Q and A: Is it good SEO practice to cross link related sites in the footer?

QuestionHello Kalena

I took your SEO classes at Search Engine College a while back. I’m hoping you might be able to help me with a question that I really don’t know the answer to.

I now work at an advertising agency and we have various clients…some we work on their SEO and some we don’t.

One of our client’s websites [link removed] has their sister companies listed on the bottom of the site with links pointing to each. All the companies are related and interlinked in the same way. They were told by their “SEO” company that having the companies linked is not a good SEO move.

I would think that since these would be quality links that it is good practice to link them.

Can you please weigh in on this?



Hi Lena

Actually, I can see where their SEO’s concern lies. All of the sister sites are linked together in the footer, in a kind of feedback loop. This can be misinterpreted by Google to be a mini link farm of sorts.

Please read Google’s guidelines about links and you’ll understand what I mean. They particularly highlight this issue:

“Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that violate our guidelines… Widely distributed links in the footers of various sites…”

By all means link to the sister sites, but use the *rel: no-follow* tag on those links so that no link value is attributed to them. That should prevent Google from misinterpreting the link intention.

Hope this helps!


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Search Industry Job of the Week – Senior SEM Specialist

Job Title: Senior SEM Specialist
Job Reference #: Unknown
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Spider Digital
Location: High Point, NC
Date Posted: 9 November 2012
Position description:

Spider Digital is looking for pressure tested, analytical thinker to join their team of advertising experts and enthusiasts. This Senior SEM Specialist will help to develop, execute, monitor, and analyze search campaigns for clients across multiple industries.

This person must have several years experience in, and possess an experts understanding of, SEM (paid, organic, and local) and web analytics. This includes generating, modifying and implementing tracking codes.

The ability to quickly and efficiently aggregate campaign data, from multiple channels, into concise client ready insight reports is a must have skill.

This is a big time opportunity for an analytical thinker who is driven to succeed. This person will have the opportunity to control a significant portion of the data analysis and ad operations function at a hyper-growth advertising, marketing, and technology company.

Performance expectations:

  • Develop world class SEM strategies – taking ownership of the entire process from conception to reporting.
  • Maintain campaign budget and performance tracking reports.
  • Create client ready campaign dashboards that highlights and tracks campaign KPIs.
  • Maintain predetermined reporting schedules for client campaigns.
  • Analyze campaign data and communicate insights to client’s and/or account executives in a clear and concise way.
  • Develop methodology and process standards that can scale with the department.

Skills & Experience

Must Haves:

  • 2+ years experience working with all facets of SEM (paid, organic, and local)
  • Strong knowledge of SEM tools and an awareness of emerging opportunities
  • AdWords Editor
  • DoubleClick Search or equivalent
  • Google Analytics certification or the ability to obtain it very quickly
  • A/B testing and landing page experiments
  • Google advertising professional status or the ability to obtain it very quickly
  • Ability to perform in a strategic and executional capacity
  • Strong communication skills
  • Excellent analytical and organizational skills
  • Detail and task oriented
  • Strong desire to exceed client expectations and performance goals
  • Expert at Microsoft Office

Bonus Skills:

  • Experience with ad servers (DoubleClick preferred)
  • Working knowledge of web programming a strong plus

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info about company from: http://www.spiderdigital.com
Contact: Send resumes via online form: http://jobs.marketingpilgrim.com

For more search industry jobs, or to post a vacancy, visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.

Search Industry Job of the Week – SEO Manager

Job Title: SEO Manager
Job Reference #: Unknown
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: SolarWinds
Location: Austin, Texas
Date Posted: 5 November 2012
Position description:

SolarWinds is a different kind of Software Company. Rather than sell to CIOs through a large and expensive outside sales force, they sell directly to the user through their inside-only sales team. That means that rather than focusing on expense accounts and dinners, they focus on driving a high volume of qualified leads through their website. At SolarWinds, our website is their outside sales force and their storefront all rolled into one. It is a mission critical part of their business. If you are an experienced SEO manager looking for a challenge, then this is the job for you.


