Revisiting Your Links Page

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There has been an evolution in the practice of link building in the past couple of years.

We used to put in hours of agonizing, probably late night, research for potential link exchanges, standing on our heads looking for non-spammy ways of asking for reciprocal links (struggling over how to spell ‘reciprocal’ each time), mostly with little return for our efforts.

Now we spend out time happily working on building connections through social networks, guest blogging and other opportunities to get articles on relevant, authoritative sites.  We still need to do a lot of work to get good links to our sites, but now we are building relationships with other site owners, along with building our profiles and concentrating on providing good content; so the change is a good one for SEO and the online community overall.

The thing is many sites still have a lovely old ‘Links Page’ with columns of links of various categories (if you took the time to categorize them) and even though you have now built up a number of links through other channels, you probably are reluctant to forsake these old pearls that took so long to cultivate, that did help get your site a decent place in search engine results when you were getting started.

Now is the time to review those links and see which ones are of value and ensure that any that you decide to keep are linking to you in the best manner possible.

  1. Which of the sites would you still consider valuable and relevant to your site – valuable for SEO and for your visitors)? Remove those that no longer fit those criteria. (Send the site owner a note saying so if you really think it’s necessary. I wouldn’t unless I had a bit of correspondence with the person in the past.)
  2. Are all of the remaining links on your page still live?  You’ll find that over the years sites die or content is moved, so you should make sure that your outgoing links are still good so your visitors don’t get frustrated and you lose credibility. There are tools for this, but I’ve never tried any.
  3. Which of the remaining sites are still linking to your site?
    1. Are they using keywords in the link text that match the keywords you are targeting on the landing page? We do all know that is not the link text you want, right?
    2. Is the link to your site on a page that is relevant to the topic of your site, and is that page actually indexed by search engines?
    3. Is the link landing on the most relevant page on your site?
  4. Check Google Webmaster Tools to see what links people are following and getting 404 Page Not Found errors.  Are any from external sites, where the webmaster may have made a typo in your link address or perhaps you’ve moved some content around?  (Cheers to Matt Cutts for reminding me of this task when he visited Dublin on his European Tour.)

If any of these factors could use some improvement, send off a message to the site owner and request that they make the change.  If they were good enough to link to you in the first place, then hopefully they’ll be willing to make these amendments now.  Explain that you are reviewing your links and offer to do the same for them as an incentive.

While you are at it perhaps the site owner or webmaster may now be a good connection in your new fangled Social Networking circles – and may have some other quality sites that can give you some links – making this task even more worth the effort.

Ann Donnelly
For ten years Ann Donnelly has been helping businesses achieve their goals using the internet; starting with developing static brochure websites to now offering fully interactive, customizable ‘Web 2.0’ online communities that are optimized for best results on search engines and integrated with social media channels.
Ann Donnelly
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  • Jo Gatford

    Good advice there. It's easy to let things like this get stagnant when they could still be benefiting your site. I think the rise in social media and sharing sites can be used as an advantage, and I'm all for showing some love for a site or article you have respect for – a little kindness can reap rewards without having to turn it into a strategy… That and leaving comments on articles that relate to your field or business. 😉

  • sue diamonds

    Excellent blog.. very easy to let things get stagnant!


    Thanks for the tips. This can definitely help me clean up my websites which have accumulated lots of links throughout the years. The checklist will help me distinguish which ones to keep and which ones to remove.

  • sue diamonds

    Hi.. again we will give a relook to our links page.. love the blog.. will revisit your site again and agian.. thanks!

  • SEO Los Angeles

    I am glad I came across this site.Those tips are very helpful, thank yo so much.

  • social media management

    That is very good advice. We know that quality of the link is very important in seo. It also good to check the old link whether it is provide a good traffic, backlinks or not. You can analysis based on that factor.

  • Miles Carter

    Xenu is a good program for testing external links as it will check links from all pages of your site in one step (since it is a spider) – uncheck “ignore external links', export to a CSV, remove all rows non-external links with find and replace, then sort by status code.

    The way I do this though is to leave “ignore external links” checked, copy all the ignored external URLs to a seperate worksheet, then run this through Receptional Lab's bulk http status checker (this tool is not available to the public however).

  • kaye

    thank you so much for sharing. your article helps a lot .

  • juicy couture

    Great Article!
    Thanks for sharing

  • PocketbookCoupon

    So true, link building is rough enough but getting your HTML errors correct is some times a real pain. Thanks.

  • PocketbookCoupon

    So true, link building is rough enough but getting your HTML errors correct is some times a real pain. Thanks.

  • Seolosangeles

    Awesome information about the strategy used to revisit these pages. Cannot think of a better article
    great job Ann and great tid bit about the crawl errors