out multiple of your sites from a specific search to give more of a variety to searchers. But if everything you do is above board, it should be to your advantage to do interlinking and build your network.

  6. By boris on May 10, 2008 | Reply

    Speaking of linking we just included your blog on our “Do Follow List.” We hope it helps.

  7. By Carole on May 10, 2008 | Reply

    I am a retired (newly) accountant who has always wanted to work online, and then I began to run into the same things every beginner finds in a new field, too much information about search engines, traffic, SEO, and the best way to approach it all.

    I have four websites (2 up and 2 almost up) and I encountered these link questions and many more. I was overwhelmed, so I took some time and researched.

    I like the blog and hope to be back.

  8. By Yry Rent A car on May 16, 2008 | Reply

    Great idea…I also recommend every time I am in the same situation.

  9. By Renato Rodic on May 20, 2008 | Reply

    Great question and even better answer. Thank You Shell.

  10. By Blisters on May 20, 2008 | Reply

    I would like to answer the post question.I will build my own linking network,because only this will build a strong relationship with other bloggers and site owner.

  11. By temps on May 23, 2008 | Reply

    Building own linking network will build strong relationship, and also has a various pages, so why not?

  12. By Peter Egan on May 30, 2008 | Reply

    At what point does a linking network become a link farm? What are the characteristics that distinguish one from the other? I have considered the advantages and disadvantages of both large mega-sites and smaller inter-linked niche sites, and I have often wondered about this topic when trying to decide which would be a more effective approach.

    If you can shed any light on this subject it would be greatly appreciated.

  13. By kugou on Jun 9, 2008 | Reply

    “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

    I think it so!

    haha ,wonderful!I use it in my
    kugoo and kugou
    and I do think so!

  14. By joel cohen on Jul 7, 2008 | Reply

    Although not relevent to this post, have you seen this new (at least to me)search engine: http://www.searchme.com — it’s results are visual as opposed to text result searches.

    Joel

  15. By Shell Harris on Jul 7, 2008 | Reply

    Joel, We wrote a post about Searchme.com. You can read it here.
    Will, our SEO ninja discovered it and is a beta user.

  16. By Jason on Aug 9, 2008 | Reply

    What do you think about having a main site and using subdomains?

  17. By eugene chuang garg on Aug 17, 2008 | Reply

    Wow this is great info. I am just starting and hope to learn quickly from blogs like this one. Seems so complicated hope I will manage.

  18. By Myron Tay on Oct 20, 2008 | Reply

    Is it better to have one huge site, broken down into something like cars.x.com and food.x.com or x.com/cars and x.com/food or have them exist on totally different domains?

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.

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