I have an issue that I really cannot wrap my head around and was hoping that someone could help me with.

I manage a e-commerce website that is active on multiple markets. Two with a marketspecific domain (mysite.co.uk and mysite.nl) and four with subfolder URLs (mysite.com/ie, mysite.com/fr etc)

The websites have the same content, product pages, architecture etc and managed by home made CMS.

Problem is that when looking in the "GA Search Console > Links to your site" report the mysite.co.uk has about 10K links from mysite.com and the mysite.com/market have about 300K from mysite.com.

The only place where we link from one market to another is in the footer, and I have no idea why the difference is so big. if the mysite.com links 300K times that should be the same towards .co.uk as for the .com/fr.

On the .com sites we have gotten a manual action against Unnatural links to your site, and we can see loss in organic traffic. The only difference between .co.uk and .com in inbound links is the huge amount from our own domain on .com.

Anyone have any idea what have happend and possible solutions?

  • If you are expecting all the numbers you see in all the various Google tools to make sense, I have a bridge to sell you. Google will not always show every link or count every link. Next thing. Do not link to your other sites in the footer. Technically, G does not like it and tells you so. There are limits where G does not complain, however it appears you are over the line. You can make the links nofollow, however, I highly recommend that you remove them and just have one on your About, Contact, and other similar and appropriate page for a while. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Aug 25 '16 at 14:26

Is the footer copied across every page? That would explain the number of links seen.

I would recommend using 'nofollow' on the link in order to indicate it's an affiliate link. This follows Google's best practices.

  • Yes the footer is on every page, but if it was the footer links, the same amount should be seen on .co.uk and .nl as well. Aug 25 '16 at 10:25

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