In the latest Google Webmaster Help video, eminent Engineer Matt Cutts highlights the topic of the proper way of handling multiple domains.
Should you decide to link them altogether?
Earlier, it was quite a common thing to see that one website is linking to 20 or 30 different related websites. But in most of these cases, the websites were quite spammy. And this is the one caveat that Matt Cutts has brought up in its video. Cutts said that if there are multiple websites you want to link together then you would be requiring a valid reason to be linking them together, otherwise it will be called spammy.
Why do you need 20 domain names that in your view should be all cross-linked?
Cutts mentioned about the only situation when this kind of solution is effective is if you’re linking different country website for the same company together. But even then, he said that you should do it in such a manner that won’t be considered as a spamming,
This means instead of inserting 30 footer links to all the varied locations, find an effective way to do this. Cutts said, “If you have 20 domain names and they’re all versions of the domain in different countries, such as Google.co.za, Google.fr, it can make a lot of sense to be able to get from one version of the domain to a different version. But even then I probably wouldn’t link all the domains all in the footer all by themselves because that’s a little bit strange.” He added further, “I’d probably have one link to a country locator page, which might even be on the main .com, that might have flags or something like that so there are ways to get to those other domains. And as long as there is a good way for users to get there than search engines will be of the follow those links as well. Just make sure their normal static HTML and we will be able to follow them and PageRank will be able to flow.”
According to Cutts, having multiple country domains is the valid reason why someone should link to multiple website in a footer legitimately. It is advisable to keep everything within the same domain in order to safeguard yourself from mass cross linking and prevent any wide cross linking schemes between websites, unless it is something related to the location issue.