I need to clarify the above statement to make it a little clearer. Backlings amongst your own network of sites can be worth quite a bit. However, for most of us, the requirements for making these backlinks are not really practical because they have to be done in such a way as to avoid Google’s filters which are increasingly vigilant in trying to find people who “game” the system. Here’s what you need to know:
Backlinks Are Good, Right?
First things first – Google considers backlinks of all kinds to be a “vote” for your website, meaning that the links show that your site is popular and therefore (at least in theory) has plenty of useful content on it. That’s why the backbone of any SEO campaign is inevitably going to be the creation of backlinks from a wide variety of websites, preferably ones which all have unique content and which are unrelated to each other.
The Problem with a Private Network
That last requirement – that they are unrelated to each other is important. Imagine if you were running for a political office and instead of everyone being given one vote and only one vote, people could vote as often as they wanted to by simply filling out additional ballots. If you were a smart politician, you’d have an army of people sitting around day and night filling out ballots which you could then stuff into the ballot box to help ensure you win the election.
When you use your own network of websites to create backlinks to your site, you are in essence doing the same thing – you are stuffing the ballot box with as many votes as you can. Now even if every single one of these “votes” happened to look like they were from different people (i.e. each backlink had unique content), they’ll all have the same “handwriting,” meaning that they come from the same server.
Google’s Engineers Aren’t Stupid
Sadly, Google’s engineer’s and therefore their web spiders aren’t so easily fooled. When the spider finds a backlink to your website, it checks for a number of things. It checks to see whether or not the backlink has unique content behind it. It also checks to see whether the backlink is coming from the same or a related server. There are other things it checks on as well, but the important thing is that it’s looking to see if the “ballot” is genuine or if you tried to stuff the ballot box.
How It Can Work
Now, all that having been said, there is a way to make backlinks amongst your own network of sites work to your advantage. However, it requires a tremendous amount of money and time, both of which most of us don’t have available.
First, each website which provides a link must have unique content on it so it doesn’t show up as duplicate content. Second, each site needs to be on its own C class IP address. This means that if your IP address happens to be 18.104.22.168 (That’s the IP address of my personal finance blog), then having a second blog with the IP address 22.214.171.124 will not help you. On the other hand, if the second blog had 126.96.36.199 as its IP address (That’s the IP for this blog by the way), then the link is more useful because it’s on its own unique C class server.
Other Links Too
One more thing that you’d need to make this work is links to sites other than your own. Simply having 400 links to your site from another site, even one with unique content and a unique IP address will not help you. That’s because it won’t look natural to Google. The only way to make the links appear natural is for there to be lots of links to lots of different blogs, in other words, the sort of thing that link networks provide for you but which most of us can’t provide for ourselves with our own network of sites providing backlinks to each other.