Cleaning Up Broken Backlinks
One of the most important tasks in maintaining a healthy website and online presence is to clear out broken backlinks. That will not be easily accomplished unless you know what they are, where to find them and understand how you acquired them. Whew! Now don't worry because I've made it my business to learn about this, at least enough to get you going and that's what I'm going to share in this blog post. Let's begin by defining what exactly is a 'backlink'.
What is a Backlink?
Simply put, this is a link aimed at your website. When it is a 'quality backlink' then it has come from someone in a related industry - or an industry who relies on something your website provides or serves. Let's say that you are a Building Contractor and you've linked to someone who supplies your trade with electrical wiring or specialty woods; that link would be measured by Google's Search Engines as a 'quality link' and the website you link to would benefit from that connection. If, on the other hand, you sold wool fabric your linking to them would not make sense to the internet bots ( Google's electronic readers), and if they had many of these irrelevant links, their google page ranking would suffer because of it. Backlinks have become absolutely essential if you are to rank in google. In essence these back links are the building blocks of SEO.
What is a Broken Back Link?
Best way to explain this is to remind you of how irritating it is when you click on a tab in someone's website and it takes you to nowhere! Maybe to a 'Page Not Found Error 404' When you've found more than one on a single website you'll typically exit that site and what's worse is that your opinion of that company has been downgraded. This is a perfect way to explain why websites with broken backlinks are downgraded by the Google Bots; if it perturbs you when you find these empty pages with 404 error codes then it shouldn't surprise you that broken links are toxic to your internet well being. There are plenty of reasons to remove these from you website, chief on that list of why you should remove them is because Google will downgrade your site each and every time it comes across one. There is an entire process of getting Google to 'disavow' them because you can't just say to the world wide web, 'don't go tto this or that page... because its not there any longer and I never liked it anyway!' LOL
Those Bad Boys who made the Link Farms!
Here's another reason to get these broken back links removed; many Webmasters used unscrupulous techniques to boost a websites presence. They developed a method of hidden linking that was, for the most part, an automated system. It would build huge 'link farms' and then automate the website to link to that bogus system. Before Google decided to come after these not so kosher webmasters... they had proliferated the internet with thousands of these 'link farms'. Google will not know that you had nothing to do with these dishonest ways of develop your website presence - all it will know is that it is your website and your responsibility to either maintain it or know that your Webmaster does and uses what is termed 'White Hat SEO'. The method employed in this honest and organic way of cultivating an online presence is 'kosher' as opposed to 'Red Hat or Black Hat SEO.
Why Google Dislikes Broken Links.
One more tiny, tiny problem; since it was Google who decided to bring an end to this practice of generating false backlinks, it was also their privilege to penalize those who do not remove their broken links. Since millions of websites all competing for the few prized positions in their local listings, they have implemented a point system that has considerable motivation built in! Ouch!!
Developing quality backlinks is the surest way to getting onto page 1 of Google. I didn't' say that it would be overnight, but learning as best you can, exactly how Google's algorithms work and how to stay ahead of anything that hinders your web presence and visibility is a solid move in the right direction.
How do I clean up my broken links and where do I go and learn how to create healthy backlinks? (I'm so glad you asked that question! )
There are many free links to software which can show you what links you need to clean up and there are websites that have software to help you develop quality backlinks. Just Google the term and don't forget to peruse You Tube for tutorial videos on this subject - having said that, the Internet is a world wide free for all! Don't assume that everyone on it is an authority; a good rule of thumb is to view many videos, read many articles and then go with the majority point of view...or you could ring me! I can help and a conversation on this subject is not a billable hour! Whatever you do now, at least find out if you have these broken links and get help to have them removed otherwise it's like all your efforts to make your site visible is like running water into a bucket that has a hole it the bottom.
Don't forget that blogging is the safest way to gain Google Page Ranks and being found on page one of a search will move product. When writing your blogs its good to remember that, 'stories tell and facts sell'.