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We have two websites whose content align with each other:

Site #1 - Industry editorial website that provides high quality, original and current content. This site is mature and has high authority relatively speaking.

Site #2 - Industry resource website that educates general public and insiders about the industry. Content is professionally written with fantastic art and basically breaks down different manufacturing processes/materials and walks people through the benefits.

Would it be a sound approach to add anchor text/link within articles on site #1 to site #2? Below are a few scenarios:

1) Article on site #1 is about using [manufacturing process] to make something and site #2 has a page that describes [manufacturing process] in great detail.

2) Article on site #1 is about using [material] and site #2 has a page that describes [material] in great detail.

3) Article on site #1 is about why it's beneficial to use a particular [material] or [manufacturing process] and site #2 has a page that describes all benefits of [material] or [manufacturing process] in great detail.

Obviously, these links will only be sprinkled in here and there and not in every article. It should provide users with more insight but will search engines see it that way?

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The scenarios you have mentioned above are perfectly ok as long as you do not link virtually every other reference to Site #2. If, as you mentioned, Site #1 has high authority and traffic, chances that search engines will consider your links to be legit and genuine are higher.

Also, if both Site #1 and Site #2 are hosted on the same server, search engines may not pass on the authority of the links from Site #1, as being hosted on the same server indicates that both are the same owners. However, if you link sparingly from Site #1 to Site #2, the effects of sharing the same server may be negated. In any case, as long as you're not spamming links from Site #1 to Site #2, you're safe from any penalties.

As long as your content is not copied, is well structured and the links to Site #2 are genuine, there is nothing wrong with linking between your own sites.

  • SEOs are misrepresenting search engines may not pass on the authority of and there is some confusion on this topic. I am glad you used the term may which is exactly right. There are caveats of course. Google has no problem passing value from link to link even when the sites are clearly related and hosted on the same IP, server, host, and anything else you can think of. That is not the problem. The problem comes with adding the other spam indicators too. Someday I will describe this, but know that Google does say that sites in close proximity are ok. – closetnoc Sep 16 '15 at 21:08
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    @dasickle Google talks about company sites linking in the way you are suggesting as an example of what is good to do. It is not the proximity of two sites or how they are related that determines link value- SEOs seem to like to make it sound like it is hence the confusion- but rather a combination of factors. In this case, proximity is good and likely any other relational indicator will help. It is perfectly natural that a company will link between sites especially in the manner you mentioned. As for link value passed, there is a whole other set of values that dictate that. You are OK!! – closetnoc Sep 16 '15 at 21:12
  • Sounds like a link wheel to me, purposely creating content on A or B with the desire to rank higher. I don't see how having users bouncing back and forth from one domain to another will offer a good user experience. Your better of linking out to other authority websites on subjects, not only does that free up time so you can focus on improving your site it actually helps the page rank higher. A page with low authority linking to a low authority page isn't going to be good as a low authority page linking to a high authority. Google doesn't just reward for inbounds. Relevancy and Quality, key. – Simon Hayter Sep 16 '15 at 21:25
  • @SimonHayter You obviously didn't read the question all the way through. site #1 has high authority and is very reputable in the industry. That's the reason I am considering adding a few links here and there to site #2 which is relevant and provides very high quality content. – dasickle Sep 17 '15 at 13:34
  • Oops, yep. Your right – Simon Hayter Sep 17 '15 at 13:40
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I think it's fine but I wouldn't be sending any more than two links from a given domain. I'd also ensure that the two links are topically different and point to different pages. I'd also make sure that the anchor text is only a partial match and completely different for each link. I also wouldn't bother with reciprocal links either and just make sure these are one-way inbound links to help your site.

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