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Old 06-02-2005   #1
flash213
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Fear of spamming

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.

Last edited by flash213 : 06-02-2005 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 06-02-2005   #2
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As long as you don't have duplicate content on the sites then there really isn't an issue--and there never will be.

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.
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Old 06-05-2005   #3
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even if search engines did not exist business would still run multiple brands and marketing fronts. so long as it seems legit then you are probably fine.

> If you must inter-link them, you might consider using the rel=nofollow attribute on your links.

I do not like using the nofollow link idea as using it could seem as though you think there is something wrong with linking between them.

if you were afraid of being punished for cross linking maybe you could serve the ads via ad servers, use redirects which made it look as though you were tracking the traffic, or something.
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Old 06-06-2005   #4
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Not much time, but as per request of blog reader, I am reposting my comments here. I did plan on writing something specifically for the forum but it has been a crazy day.

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)
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Old 06-06-2005   #5
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Well two comments really - firstly I promised to post something on behalf of Wit
Quote:
Don't be afraid to interlink four on-topic sites of your own, especially if they're of decent quality. It is nigh-impossible to get banned for interlinking on a small scale, and it's highly unlikely to even get the littlest of penalties.

Just don't make the (subtle) interlinking coincide with some REAL questionable stuff...

Remember that reports for being banned after cross-linking often don't mention that the links were to/from badly cloaked or auto-gen sites, ringing dozen of alarm bells even without the cross-links. Start to worry as soon as you have 30 sites on the subject
and secondly although I rarely subscribe to the sentiment "do what you'd do if the search engines didn't exist" I think this is one time when it does apply.

If the only reason you haven't linked your sites is because you're scared of penalties then don't worry - I have a client with five sites and each of their navs link to the others; they did that years before we'd thought about SEO and they still do and as far a I can see they've not been penalised for it (they don't all rank top for all of their keywords but that's not a penalty that's just needing more SEO)
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Old 06-06-2005   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash213
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.
If you link appropriately, you'll have no problem; for example, all should probably link to the umbrella site, and the two DUI sites would doubtless interlink, but only install links in other directions as would make sense. I doubt there's a reason for each site to link to every other; but probably a case for most linking to most.

The question remains, why have so many sites, multiplying your seo effort, risking duplicate content concerns and potentially confusing your visitors?

Last edited by Quadrille : 06-06-2005 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 06-06-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadrille
The question remains, why have so many sites, multiplying your seo effort, risking duplicate content concerns and potentially confusing your visitors?
one could guess
- different brands
- different services
- different locations / target markets
- appealing to different stages of the buying cycle or different offerings. a person buying a $49 beat your DUI ebook might not be the same exact client that would have thousands to shell out for some of the court costs.
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Old 06-06-2005   #8
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seobook has it right. There is branding involved from practice area to practice area. As for the blogs they preform well in keywords with very little seo effort on our part besides the fresh articles.Thanks for the replies and help.
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Old 06-06-2005   #9
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Flash, I'm not an SEO and I don't think most of the responders in this thread are actually SEOs. Like any replys in a forum you have to take what is said with a grain of salt. We are people who try to keep up with what is going on with the SEs for the most part.

Personally I don't think you would run into any problems in linking those sites together based on your initial post. If we saw the sites we might be able to give you a more informed opinion. Basically without seeing the sites we are completely guessing IMHO.

I guess I have to ask this. Why 4 sites? I would find it much easier to manage one site.

