It used to be that travelling from the parking lot to the aeroplane’s gate was a simple task.
Airport security was not a waste of time.
The airport walk was straightforward and uncomplicated.
Of course, in the post-9/11 world, everything has changed.
And, while we may gripe about the long lines at security every time we fly, we all understand that this precaution is in place for our safety.
We’d all prefer to travel with security than the alternative.
Backlinking used to be a lot easier as well. We used to employ sitewide links for speedy backlinking—links that display on all website pages, such as links in a sitewide header, footer, or sidebar.
You could easily install sitewide links on your website or have sitewide links to your website posted on other websites, and your SERP ranks would rise immediately.
However, sitewide backlinks for SEO, like lax airport security, are a thing of the past.
We now live in a post-Penguin world, where Google’s Penguin update reigns supreme in the backlinking arena. And, while we may grumble, we know that these changes will help both the searcher and the searched.
So, what exactly is the problem with sitewide links? Is it possible to use sitewide links securely? What effect do sitewide links have on SEO?
Let’s see what happens!
Why Are Sitewide Backlinks So Popular?
Sitewide links were quite popular a few years ago.
It was an exceptionally simple way to obtain a large number of backlinks rapidly; therefore, many individuals began developing methods for other websites to quickly and simply backlink to their site.
This provided them with a plethora of fresh backlinks, which was wonderful for SEO.
Before Penguin, backlinking was far more concerned with quantity than with quality. Regardless of quality, getting a lot of backlinks was the answer if you wanted to see a rise in your SERP ranks.
Various SEO companies have developed many black-hat strategies to obtain a large number of sitewide links swiftly, and for a time, those websites enjoyed higher SERP ranks.
However, when Google began rolling out their Penguin upgrades, these techniques resulted in penalties for many websites.
Effect Of Sitewide Links In A Post-Penguin World
What Happened To Sitewide Linking After Penguin Update?
The Penguin update by Google targeted artificial link-building attempts. Many backlinks were abruptly punished, and websites that used these strategies plummeted in the SERPs.
Unfortunately, sitewide links were targeted as well.
What Is Google Hoping To Achieve With This Update?
Any connection that is not natural poses a risk to your website. Penguin is on the lookout for spammy or irrelevant backlinks, as well as black-hat strategies for swiftly developing low-quality backlinks.
This implies that sitewide links to your website that do not meet certain criteria will result in penalties for both sites.
Is It Always Bad For SEO To Have Sitewide Links?
Does the above information imply that you should never use sitewide links on your website?
No, it is not required.
There are several forms of sitewide links that are natural, as Matt Cutts discusses in this webmaster video.
That implies you could post sitewide links on your website, or someone could connect to your website sitewide, and it would be acceptable.
We’ll go through these exact circumstances in more detail below.
However, another key question comes from this thought: If natural sitewide links aren’t harmful, will they assist my website’s SEO?
The truth is that Google gives very little weight to links placed in certain parts of your website.
This implies that Google gives relatively little weight to links in sidebars, headers, or footers. In other words, while these links aren’t detrimental to your SEO, they’re also not particularly beneficial.
So, what are these natural site-wide links? Consider the following four instances.
When Do Sitewide Links Become Natural?
- Links to Copyright and Privacy Policies
It is most likely the most typical form of sitewide link you’ll find. This is often shown in a popup banner or at the bottom of the page, implying that this link exists across your website.
- Locating the Website Designer
Assume you’re a website designer who runs a website that discusses and sells your services.
When a new customer hires you, you request that a modest mention of your web design services be included in the page’s footer. This remark would, of course, contain a link to your website.
This backlink is natural, and it will not result in a penalty.
- Detecting the Software
Assume you create WordPress themes or any other form of software that aids in the operation of a website. Again, a mention of your company with a link to your website would be very normal.
- Links to a Different Owned Publication
It would be normal to link those two websites together if you own many newspapers, each with its website.
Consider a news organization with two local news outlets that use sitewide links to connect their two websites: It only makes it logical to connect them.
However, there is one exception to this point: the two publications you own must be topically connected for sitewide links between the two to be regarded as natural.
So, if you run a newspaper about sports cars and another about cat care, you generally shouldn’t connect them with site-wide links. You can penalize both sites as a result of this.
How To Avoid Penalties When Using Sitewide Links
Surprisingly, you don’t need to employ the Nofollow attribute to safeguard your site from penalties when it comes to sitewide linking. However, there are two things you should bear in mind:
- You should use branded terms as anchor text.
In this scenario, using keywords as anchor text is a terrible idea. This will simply appear spammy to Google and will result in penalties. Instead, use the company or magazine name, or even the website itself, as a link.
- Ensure that the sites you link to or employ sitewide links to your websites are highly relevant.
Both websites connected by a site-wide link must be significantly relevant to one another. We have discussed this briefly before, but we should underline it is a crucial topic.
While it is critical that your sitewide links fall into one of the categories above, it is also critical that you have relevant links.
Penguin is targeting irrelevant, artificial backlinks. As a result, if you provide it with relevant, natural links, you will escape penalties.
Last Words on Sitewide Links and SEO
As a result, sitewide linking for SEO is no longer a viable option. With the Penguin update, this method is far more work than it’s worth, and it will almost certainly result in fines.
However, as previously stated, many sitewide links are entirely natural and will not result in any penalties.
However, they aren’t beneficial to SEO.
In this instance, a shift in mindset regarding sitewide linkages may be necessary. While having your site appear as a sitewide link on another site is not ideal for SEO, it is excellent for publicity!