Link Building Basics: The Importance Of Link Diversity

Building a solid network of inbound links should be a key component of any website’s SEO strategy. Inbound links, sometimes called backlinks, serve as an indicator of your site’s popularity and authority. Many search engines, including Google, assign a lot of weight to backlinks when determining search result rankings: A page with a strong set of high-quality backlinks will be considered more relevant than other pages competing for space on a search results page.

Google Penalty

Even though having a large number of inbound links is certainly an asset, the authority and diversity of the links have a bigger impact on the SEO power of your link profile. Not all links are created equal, and you may wonder if having a significant number of links from the same domain will help or hurt your site's SEO. This situation usually occurs with the presence of sitewide links: when a link appears on all pages of a website. While this method of collecting inbound links won't necessarily harm your site's ranking, it's certainly not going to have the same positive SEO impact as a more diverse link profile. Let's take a closer look at the practice of having multiple links from the same domain and see why this isn't the optimal way to build your link network.

Counting and Valuing Links

You might have heard tales about websites that had 1,000 backlinks pointing to them from the same domain. SEO tactics like this are outdated and based on false assumptions. Having hundreds or thousands of backlinks from the same domain isn't going to give your website any additional SEO juice; in fact, it won't have much impact at all. Although Google does indeed count the links that come from a single domain, it doesn't value them as unique, individual links. Instead, these links suffer from significant diminishing return and add little impact to your ranking.

Possible Penalties

Since the debut of Google's Penguin and Panda updates, websites have become increasingly leery of employing any questionable SEO tactics. In today's search engine environment, anything that smacks of keyword stuffing or unnatural link building is quick to earn a Google penalty. So where do sitewide links fall on this spectrum of SEO activity? It's true that Google is no fan of sitewide links, but it focuses its attention on the ones that have been created through unnatural methods. That means you're unlikely to get penalized for a sitewide link, as long as you earned the link the natural way.

A Better Way to Build Links

If sitewide links from a single domain aren't going to help your website's ranking, you might wonder what type of links will have the greatest SEO impact. The truth is, there's no quick way to build a quality link profile. The most desirable links are the most difficult to obtain: Getting links from authoritative, credible websites requires time and effort. You may need to reach out to webmasters and experts in your niche, and you also may want to consider guest posting for influential websites and blogs.

It’s clear that having multiple links from the same domain isn’t the most effective way to ramp up your site’s SEO power. While the practice may not earn you a Google penalty, you can’t expect all the links from one domain to be counted independently. The best way to build a backlink profile is to seek out links from as many unique, high-quality domains as possible. Stick to this basic strategy, and with a little time and effort, you can watch your ranking improve.

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