Sitewide Links as a Google Ranking Factor
Inbound SEO links, which are typically considered beneficial to SEO, may create difficulties if too many of them originate from the same domain. As a result, some SEOs think that sitewide links to other domains could be a negative ranking factor.
SEOs Claim that Sitewide Links Are a Ranking Factor
Sitewide links are static outbound links that show up on each web page. They are generally found in the navigation menu, header, or footer. One sitewide link might produce hundreds or thousands of outbound links directed to another site depending on the number of pages a website has.
A large number of inbound links from the same domain is interpreted by Google as a sign of unnatural link building, according to SEO professionals. Sitewide links without context have led people to believe that they have little to no value. As a result, some experts claim that sitewide links send negative ranking signals to the domains they’re directed at.
The idea of sitewide links being a negative ranking signal dates back to the Penguin 4.0 update, which made Penguin a permanent feature of Google’s search algorithm, running in real-time.
Before Penguin 4.0, link spam was demoted and penalised on a per-update basis. This meant that websites may continue using high-risk and spammy link building methods until the next manual update. After hearing these claims, some SEOs may be concerned about seeing sitewide links from other websites that point to their domain.
However, another argument supports the idea that all links are beneficial. The idea is that because there are more links, link equity increases. SEOs also believe that a sitewide link from a trustworthy site equates to a stronger signal than two or three links on their own; it’s as though the other domain is receiving the highest degree of recommendation from the website.
The Proof that Sitewide Links Are a Negative Ranking Factor
When Google sees that sitewide links occur organically, the search engine system verifies it. As a result, they do not negatively influence the website’s ranking. According to Google’s John Mueller, sitewide links are not automatically recognised as spam attempts or an unnatural linking pattern.
In general, if these are normal links (such as organic links) that link to one’s content, Mueller said Google would just let them be. People link to each other’s content all the time, and that’s simply how the Internet works. If the sitewide link also boosts a site’s reputation, the site owner should not disavow it just because it could be in the blogroll or a sitewide link.
Google recommends that website owners use the nofollow attribute to completely avoid unnatural linking signals if they want to place a sitewide link. For instance, if SEOs want to place their footer link somewhere on the website, they should ensure that it has a nofollow link. Doing so allows users to click on it if they are interested, but it is not seen as an editorial link by the webmaster. With that said, this is not something that one should be concerned about as Google would not see it as an unnatural link building tactic.
Sitewide Links as a Ranking Factor
In the end, a link is a link. This means that sitewide SEO links are an obvious ranking element since we know that Google uses links as a ranking signal. Sitewide links have no detrimental impact on search rankings, so there’s no need to disavow or ask for them to be removed – except in one circumstance.
If a website with a sitewide link has poor rankings, it’s not necessarily the link causing the issue. It may be the anchor text.
Overly optimised anchor text might cause more issues for SEO than a sitewide link, as Google might mark it as spam. Therefore, if a website links to a business, the best thing to do is use the company’s name as the anchor text.
Doing so will make it appear to be a genuine recommendation rather than an attempt to manipulate search rankings. Google understands that sitewide links may happen naturally and that they are not always an attempt to game the system. To prevent them from being perceived as editorial links, Google advises SEO experts to utilise the nofollow attribute when placing sitewide links.
A Short History of Anchor Text
The text used in a link’s anchor is known as anchor text. They could be anything from a simple “click here” message, or even keyphrases like “London Personal Injury Lawyer”.
Google’s PageRank algorithm, for example, utilises anchor text to determine the context of a web page. The big breakthrough for Google’s cofounders in 1998 was when they found that search results improved when they utilised the anchor text and content on a web page to figure out what it is all about.
However, Google had to modify their algorithm over time to prevent publishers from abusing anchor texts. As a result, digital marketers regard anchor text as crucial, even today.
The Best Anchor Text for Internal Links
Internal links in SEO are links from a web page directed to another on the same website. A publisher may link to another article on the same site that offers further information. Internal links assist Google in discovering additional articles within a website and providing some context to the content being linked to.
When SEOs include internal links, it’s a signal of context from Google’s perspective. It means that the publisher is telling the search engine that they will find the information about this topic in this specific part of their website. And that is where one should use anchor text for internal links.
The kind of internal link site owners should use for their users often match what they would use for SEO, too. So, those two kinds of internal links overlap with one another.
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