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How does Google consider site-wide backlinks?

November 7, 2019

Today’s question comes
from Chris in Poland. Chris asks, “Are sitewide
backlinks considered good or bad by Google? Or do they just count as one
link from the whole domain?” It’s an excellent question
because– let’s tackle it from both the algorithmic standpoint
and from the manual standpoint. On the algorithmic standpoint,
typically, I’ve said before, if we have keywords, the first
keyword counts some, the next keyword counts a little
bit but not as much. The third keyword,
not as much. So even if you do keyword stuff,
and even if you throw a ton of keywords, at some point
it becomes asymptotically diminishing returns. And it doesn’t really
help you anymore. You can imagine the same sort
of thing– if we see a link from a domain, we might
count it once. But if we see 50 links from a
domain, we still might choose to only count it once. So on an algorithmic side, we
do a pretty good job of compressing those
links together. But then there’s also
on the manual side. So imagine that you have a
Polish website, and then you see a sitewide link in English
talking about rent cheap apartments. To a regular person, that
looks pretty bad. So certainly it does happen that
you have sitewide links, maybe have a blog roll or
something like that. But if I or a manual web spam
analyst were sort of doing an investigation, and we
got a spam report– you’re an English site, and
you’ve got a sitewide Polish link or something like that
or vice versa, it looks commercial or it looks off
topic, low quality, or spammy, then that can affect the
assessment on whether we want to trust the outgoing links
from that site. So sitewide links do happen. It’s completely natural. You might have a privacy policy,
copyright policy, all that sort of stuff. But when we see sort of
irrelevant or off-topic links or even spammy links sitewide,
then that is the sort of thing that does make a spam fighters
ears sort of perk up a little bit. I think we handle it very well
on the algorithmic side, but we do manual investigations
as well. Hope that helps.


  • Reply tjd1985 November 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    We doodoo

  • Reply HardcoreGamerAus November 13, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    hey google

  • Reply Julien Genestoux November 13, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Generally, if I have a site in a specific domain and we want to "partner" with another site in a similar domain (with the same kind of visitors), what is the best way to do so, SEO wise? We have a "our favorite site" section on each page. Is that considered bad?

  • Reply RemixPicture November 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    We doodoo. 😛
    Yeh, I'm THAT mature…

  • Reply Kirk Holmes November 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    So I wonder how the site that is being linked to is affected? I.e. say you are a design firm and have a logo link to your firm on all the sites you build….

  • Reply MfP Website Marketing November 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    I would suggest "don't worry". That's my take from this video Julien.

  • Reply Fede Einhorn November 13, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I think that one was already answered in a previous video. Check the history.

  • Reply Web Hosting November 13, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    i just asked that same question in the webmaster forum.. i have about 100 sites that have my link in he footer as a developed by,. website design by etc .. they were no help at all.. another thing i asked was why the homepage link never shows up first? i always get the inner pages listed in link:mysite but very rarely the homepage.. which has all the PR.. they said stuff about spamming.. anyone else with an opinion?

  • Reply Oleg Korneitchouk November 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    yeah, the fact that your homepage is not showing up while the other pages are is an example of penguin. You have too many keyword specific links pointing back to the homepage which got caught in the penguin algo (which is page based, not sitewide).

    Try 1) changing up the anchor text on your backlinks 2) nofollow the links from the more unrelated websites linking to you

    G's position on "developed by" links – they aren't votes by the website owner to your page, esp. when its an unrelated topic

  • Reply Sławomir Piwowarczyk November 13, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    At last question which comes from my beloved Cracow!
    Let's watch it again 😉

  • Reply John Britsios November 14, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Matt, what about inbound site-wide links from external related sites?

  • Reply MrTVTL905 November 14, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Not necessarily. The way SEO wannabes operate these days, that comment could get taken as "okay, so put links to my site on one out of every 15 blog posts so that it looks organic." The logic behind the marginal weight of an inbound link makes all kinds of sense as it is explained.