They are looking for a self-driven SEO manager who will drive their link acquisition strategy, competitive audits, and provide SEO recommendations to content, product and development teams to directly contribute to SolarWinds’ success.

This role will span all SolarWinds’ web properties and offers the opportunity to shape their strategy in:

www.solarwinds.com/jp/ (and more to come!)

This role will report into their marketing organization and have extremely strong ties to the social media, PR and content teams within marketing.


They expect this person to take the bull by the horns and drive the following activities:

  • Develop and implement link acquisition strategies across all their sites, in line with the business objectives of each site
  • Audit competitor websites back link profiles and discover awesome linking opportunities
  • Review business requirements and actively collaborate with marketing to achieve objectives
  • Identify and recommend new opportunities for improving organic search rankings, traffic and conversions.
  • Partner with Creative Services to help inform site architecture, new page designs, and content creation to account for SEO best practices
  • Work with Marketing Analytics to monitor, analyze and report on link acquisition performance as well as acquired link referral source performance
  • Develop and ensure implementation of best practice guidelines and documentation for use in engineering
  • Serve as the subject matter expert in new developments, trends and technologies within the SEO space, especially link building and the changes in Google and Bing’s algorithms
  • Other duties as assigned to drive the business


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • 3+ yrs with SEO work experience, particularly during 2011-2012
  • Experience with link building and content creation for the purpose of improving SEO performance, including managing third party vendors
  • Experience designing SEO-friendly templates and page designs
  • .Net web development experience a plus
  • Technical knowledge/experience with the following:
  • XML sitemaps, Robots.txt, and URL re-directs
  • Localized site SEO implementation best practices
  • Dynamic content-generating scripts and database integration scripts like jQuery, AJAX and JSON
  • Analysis and management of crawl activity
  • Specific experience in the following platforms/tools is a plus: Google Web Master Tools, SEOmoz, SEOClarity, Adobe  Omniture, Google Analytics
  • Ability work with cross-functional teams to drive specific projects to completion will be critical to success
  • Skilled at managing without authority and influencing teams to action
  • Ability to prioritize multiple, competing priorities
  • Strong analytic abilities, primarily in Microsoft Excel
  • Strong project management skills and attention to detail

SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) provides powerful and affordable IT management software to more than 100,000 customers worldwide – from Fortune 500 enterprises to small businesses. Focused on the real-world needs of IT professionals, SolarWinds products are downloadable, easy to use and maintain, and provide the power, scale, and flexibility needed to manage today’s complex IT environments. SolarWinds’ growing online community, thwack, is a gathering-place for problem-solving, technology-sharing, and participating in product development for all of SolarWinds’ products. Learn more today at http://www.solarwinds.com.

SolarWinds is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info: SolarWinds Careers
Contact: Send resumes online: SolarWinds Careers

For more search industry jobs, or to post a vacancy, visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.

Twitter Wins the US Election By a Landslide

Despite the final vote tally, Twitter was the clear winner of the 2012 US Presidential election.

No matter what your political bias, the Twitter feed for the past 24 hours has captured the highest and lowest points, the heckling, the gags, the tantrums and the vote count. Once again, Twitter was the place to be to get the most up to date vote tally as State by State fell to each of the candidates. With news agencies reporting inconsistent or biased results, confused voters turned to Twitter to get faster updates via the hashtags #Election2012, #USElection and #USAElection.

According to Twitter staff, election conversation saw Twitter reach a peak of 327,452 Tweets per minute this evening, with not a single Fail Whale in sight – something Twitter staff were extremely proud of.  The company has clearly improved on their server load contingency plan since the last election.

And just as well too, because newly re-elected President Obama (@BarackObama) chose Twitter as the medium for his first acknowledgements of victory:

President Obama claims victory on Twitter

More than half a million people retweeted President Obama’s victorious “Four More Years” photo tweet.

