One of the trickiest parts of link building is keeping all of those links consistent. You want to always make sure your links are on reputable sites, and you want to always make sure that the links remain intact even years after they have been published. Unfortunately, links can go bad quite often because links are hard to manage (after all, a good company will always be working on building links, and the more hundreds you can earn, the better). It's important to companies understand just how links can go bad and what to do about it when it happens.
When Your Backlinks Fail
It's inevitable that at least one of your hundreds of backlinks is going to fail. In fact, there are several different types of links that are considered bad for companies as well as readers. Whether it be an on-page links, external link pointing away from your company, or a backlink you earned elsewhere on the Internet, you have to always be keeping track of these links in order to make sure they haven't gone bad.
Below explains a few bad links as well as what you should do in response:
- Advertorial Links. This is probably the biggest news regarding SEO links today. This is a term that describes places where you find links that were sold to a particular company. In the vast majority of cases, these backlinks are on spammy, low-quality sites that are sometimes called "link farms." If a site is caught, such as in the very popular Interflora case, PageRank and SERP rankings will go down dramatically.
Response: If you have advertorial pages with links to a site that paid for them, it's best to remove those links immediately. Never, ever pay for links because those will soon be considered "bad links" no matter how great the site might look at the time.
- Broken Links. A link is broken if you click on the link and it sends you to an error page. This means that the link was written incorrectly somehow or it is directing readers to a page that no longer exists. Google will penalize a site that is filled with broken links by lowing PageRank and SERP ranking. After all, broken links are of no use to the reader whether they were meant to be unbroken or not.
Response: The best thing you can do here is keep a list of all the backlinks you earn and then a separate list of all the on-page links you have included. Once you have this list, you can go through and check to make sure the links are not broken. You can also use several different plugins and tools to help. If you find some that are broken, either fix them or remove them immediately. It's certainly OK if making this happen involves alerting another website where you have guest posted in the past. After all, that site doesn't want broken links either.
- No-Follow Links. Now these links are certainly not bad, and in fact no follow links are a great way to encourage discussion and drive traffic to your website. However, they exist to let the Google bots know that those particular links do not have to be counted for any type of SEO link juice. In other words, if it's SEO benefits you're looking for, no-follow links aren't going to give you any results.
Response: Again, no-follow links are important. However, if you feel that a link should be followed and is relevant enough that you deserve some credit, you're going to want to make sure that wherever you post your links (different websites, forums, etc.) is a do-follow site. Most websites are do-follow and most forums are not. Therefore, you should be able to assume that a link is do-follow from another site, but do not assume this with forum links.
In general, the biggest problem with linking is going to be when you pay for them. There are certain triggers that Google bots look for to determine if your links need to be considered bad-unnatural anchor text, a huge influx of links at once, etc. The moral of the story: Earned links are good links.