  • Reply Web Hosting November 17, 2012 at 12:54 am

    LOL not my homepage,. the homepage of the sites that have site-wide links to me.. the inner pages of the sites show up when i search if you see they are all inner pages and no home pages.. its really not that big a deal to me i just though it was really interesting..

  • Reply Andreas Ostheimer November 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Good one.

  • Reply Gururaj mahale November 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    If no site-wide link, Can I still depend on the web directories to help crawlers understand my category? or should I engage my website only on social media websites?

  • Reply Erik Wahlen November 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I have created a lot of wordpress websites for me and for my clients and I know that WordPress configuration can be a huge hassle and most marketers get it wrong. So I decided to record every detail of my work in a video course. please go to my channel to watch the latest video I uploaded.

  • Reply joolyen December 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I don't think that would be considered spammy because that's a logical link for a website to have.

  • Reply Masoko Publicidad - Agencias de Publicidad February 4, 2013 at 5:54 am

    Good Tip

  • Reply Dylan Young February 8, 2013 at 12:06 am

    He said doodoo 🙂

  • Reply Dennis X March 31, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Ehh I still do not understand. I mean if I own two blogs and both in differend niches… why shouldn´t I place links in the sidebar? Maybe I want to tell my readers that I also have another blog they could visit? I mean they are my blogs and I can show my readers in the blogroll what ever I want or? Or are a small percentage of inbound blogroll links from own sites ok and Matt is talking again about extrems like blogroll links from thousands of domains?

  • Reply Dave Zegers June 6, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Here you can see that Matt is just putting out bullshit lie after bullshit lie, there is almost no manual checking of side-wide links, it just can't be done… this video is used to scare people… i'll take irrelevant side-wide high PR links pointing to my sites all day every day… no matter what the Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf of Goole says.

  • Reply Spook SEO July 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    I hope Matt gives us actual figures next time. The answers clear but it's also gray at the same time. I'm sure a lot of us would like to get a clearer answer as far as when the site wide backlinks will start to become spammy on their end. I mean, this can be quite subjective.

  • Reply srikanth j July 23, 2013 at 8:37 am

    nice knoweldge

  • Reply Mursedul Islam Sumon July 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I commented on the videos

  • Reply Mridu Bhattacharya October 24, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I think it clearly suggests that it MAY BE considered ok to have multiple links from a single domain from algorithmic point of view but on manual side it is not ok and Google do make manual investigations too. Further with the new manual spam launched by Google, it would be recommended to avoid/delete multiple links from a single domain especially if they are not in context or if not relevant to the industry. An comments?

  • Reply Justin Foreigns October 26, 2013 at 9:01 am

    These are actual facts though, if you look from the manual standpoint,
    keywords count but if you're just throwing them out there without strategy, you're at risk.
    So if you see a site-wide link that is related, it makes a lot more sense. FansLinks is a good website for fans, links and also organic, on-topic links. This guy knows what he's saying when he uses the polish links as an example. You need relavent keywords that go with your site just as fanslinks website provided. Thanks Chris

  • Reply Kris Abramovic October 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    See my vids & learn herb as maca,shepherd's purse, dill etc 😉

  • Reply OldeFarquer December 16, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    "Neither confirm nor deny."

  • Reply Shakir Hassan April 21, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    What exactly does Sitewide anchor text and backlinks are?

  • Reply Richard Andersson April 17, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for doing this "compressing" of sitewide links and still counting them (but more like a package). I own a big site with alot of indexed pages. The site is about economy, jobs and salaries. At the same time I own a smaller site which is about "promocodes", and since they still touch the same subject (economy and personal finance) I have choosen to just simply link it in the main menu in the top, but last ofc. It sends good traffic that converts well and it also seem to pass some link "power" through it. I was very scared that it would be conciderd spammy but it seems like to counts just about like you describe.

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