Harnessing the Value of Site-Wide Links
If you browse through websites nowadays you'll notice that they appear in a number of places. For example, blogs very often have a column on the side with various widgets, one of which may be the ‘recommended links'. Any link to a webpage appearing there will appear on every page within the blog – making the link a site-wide link.
Now as you probably well know, when you're trying to accumulate backlinks it really is a numbers game and so having your link appear more times is definitely going to be more advantageous. That being said, you may not get the full value of site-wide links in certain situations.
Over the years, Google in particular has started to ‘de-value' certain types of site-wide links, especially those that appear only in sidebars or footers. So it is more valuable if they do not appear in either of those locations.
That being said, it is important to realize that site-wide links provide more than just SEO juice.
Direct Traffic From Site-Wide Links
One of the advantages of site-wide links that is very often overlooked is the fact that it can generate a lot of direct traffic, particularly if it is a site-wide link from a website that has a lot of internal traffic.
When a link appears conveniently on every webpage that is part of a website, it is far more likely to be noticed and clicked by the people who are browsing through that website. Again, the format and location of the link have a role to play in how many clicks it gets – but consider it a form of free advertising.
This sort of direct traffic is valuable, and in some cases may be even more valuable than getting a couple of extra backlinks to help with SEO value. Depending on the circumstances, you may find that a single site-wide link on a popular website actually helps you generate more traffic than ranking on search engines for many keywords.
If you want to truly harness the potential of site-wide links, you need to keep this in mind. It isn't enough to just count on these links for their SEO value – ideally you should be thinking about whether or not they can help you to bring in traffic, because that is the ultimate goal that you intend to fulfill by ranking higher on search engines anyway.
With the right approach, site-wide links can certainly help make that happen.