Quote:
since Google doesn't hand remove sites,
Rusty I have to ask you about the above statement. Can you give me a link to an official statement about this. I do realize Google tries to deal with most spam issues with their Algo. Are you sure they never hand remove sites?
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Old 06-06-2005   #10
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I wont deny that it would be easier to have one site. Due to the branding in each niche this is not a option. Again the blogs recieve very little seo and preform well with fresh posts. Again its not "easy" but the attorneys like to write as much as they like to talk,so its convenient.
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Old 06-07-2005   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie
Rusty I have to ask you about the above statement. Can you give me a link to an official statement about this. I do realize Google tries to deal with most spam issues with their Algo. Are you sure they never hand remove sites?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustybrick
(Sense my sarcasm there)
Flash213, I assume that your blogs must already be linking to your other sites in some way anyway? Otherwise they are pretty pointless (unless they really love to blog).
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Old 06-07-2005   #12
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Originally Posted by Gurtie
they really love to blog
great news. good on them. everyone should have at least 5 to 6 of them. I do
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Old 06-07-2005   #13
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flash212: I would be very careful about interlinking sites. The idea that you can't or won't get a penalty for interlinking 4 or 5 sites is bogus in my opinion. First I would move each site to a different hosting company if you have not already done that. Makes it less chance of being picked up by a filter. I would even hide the whois on them.

One of the most important thinks to do if you are going to interlink a group of sites for click though traffic is don't use keyword rich anchor text but domained anchor texts.

i.e. <a href=http://www*domainame*com>DomainName.com</a>.

This makes a clear statement that you are not interlinking to pick up ranking weight from the external inbound links from your other sites. Inbound links with keywords in the anchor text carries a lot of ranking weight these days, especially with Goggle.

I have seen large networks of site that are interlinked on every page and are not banned and have seen smaller networks of sites that interlinked and got banned. I just looked at a group of sites today where there was over 20 sites and they were all interlinked from all page and been that way for years and no ban. Last week I look at a programmers set of sites where he had 5 beautiful sites all banned over linkfarming.

I have a number of related sites and I am scared to interlink them even with domained anchor texts as I realize when you get banned by Google you basically have to start over.

Hopes this helps a bit.

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Old 06-07-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gurtie
Flash213, I assume that your blogs must already be linking to your other sites in some way anyway? Otherwise they are pretty pointless (unless they really love to blog).

The blogs were linked to the corresponding sites until recently. Since then we have created consultation submit forms for the blogs and stoped linking. Even without the forms I would hardley consider them "pointless". We have been told by clients in the past they found the sites to be a good resource of information.
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Old 06-07-2005   #15
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*What issues should we look out for to steer clear of being banned.*

A thread title like that and Flash213 gets encouraged to crosslink his domains?

Somewhat bizarre...
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Old 06-07-2005   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flash213
The blogs were linked to the corresponding sites until recently. Since then we have created consultation submit forms for the blogs and stoped linking. Even without the forms I would hardley consider them "pointless". We have been told by clients in the past they found the sites to be a good resource of information.
mmm. I meant that from an SEO point of view a blog is unhjelpful unless it it links to the main site(s), advertises the main site(s) or drums up business for the main site(s). I'm sure they're very interesting but I'm assuming they were started to help the business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glengara
Somewhat bizarre...
Not at all. I've seen lots of cross linked domains which aren't penalised. I'm sure there are lots which are too, but reasonable cross linking in itself doesn't penalise domains. Scroll down to the bottom of this page - look at the 'Jupiter Web Networks' section. I don't see much of a penalty being applied here.
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Old 06-07-2005   #17
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I agree with SEOBOOK and others.

Cross linking sites of a related company should not be a sin. Nor do the engines look at it as such if you have other good points.

If you are trying to link all the sites togother - I personally wouldn't cross link all 12 (or whatever) together. Link like ones to like ones, and you can link each site to your main corporate identity or whatever.

Think AOL linking to Time Warner and Time Warner having a listing of all of its sites.
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Old 06-07-2005   #18
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I should have been more clear. The main intrest in linking would be from blog to corresponding web site. There is no need to connect all of the current sites together. And to seobooks delight we are starting another blog.
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Old 06-07-2005   #19
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*..look at the 'Jupiter Web Networks' section*

Pointing "new arrivals" to the likes of Jupiter Media or WebShed as good examples to be copied is at the least disingenuous, if not actually misleading, IMO.
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Old 06-07-2005   #20
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well actually I was pointing you to it.
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