Four More Years for Obama

However, not everyone was happy with the election outcome. Outspoken Republican Donald Trump (@realdonaldtrump) surprised everyone with his vitriolic, bizarre and seemingly unpatriotic stream of tweets immediately following Obama’s victory:

Trump Tantrum

Possibly the most amusing point about this epic tantrum was Trump’s incorrect assumption that Romney had won the popular vote and that the world was laughing at America because of a miscarriage of democracy caused by the electoral college system.

The tweets highlighted with the green pepper were actually deleted from Trump’s feed within an hour of them being posted, suggesting that Trump’s minders may have stepped in to prevent him from further embarrassment.

Trump’s tantrum prompted a wave of hilarious responses from the Twitterverse, some of which are highlighted in the images below.

Trumps Tantrum Trumps All
But for those of us who stayed on Twitter during President Obama’s victory speech, the hilarity continued. About halfway during his speech, someone on Twitter pointed out that the woman in the crowd directly over the President’s left shoulder had decided to stick her US flag into her hair and was waving it about with great enthusiasm.

hairflag FTW

The gesture generated an instant Twitter meme, similar to the one NASA employee @tweetsoutloud prompted when his space-influenced mohawk was spotted on camera during the recent Mars Rover landing.

Within a minute or two, the hashtag #hairflag was born, with witty tweets temporarily hijacking responses to the President’s moving and heartfelt speech.

Hairflag wins best meme

I couldn’t resist a #hairflag tweet of my own! By the time President Obama walked offstage, the #hairflag meme was in full swing, with inspirational posters, Facebook pages and parody Twitter accounts.

So Election Day closes with 31 million tweets posted and Twitter a clear winner, once again. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


Search Engine College Graduate Profile: Bob Schaller

Bob Schaller graduated from Search Engine College five years ago and says his SEO Certification helped to open new doors for him professionally.

Bob has graciously offered to be our first Search Engine College ‘Graduate Profile’ featured here on Ask Kalena.

Q: Hi Bob!  What State/Country are you from?

A: California, USA

Q: What year did you enroll in Search Engine College?

A: 2007

Q: What was your employment situation at the time of enrolling at Search Engine College?

A: Ecommerce Manager, taking on the role of SEO.

Q: What made you decide to enroll in one of our courses?

A: I looked all over the internet for an online curriculum. Search Engine College was exactly what I was looking for – many courses, self paced, knowledgeable mentors/instructors.

Q: What course/s did you take?

A: Search Engine Optimization 101

Q: What did you like best about the course/s you took?

A: The material was relevant to my current position. I was able to apply concepts immediately.

Q: What should we change (if anything) about our courses to improve the user experience?

A: This was my first experience with online education. I think it was perfect for my needs.

Q: What have you been up to since graduating from Search Engine College?

A: I worked 5 more years at that company doing SEO, PPC, link building and marketing.

Q: Have you changed jobs or careers as a result of gaining SEC Certification?  

A: Currently I am at a media agency where my SEO experience got me the job. I would not have gotten this position without the certificate.

Q: Have our courses helped your employment situation? In what way?

A: As I mentioned, I used the knowledge right away. I was able to use the Search Engine College website for reference. I applied my knowledge to successfully implement SEO / SEM strategies. I changed jobs and stayed in the SEO / SEM arena.

Q: What sort of role are you in now and what do you love best about your job?

A: I am a full time SEO consultant for a media agency. I review and apply SEO to all the agency clients. I conceptualize and implement new strategies.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to persons starting out in the search industry, what would it be?

Never stop learning – be it online education, or industry literature, or conventions, what have you. Always be in front of development and trends.

Thanks Bob! All the best with your new role and your continued career in SEO. If you are a recent or past graduate of Search Engine College and would like to be featured here, please read this blog post and get in touch.