Search Engine Guidelines Scare Webmasters

Jun 6, 2005 • 8:48 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

A thread at Search Engine Watch forums named Fear of spamming depicts the story of a Webmaster who is afraid to link four web sites together. Let me quote the Webmaster's exact words:

We have four websites in the legal field. One is a larger umberella site for the law firm and its two main practice areas which are criminal defense and injury law. The second is taylored specifically to DUI defense.. The other two sites are blogs with articles on DUIs and the other on personal injuries in our state. Our concern is that we don't want to be prcived as spamming the SEs. There is no duplicate content and no interlinking between any of the sites. What issues should we look out for to steer clear of being banned. Thanks for any input. Please excuse me if I placed this post inappropriately.

What hurts me more is the next response, "The only "penalty" you could incur is a penalty if you inter-link those websites. If you must inter-link them, you might consider using the rel=nofollow attribute on your links." Is that true? Well, it is possible. But interlinking four Web sites can rarely get anyone penalized. Plus if they are all related and linked to in a manner that shows it is done for business reasons (i.e. Jupiter, Developer Shed, etc.) then there is nothing wrong with it. Four web sites, I would go on record as saying, no problem. But as Tim Mayer said, it is all about "intent" and since search engine algorithms are so smart to figure out "intent" when it comes to spamming, and since Google doesn't hand remove sites, then you should have no problem interlinking four web sites even with improper "intent". (Sense my sarcasm there)

Look at the fear search engine place in normal Webmaster's eyes. Look what hoops Webmasters need to go through. It is 2005.

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06/06/2005 08:17 pm

Why not post this in the thread itself and help dispel the myts that are building up? What if the poster doesn't read your blog? Given that you are a moderator at SEW, it only makes sense...just a suggestion. :-)

Barry Schwartz

06/06/2005 08:27 pm

Because I was distracted after writing this entry. I had every intention to.


06/06/2005 09:20 pm

:-) Thanks! I am sure it will help a lot of folks who read that thread!


06/07/2005 12:19 am

Our experience shows that both MSN and Google do understand that when a company owns a few websites in their portfolio they will interlink. Our company owns 5 websites and they are interlinked without any penalty for years. Our understanding is that it is Yahoo that does not have any idea what to do with this phenomenon and has often taken unexplainable steps.

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