The more back-links you have, the better you rank in Google!
This is a common webmaster’s mindset. Any less-experienced webmaster believes that if more web-pages point to his site, his site will rank higher in search engines. But this is not true! Except for the quantity & quality of back-links, there are some more issues that need to be addressed! One of them is site-wide links.
What are site-wide links?
Any link or a bunch of many links displayed on each and every page of a website and linking to the same page are called site-wide links. Site-wide links can further be divided into two types – Internal site-wide links and External site-wide links. While the first one doesn’t harm a website’s rankings in search engines, the latter seems to hurt the search engine rankings badly!
Why Don’t The Internal Site-wide Links Harm?
Any website or a blog generally has a lot of internal site-wide links i.e. all the pages of that website, link to other pages of the same website. This means that there’s a set of common internal links on all the pages of that website.
Google doesn’t penalize blogs who have internal site-wide links because it’s too general for a blog to have a lot of site-wide internal links. Some pages like contact page, privacy page, about us page, categories appear on all the pages of a website. Google is well aware of this and as a result, it doesn’t harm displaying site-wide internal links.
Thus even if you have a lot of internal site-wide links on your website, Google will not penalize your blog.
Why Do The External Site-wide Links Harm?
Links from the same website to a bunch of external pages (pages from an external site) are called as external site-wide links. The external sitewide links tend to harm search engine rankings.
Until a few months back, external site-wide links used to help a lot in transferring link juice, but now that Google is aware of this link building method, it has started penalizing both the parties – the one which links to an external page consistently from all the pages and the page receiving a lot of links from the same website!
Google now weighs links based on their position on your website. For example, Google values above the fold links (navigation bar) more than the under the fold links (footer links). Though both of them appear on all your blog pages, the above the fold links are considered to be more important than the below the fold links.
Also under the fold links are used for spamming by a lot of bloggers who either sell links to companies and add those links in their blog’s footer or by the webmasters who sponsor WordPress themes or sponsor Blogspot themes to gain a lot of links from the same blog.
Google’s Simple Policy
Google values external site-wide links negatively because such links stop the Google algorithm from functioning properly and often reduces the quality of search results shown in Google.
The external site-wide links are also responsible for PageRank leakage. If all pages of your blog link to an external page, all the pages separately donate some link juice to the external link and increase its PageRank. This is something Google doesn’t like because it considers too many links pointing to an external page from all the pages of the same website as sponsored links / paid links and not as referral links.
Thus, Google has come up with a simple policy – Penalize sites having too many external site-wide links.
Why Shouldn’t You Build Nor Give Site-wide Links?
As I said Google hates site-wide links. Google penalizes both the parties i.e. the linking site as well as the site being linked. Thus if you build site-wide links, you rankings will sooner or later drop in search engines and you may even experience a permanent ban in Google! The same applies if you sell site-wide links on your blog!
So stay away from external site-wide links. Never build them, nor sell them!