Mirror, mirror, on the wall who’s the highest authority website of them all?
There’s no doubt everyone from Poland to Poughkeepsie is looking for solid ways to attract legit backlinks, am I right?
One night last week while doing some client work, I was negotiating a deal to host some industry software as a professional courtesy to one of my clients friends. It wasn’t my idea, but I didn’t see any harm especially since I wasn’t paying for the bandwidth.
The next week we got a big fat “download” link from the referring page, what a nice surprise! My client was now an official software mirror. The software was only 5MB but it got a lot of downloads and would occasionally stall out on the origin website.
For those of you unfamiliar with what a mirror is: when a software developer starts getting a lot of downloads, they might offer that download on another server to spread the bandwidth out. In open source, a lot of times people volunteer this.
For instance, if I’m hoping to rank for “SEO” related keywords on this blog, perhaps I would contact Screaming Frog and ask them if they’d be interested in using my server as a mirror.
Keep in mind a lot of software vendors don’t want to share road, while others do. It might take a lot of negotiation to make it happen, you can’t just throw up a file and become a mirror (in most cases anyway.)
While there are a number of pros and cons for both parties involved, if you pitch the idea properly everyone will come out winning.
I’m not certain if getting a link straight to the archive e.g.:
has as much power as getting a link to a “download” page:
but I’d definitely try and get the link to point to a download page rather than the .zip or installer file.
You should also be sure your server has enough capabilities before you go mirroring a 2GB ISO image or something like that. Even a 20kb file could take down your server if it is requested 10k times a day. Be aware of your limitations before you go committing to something like this.
As far as potential repercussions, I don’t know what to tell you here folks. You gotta decide this one for yourself. I don’t see a problem with doing this as long as you are genuinely wanting to be a mirror and not doing it just for the backlink.
Is it against Google’s guidelines? I don’t know what to say, you’ll have to interpret this yourself.