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If I could explain all that Google does, Claire, I’d be a billionaire. LOL
The answer to this question lies in the realm of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO-ers are constantly looking for ways to get their websites to show up in the first couple of pages of search results.
One way seems to be to have a large number of links to your site. (You’ve probably heard in the past about people who exchanged links, bought or sold links, etc.)
Some SEO-ers have gone so far as to set up Private Blogging Networks, or PBNs.
The idea here is to invite a lot of people into a group, and then to link to each other so that the bevy of links propels them to the top of the search results.
Google sees this as an attempt to cheat the system. They want the sites at the top of the search results to get there because people are naturally linking to that content; not as the result of one or more people gaming the system to make it look like it.
So if you own several websites, and they’re likely to be with the same host, and you link back and forth among them, then it’s possible that Google will interpret that as a PBN.
Matthew Woodward did a few videos on this where he explained how to create a PBN.
His argument was that Google didn’t like them because they worked, and there’s probably some truth to that.
As we all know: Google wants to be in control.
According to Woodward, however, Google has discovered PBNs in the past because people created them in a way that attracted attention. They told others about them, for example.
He also created a course (now closed) on how to do it. I was tempted to sign up for it, but the financial outlay to set one up was more than I wanted to spend, and I didn’t want to put the time into it because it would mean getting distracted from what I really wanted to do.
This is the briefest of explanations, but I hope that it makes sense.
The bottom line is that it’s okay to do a certain amount of linking among your sites, but you have to be a little cautious so as to not give the impression that you’re trying to do something that Google disapproves of.