We’ve talked a lot about what sites are best to link to, what backlinks are most valuable, and which ones might actually hurt you. But what if you jumped into link building like a crazy animal when you first set up your site, and you have some links you now regret?
You can actually direct search engine spiders to discount links, pages and even whole directories if your website is in serious disarray. Do this in moderation of course, and try to spend time fixing the problems as soon as possible, but this is a useful tool to keep ‘bad links’ or junk pages from hurting you so much.
We all have those early pages still lingering on our site; the very first ones we did back when we didn’t have a clue. We bury them and try to pretend they don’t exist. Also we may have reciprocal links we got from anybody and everybody we could when we started out. Time to clean house, but if you are short on man-hours you might consider this temporary fix.
Add a ‘no-follow’ attribute to links that are detrimental to your site, and institute ‘disallow’ instructions to direct spiders to ignore those awful pages. Be very specific, and don’t abuse the power; supposedly you incur no suspicion by ‘no-following’ and ‘disallowing’ but you really want to concentrate on building up your site with quality links and content anyway.
You can add a no-follow to a link simply by adding it to the HTML like this:
<a href=”http://www.link-not-good.com/”rel=”nofollow“>don‘t look! </a>.
You can put a page disallow in your root folder added to the robots.txt file.
Another good habit is to link very specifically to each page for the highest relevance. Back to the pet clothing website; link out only to dog sites from your canine coat pages and to cat sites from your products for feline friends. Sorting your links carefully and matching them to the best pages in your site will help strengthen your website from within.
As for those reciprocal links from family and friends, consider a ‘Friends of PetStyles’ page, or whatever your website name is, and have the less relevant links listed there. You can no-follow each link, or simply disallow the whole page. It lends a little credence to your site for visitors as well, and if they like your site, they just might decide to check out your cool friends too – everybody wins!