SEO – Google Devaluing Sitewide Links

I was reading through the blog of Matt Cutts, one of the head engineer’s at google and a very adamant blogger. He talks a lot about SEO and changes to Google’s algorithms along with the normal personal blog topics like personal info and video games.

I was doing some SEO research for a new client’s website and I was looking into evidence for the devaluation of sitewide links. A sitewide link is a link on every page of a single website. In the past sidewide links were great for SEO, still are, but they are becoming less effective on Google. Matt particularly comments on google’s devaluing of sitewide links in a few posts. From my experience, on older sites if you have a large amount of other links, and you get say a link on 50% of pages on another websites Google will count them all as links and this will be a bit more valuable then say a single link, but for a new website, avoid sitewide links on Google. If you go from having a few links to having a bunch of links all from one website it’s appears that Google will completely devalue those links because they appear to have been paid for and one of Google’s current crusades is to cut down the power of paid links.

Currently buying and selling links on the “black market” is one of the major and very important tactics of modern SEO. You build a good site, optimize for the search engines, be creative, try to get as many links as possible and then buy the rest to give you that “push” above the competition. Although Matt talks about how they won’t help you, I believe a lot of this is wishful thinking, or a prediction of the near future. Currently as long as the advertiser doesn’t label your link with a title link “advertisement, sponsor, link partner” etc, the link will still count, especially if they include it in the body of their content with normal anchor text. Of course you’d better be ready to pay a pretty price for that service, because they’ll actually be sending you some of their traffic and promoting your product as opposed to just providing a link for SEO.

One interesting thing to note from Matt Cutts. He recommends the rel=”no” tag. Again for reference this is the tag that you can add to your links to have them not pass on pagerank. Now your first question may be “why would anyone want to stop a link from passing pagerank or relevancy”.

There are a bunch of creative answers for that one, but at the basic level this was designed for bloggers who could reduce the power of links contained within blog comments in order to discourage comment spammers. Matt Cutts recommends adding rel=”no” to any links you sell. Now if I was going to sell a link to a poker site or a bad neighborhood. This might be a good idea as to not hurt my relevancy in google, but if a website had a similar topic, and was very legitimate, I’ll get a lot more money and they’ll get a lot more benefit from a regular intact link, and if I hide it correctly, google will never be able to tell It was paid for it. Especially if for an additional fee of course, I added a page to my blog or to my site describing what the other website was and why I was linking to them, but that’s all hypothetical.

Summary of two different SEO issues mentioned here:

1. Google devaluing site wide links (links from the same domain or website)
2. Google devaluating paid links

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