A WebmasterWorld thread asks if sitewide or "run of the site links" help or hurt a site do well in Google and other search engines.
We have covered the topic in January 2006, where we quoted Ammon Johns as saying:
Site-wide links seem far more likely to be ignored or down-valued. I'm basing that on what I have seen generally, rather than on a specific empirical test.
Have things changed? Can sitewides hurt you? Let's see what folks from WebmasterWorld think.
Senior member, steveb, said:
Stop listening to whoever you are "hearing" this stuff from. So much nonsense FUD is spread on this topic. Of course Google pays attention to run of the site links. Is the 10,000th link from a domain as valuable as the first? Probably not, but who cares?
WebmasterWorld administrator, tedster, agreed:
And for the other side of the question, there is no certainty that every link Google returns in the link: query is being given a "full vote" either. I've seen links their that do not pass PR at all.
We can just recognize that seeing backlinks in the link: query is not a guarantee of anything.
Even if there was an easy way to see that a url wasn't passing on any juice, there's still nothing you can do about it, anyway, right?
Can they hurt? Most people feel they cannot hurt you but some would argue. I guess it all comes back to that word, "intent" of the link. :) What was the intent of the person who placed the sitewide link on their site to your site? Was it to help the user or to help the site rank better? Does it even matter?
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.