Site-wide backlinks have become a hot topic in SEO. Many SEO experts feel that they are spammy, no longer hold value and can get you in trouble. In cases such as this, it is always best to hear directly from Google.
Matt Cutts from Google says, site-wide backlinks can be completely natural and in most situations are totally OK. However, he does mention the following insight.
First Link Rule
When Google looks at links on a page, they attribute the most value to first links they see. As they head down the page links count for less. Side-wide links do not necessarily count for every page they are on.
Stay on Topic
If the site-wide link is off topic, such as on a site that is in another language or irrelevant, then it will catch the attention of the Google spam team. Cutts says this may be the type of situation when a manual spam reviewer would catch this and invoke a penalty.
Blog Rolls are Common
Matt Cutts also mentions that blog rolls and resource guides commonly create this situation.
Ignite Visibility Insight on Site-Wide Links and SEO
External linking has changed over the last couple years. While site-wide backlinks used to be a good thing in almost all cases, it is now critical to make sure they are from a trusted website. Also, you must make sure that the website does not accept paid links or could ever be interpreted by Google as a paid link site. In most cases, site-wide backlinks raise a red flag for Google. It is better to stay away from them unless it is a completely legitimate site and linking practice.
Watch a Video on Site-Wide Backlinks and SEO
- Matt Cutts on How Google Considers Site-Wide Backlinks (stateofsearch.com)
- Matt Cutts On Whether Or Not SEO Should Be Called Something Else (webpronews.com)
- The Intersection of SEO and Content Marketing. It’s the Unique Message That Generates Backlinks. (customerthink.com)
- The Death of Link Building and the Rebirth of Link Earning – Whiteboard Friday (seomoz.org)