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    Question Inbound Link - Will Link From Foreign Sites Affect Rankings?


    I know google takes inbound links as a major factor when deciding the serps, but would it make a difference if you started to receive links from a site in a different language? eg) if I have a .com site (which just so happens to rank higher in g.co.uk than g.com) and I get a lot of links from a .ie site would i then start to rank higher in g.ie? and also, would that mean i would loose places in g.co.uk? does anyone else think this might happen?

    thanks
    sue
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    People have been reporting that if they are a .pl site for example. If they got a huge influx of english links, they saw their ranking drop when using the "pages from Poland" function.

    I haven't seen evidence of this affecting two English speaking countries. The vast majority of my links for some of my Irish sites tend to be US but that doesn't seem to have affected my rankings when using an .ie -- To me this wouldn't make sense for Google to do this as if I have a great site on cars, why should a link from a car magazine in the US actually penalize me.

    When it comes to language differences, I see the reasoning behind it. I wouldn't suggest to someone with a polish site to participate in a link exchange program or Coop network that would generate huge amounts of English links for this reason but I can't say I've seen enough proof to be adament about it.


    My suggestion is to persue those Irish links if they are relevant and I can't see how it can hurt you.

    The other side of this is many British sites use .com and are hosted in the US despite them being clearly British. So would that mean that you then have to check where a sites hosted and its domain before accepting a link. To me that doesn't make sense that it would result in a penalty (a penalty not a devaluation) because you are bound to get some of those links naturally if your site is a good resource worthy of links.

    I look forward to seeing others responses.
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    Welcome Sue,

    That's a very good question. I personally have seen no evidence that links from foreign sites can cause a drop in ranking on a certain Google variant. I DO know that having your site hosted on a "foreign" server - or passed through a "foreign" proxy - can cause a boost in ranking on that particular foreign Google version. But since the web is universal, I doubt that Google would dish out penalties for inbound links from a foreign domain.

    That said... I have not tested this, but then again I'm 99% sure that a sudden drop in ranking must be caused by something else... Maybe another - closer - look is in order

    ----------
    added:
    Note that some countries are almost "bad neighbourhoods" as a whole but I don't think Ireland is one of them...
    Last edited by Wit; Jan 28th, 2005 at 05:32 AM.
    ...please help me w/ the real Redscowl Bluesingsky...how2 check backlinks...now postin' @ SEO Refugee ...
    <`)~ LOL now that I finally have a paypal account, I'm charging 19,- for SEO advice via PM. Seriously...
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    Wit -

    Do you not think Google would look at it as strange that a site that is totally in Dutch has 90% of its links coming from sites that are completely in English?

    Would it not be easy for Google to rethink if it is truly a Dutch site when returning the "Zoeken in pagina's in het Nederlands" results?

    My only experience to judge this is foreign language sites using a ccop network and getting nearly all English links and reporting a drop in their native search engine while at the same time a boost in the .com . It has made me think more about it and get feedback from sites in this situation.
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    Originally Posted by Wit
    ----------
    added:
    Note that some countries are almost "bad neighbourhoods" as a whole but I don't think Ireland is one of them...
    Thanks for that Wit ;-)
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    I agree that it could be strange, but I've not seen any evidence yet. My own dutch site has lots of inbounds from foreign (i.e .com and .co.uk in my case ;) ) directories and it's doing fine... Although I often submit to the "regional" section of a directory. But since a lot of countries have the same language (hope I'm not stepping on any Irish toes here), it's actually not so strange that they are interlinking.

    Furthermore: dutch sites linking out to .com and .co.uk pages are very common. Often there won't be any resources in dutch anyway, and since a lot of dutch don't have any problems with the English language...

    The other way around is rare, I admit, but my newer site has a Belgian domain. To be safe I added the language="en" meta on my pages though.
    Last edited by Wit; Jan 28th, 2005 at 05:45 AM. Reason: typo
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    Originally Posted by Wit
    But since a lot of countries have the same language (hope I'm not stepping on any Irish toes here),
    Don't worry, the EU refused to recognize Irish as a language - I guess we are just speaking gibberish

    Furthermore: dutch sites linking out to .com and .co.uk pages are very common. Often there won't be any resources in dutch anyway, and since a lot of dutch don't have any problems with the English language...

    The other way around is rare, I admit, but my newer site has a Belgian domain. To be safe I added the language="en" meta on my pages though.
    Counting properly submitted directories (in Dutch categories) as Dutch, what percentage of your incoming links are purely from 100% English sites that don't have any country references or a relation to the Netherlands?

    The sites I have been looking at in which this issue comes up exceed 90% which to me seems unnatural
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    The foreign/total ratio for my sports site is about 1/3

    I started counting, but it was too much

    Instead, I performed a search (on Google) for:

    "www.mydomain.net" (total count)

    and

    "www.mydomain.net" -site:mydomain.net -nederlands -site:.nl ("foreign" count)

    So it seems I have about 2/3 regional or Dutch (-related) backlinks, and 1/3 general/topical ones from .com domains.

    Indeed, no 90%...

    FYI
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    That kind of goes along with what I have been thinking and 30% would seem absolutely reasonable and natural. If that wasn't true then your competetition could sink you by getting what may amount to a small of links to you from unrelated english only sites. Of course don't take that the wrong way - I'm not implying that your competetion doing that would hurt you in Google.com or Google.nl (it would actually help your main ranking if only a little bit) but instead possibly in google.nl with "Zoeken in pagina's in het Nederlands" selected as it obviously uses a drasticly different algo.

    Thanks for the great info Wit.

    Does anyone else SEO a site in a language other than english and what is your experience in regards to this issue?
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    That all makes sence, so if i make sure the 'foreign' links make up no more than around 30% of the total amount of incoming links it shouldnt make any difference on the regional googles? I dont mind it having a positive affect in the g.ie, so long if by doing so it doesnt loose relevance in g.co.uk or .com
    thanks guys for all the quick replies

    do you think if the actual language was different it would make a difference? (say a french site - all written in french, linking to english site?)
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    I think Sue we don't have actual numbers for you. The 30% was based on one site and although that seems natural when dealing with different languages sites, that is only discussion and not fact.

    In your situation, my advice would be that it would not hurt a UK business to have a lot of Irish links. (Heck, most people in the US mistakenly think we are a part of the UK including Overture but I will save that conversation for another time)

    Your main focus should be on related links first as I view that as more important. If you were to avoid anything, my advice would be to not go after a large amount of links from sites in other languages. For instance it would seem unnatural if 90% of your links came from Russian sites and would hurt your "pages from the UK" search in google.co.uk But I stress that this is just my THEORY.

    The only way you could mistakenly do that is if you were part of some automated linking scheme which you didn't research first. I suspect this won't be an issue in your case.

    If you adopt a diverse link gathering campaign then in my opinion you can't go wrong. Ive always felt that SEO is about diversity and those that are the most diverse rarely are affected by algo changes.

    Hope that is helpful
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    Yes very
    Its a UK site about Irish horses !
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    *Will Link From Foreign Sites Affect Rankings?*

    As mentioned, an interesting question.

    A human might well be suspicious of foreign language links unless and until some relevancy was found, on the other hand, I've seen a US Giftbasket site with nothing but English language Indian links.

    I suspect G will increasingly take such factors into consideration....

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