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My company owns 2 websites with the following characteristics:

  • Same categorization and URL structure
  • The inventories are entirely disjoint

Site #1 concentrates on reproductions of famous oil paintings.
Site #2 concentrates on posters/photographs.

Site #1 promotes Site #2 and vice-versa. Currently, these links are nofollow. I am concerned over what could look like over-optimization. Is it the right approach?

Here is what the first page for Florida looks like on Site #1:

http://www.bandagedear.com/category/places/united-states/florida

You will find thumbnail links to Site #2 near the bottom of the page. The same principle applies to Site #2:

http://www.posternation.com/category/places/united-states/florida

Should we use nofollow links like we do today?

Any insight is greatly appreciated.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I don't see why you need to use nofollow here. Google's examples for using nofollow (link) are:

  • Untrusted content
  • Paid links
  • Crawl prioritization

However I can see your thinking behind wanting to use them; your sites are similar in subject and structure. However, linking between your own sites is not a violation of Google guidelines and they say it makes perfect sense; unless you have many, many sites, all on the same subject, which could look like a link network.

Here is a recent video from Matt Cutts on this exact subject:
Does linking my two sites together violate the quality guidelines?

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I agree with the above poster, but I would use something like rel="me". Should be easy to code into the site. At worst it does nothing, at best it at least mitigates the risk of being perceived as a link network.

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