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Old 16th May 2006, 10:33 AM   #1
jmjj215
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Thumbs down I found this disturbing - take a look

This article talks about "co-citation". The gist of what I got out of it:

Page A links to you. If Page A also links to a bunch of unrelated sites from that same page, it could hinder (perhaps they mean, "not help' instead of hinder - that I could maybe believe) your rankings for your target area.

I personally think that is a bunch of hooey though. For instance: a lot of websites contact me and say, "We've already added your link to our site, please reciprocate." I might check out the site and 98/100 times it's a junky site that I'm not going to link to so I just ignore the email.

If this happens quite a bit, all of a sudden you're being referenced from a bunch of pretty cruddy sites - and this is supposed to hurt you?

I just don't buy it. What sources do they have for this "co-citation" thing anyway?

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Old 16th May 2006, 11:13 AM   #2
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I sort of think it's hooey too!

Although I got a little lost in the clunky verbage of this article, I think they are trying to say that somehow you would be in ca-ca if a rather spammy site linked back to you.

But this is something you potentially could not control, so why would you be penalized for it? What you can control is who you link out to and my understanding is that it's more important to not link out to so-called shady neighborhoods.

I think they are confusing this with the concept that if two separate but topically related sites are linking back to your site, than the SEs take this as an indication of what your site might be about (i.e. relevance). But you're not going to be "penalized" if junksite1.com links back to you from various unrelated junk pages. That just doesn't make sense to me ... but someone else might want to jump in here and elaborate or explain!

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Old 16th May 2006, 11:32 AM   #3
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I'm not sure I can straighten it out for you, but does it make more sense if you replace 'co-citation' with the more commonly used 'reciprocal link'. The program they provide is a recip link program, or I guess they are calling it a 'co-citation' program

I think there is an assumption that co-citation/recip linking includes that you are linking to some sites as well. The co part infers that the links are not only one way as you are thinking because you ignore 98%. If you were to participate in 'co-citation/recip linking' then their statements are fairly accurate. That's partly why it matters so much who you do link to. Because of this, I recommend that you never participate in any recip programs even if they are 'good'. Just say no.

Without your site linking, you won't be hindered much but as you understand it isn't going to 'help' either.

Just my interpretation.

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Old 16th May 2006, 01:34 PM   #4
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I agree Logan about staying away from the recip and link exhchange programs. I don't think you have to worry much about what sites link to you since you really have little control over who adds your link to their page. It's when you start linking back that you can get in trouble.

I think that's what the article is referring to though admittedly I only gave it a cursory glance.

I'm happy to have just about anyone link to me, but I'm very careful with who I link out to.

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Old 17th May 2006, 02:39 AM   #5
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Exactly VG - you really have no control over who links to you - so I found it a bit off that they're claiming that you need to be careful about the other outbound links on the page of a site linking to you - as if you have control over that.

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Old 17th May 2006, 04:08 PM   #6
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Right. if that other page has a lot of other outbound links on it then the link to your site might not carry as much weight, but I don't think you'll get in trouble for it being there. Just less likely it will help.

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Old 17th May 2006, 05:39 PM   #7
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Though you have no control over them, inbound links to your site CAN impact you in at least a couple ways:

1. The well-known "miserable failure" search on Google -- the most obvious case of a web page being affected by inbound links it can't control.

2. More to the point of this discussion ... when you trade links with another site, you become part of that site's link neighborhood. If that other site -- even if it's a fine site that's very relevant to yours and helpful to your visitors -- also links to a bunch of crap, guilt by association comes into play. (Note: that link neighborhood also includes other sites that link to the site you're linking to, so it's worth checking a site's IBL's before you also link to it.)

The impact of #2 could be any number of things, though Matt Cutts has made it pretty clear this week that one impact is your site could be crawled less often and fewer pages could be indexed. Are there other impacts? Don't know, and don't want to find out.

#1 obviously has no impact on your site being crawled, indexed, or even how it ranks for your chosen terms ... but it does mean you could rank for some terms you'd rather not.

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Old 18th May 2006, 12:37 PM   #8
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Both true Matt.

In the first case though you'd actually be getting more traffic even if it's not for terms you'd want to be associated with. Obviously in the example you mention we're not talking ecommerce, but it wouldn't surprise me though if it were an ecommerce site that got the traffic (negative keyword or not) it would still generate some sales.

In the second case the key is that your site it linking back out to the neighborhood. That's where you can get in trouble and fall into the wrong the neighborhood. If it's just them linking to you then you really can't control it and while the links themselves won't carry much weight I don't think they'll hurt you. More like the situation would be the same if those links didn't exist.

I'm sure there have been cases where someone else's linking can prove detrimental to a site. I just don't think it's a common occurrence.

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Old 18th May 2006, 04:13 PM   #9
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First, even though it is time consuming, and therefore expensive, someone must look at the link partner and their links. If you do this should eliminate the bad neighbors of your link partners.

I would hope that a 1-way inbound link would not hurt you, but what about 3-ways. What if you got one of those that actually gave you an active link on another site and you do nothing about it. We have avoided 3-way just for that reason, no control. I should sleep at night because G is good and know I did nothing to get the link from a bad neighbor.

I have a theory. G, space problem or not, you still have to buy and maintain all those servers, is moving towards a very tight search results. Your SERP will depend on content and all the other things that do not pertain to this thread. Links will be limited to a small number of links in your very specific specialty. If you are a realtor, link only realtors. Matt C said no mortgage brokers. If that was not close related, what is? Nothing. That just eliminated most everyone’s links. You can only link with your competitors. I think we just freed up a lot of servers for future growth. If your site had a 1000 pages you now have a lot fewer. Links are not dead and will always serve G’s needs, but not necessarily your’s.

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Old 19th May 2006, 12:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph
Links will be limited to a small number of links in your very specific specialty. If you are a realtor, link only realtors. Matt C said no mortgage brokers. If that was not close related, what is? Nothing.
As many have pointed out in the comments on MC's blog, real estate sites and mortgage sites are certainly very related and have every reason to link to one another.

My guess is that Matt was sloppy in his word choice there, and should've clarified that not only was the real estate site junky, but the mortgage was also.

My wife's a RE agent and we have RE agencies as clients where I work, and I'm certainly not gonna tell them to stop referring home buyers to lenders they trust.

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