With spring in full swing and summer approaching, it is time to think links! It is always good to think about your linking your linking strategies and given the Google Penguin update now is as good a time as any to get serious about your links. When we talk about links, we’re not just talking about the new links you hope to acquire, but the links you already have in place as well. Linking is not a system of optimization that ends once a link is planted. It is an ever growing and changing operation that requires care and maintenance to grow and deliver to you the best possible returns. Here are few linking tasks you’ll want to think about right now.
Are all of your links operational? If you have dead links they are doing you no good. In actuality, they are hurting you in a few ways. Dead links frustrate your readers because no one wants to encounter links that go nowhere. It’s frustrating and a great way to lose a return visitor. Google bot despises dead links as well – especially if you have a lot of them. There is no faster way to kill your ranking than with dead links littering your site. Test them out and clean out whatever doesn’t work or repair them.
Are your links relevant? Having a lot of links is great, but if they aren’t relevant to your site in some way they aren’t doing you any favors. Google is cracking down on non-relevant linking strategies. For instance, if you have a site about pajamas, but you have a to of links coming from websites about boats, it is hard to establish the relevance of those links. Try, as bets as you can, to have relevant links.
What are your reciprocal links like? Remember those links from friends and family that you traded for when you were getting started? A lot of those probably need to go. On blogs this is particularly true. The odds are those links are hurting you. They are making you bleed link juice and you’re getting nothing back on them. Rather than hurt anyone’s feelings but completely trashing them, make a page that is for “friends” of your blog you can feature them on. Whatever you do, get them off the homepage and get them off any page that is high traffic.
Look to the future. Sit down with your SEO and figure out where you want to go with your website and what linking strategies will best help you get there. A reputable, experienced SEO will be able to put something together that provides you with a solid return and helps insulate you against future algorithm changes taking a heavy toll on you. Just remember that linking is ongoing. If you aren’t building new links and maintaining those you have, you aren’t growing. SEO is all about growing – growing your site, growing your rank and growing your conversions.