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Link Development Forum

Dumping link pages
I am going to be dumping all my link pages. But I want to keep some.

 4:56 am on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a few decently-earning sites that are over 6-7 years old. They used to do better. ;-)

Over the years, we have acquired thousands of reciprocal links. Many (most) of these link partners have since stopped linking, so we've dumped them too.

Now I want to dump everyone that's left. But I'm wondering: should I dump ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE?

What we have is link directories. Let's say one of our sites is about blue widgets. But we have plenty of link categories for links to orange knickknacks and yellow thingamajigs.

My question:

Would it be beneficial to dump all the links, but keep those to sites that are specifically about blue widgets (our area)?

Or just dump all recip links? (the link pages have a grayed-out bar anyway).



 6:44 am on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would dump the non themed links, but keep the other recps, as whilst recp links don't carry as much weight as one way links they still count - needless to say it would be nice if you imformed these webmasters that your going to drop their link, as I've lost count the amount of times I've seen sites that used to link to me suddenly pull the link without letting me know


 6:59 am on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm working on that right now. I have a mass email list that I intend to use to inform my partners. I'm old-school.


 10:29 am on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a funny feeling that linking is not one way it more of a relationship .

so if i link to you , i provide you with
1)opportunity to have visitors
2) pagerank juice
3) indexing for SE

but i have a sneaky feeling that if i link to you , you provide me with
1) Pagerank juice
not much but a little .

I could be wrong aswell.


 1:34 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)


anything not related to your site
sites that are 404's or don't exist.

Try to organize what is left into well defined categorized groups.

Keep the links that benefit your end users regardless of reciprocation. In other words, don't establish a 100% RLR (reciprocal link ratio).. you want your RLR to be somewhere between 30-80% RLR which shows the search engines you are linking for your end user and not necessarily for reciprocation.


 1:38 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would add to what Malcolm and cnvi says that the trick to linking is to start with offering the user real value to useful resources in context to why they might be visiting your site. Look beyond what the search engine is saying is important, go deeper.

Some would say that your approach is lazy, but that wouldn't be right. You're working hard and carefully, but your focus is on the web not on the subject matter. It's great you are web-savvy, but it's better to be subject matter savvy first and foremost.

And, anyway, out-bound links have value in SEO.


 9:29 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

The fact you say you have exchanged with 1000s of other sites is scary to me, and I find it extremely lucky you have not been banned in any way for exchanging such a large quantity of links.

Any links that are not even remotely related to your site should be removed immediately.

Try to avoid a links page, perhaps including relevant links on the relevant pages might work.


 9:46 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

My personal <widget> website has over 1000 reciprocal links.. all obtained SLOWLY and with highly relevant sites related to mine since 2001. And I rank #1 for all of my primary keywords in all search engines.

Nothing is wrong with link exchange if you do it SLOWLY and with sites RELEVANT to yours.

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:37 pm (utc) on Aug. 24, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics. [/edit]


 11:20 pm on Aug 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

Reciprocal links are still good links, but the kind notsosmart is writing about, are simply not "content" links, but simply links to spread juice around. It is not the concept of reciprocal links that is questioned by google, it is the intension of the links which can cause trouble.

Adding links to a website is very important, especially when a website is aging. Also try to keep a reasonable nofollow ratio or your site might get viewed as a website with low editorial value.

I also noticed that /links.html pages are not bad if they are implemented the old school way.


 2:45 am on Aug 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

The fact you say you have exchanged with 1000s of other sites is scary to me, and I find it extremely lucky you have not been banned in any way for exchanging such a large quantity of links.

Well, I have been penalized, in the sense that none of my links pages have any PR left. So I guess I'm in some sort doghouse.

However, my sites still pull in decent, targeted traffic. Making money. So not all is lost. ;-)

I'm doing an experiment right now (after tigger's advice), dumping some types of links from a couple of domains, all links from another one, and only the ugliest ones from a couple of more.

We'll see how it goes.


 4:01 pm on Aug 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

notsosmart, how do you know that your links is what got your penalized? is it possible you have been marketing your site in other ways to cause what you perceive as a "penalization"?


 6:38 pm on Aug 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

notsosmart, how do you know that your links is what got your penalized? is it possible you have been marketing your site in other ways to cause what you perceive as a "penalization"?

It is possible that it was something else, however:

a. Many pages with great incoming "natural" linkpop (edu and other authority sites) remained in good standing

b. Pages optimized for some four-word keywords common in my industry remained no. 1-3

c. My link pages disappeared from google (the gray bar)

Am I right to assume that very active linking (we were really quite good at it) is what got us into trouble around late 2005 or so?

Small Website Guy

 2:05 pm on Aug 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have also seen the gray bar appear in some of my links pages. I presume Google is punishing me for linking to a "bad neighborhood"? But the site still has PR 5 and I'm getting good inbound traffic compared to years past, so I presume only the page with the bad links are punished.

Do link exchanges even work any more?

I was thinking of moving all of my links deeper into the site. Currently, they are only one click away from the home page.

As far as maintaining the links, it's a nightmare of pain. 95% of new link requests are spam. I have no idea how many of my link "partners" dumped me. I haven't even tested for 404s.


 2:32 pm on Aug 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Grey bar's come and go.. even G has publically stated in the past that it can happen and is typically an "anomaly" which self corrects.

Yes, link exchanges work fine if you keep them highly relevant the volume slow/natural (dont participate in full duplex schemes).

You know the answers as to what happened to your site better than any of us.. ask yourself, what have I done lately to my site that may have caused a problem that doesn't benefit my end user? If you have participated in some flavor of a "get links quick" scheme, you will know it. If you have been obtaining links slowly and naturally, ask yourself when was the last time you updated your content? is all of your content turnkey or is it original?

there are so many factors that can cause problems. It's often times very difficult to pinpoint a specific cause unless you have been blatantly doing something that you know isn't kosher and would not benefit your end user's.


 10:59 am on Aug 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I would not make any huge changes all at once, any big sudden changes in links (inbound and outbound links) does effect your ranking.

Just loose links slowly over time, picking out ones which are not relivant to the theme of your website, and keeping links which are. Doing this will probably improve the traffic to your website further.

Let us know how it works out.


 9:55 pm on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I second Seb7: drastic changes are a good way to get noticed, in the negative sense of the word. maybe target 10 a week to get rid of, and stagger the actual removal throughout the week... my 2 cents


 1:25 pm on Sep 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

When you link to sites which are relevant to the topic of discussion, and you do not even have a link from their websites back, your rankings would go up, this is a known fact, too many false assumptions are in SEO.


 8:22 am on Sep 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

decouple your links page from your main site, so if they crawl your links they are still there. We dumped links pages 2.5 years back but in the way I described above.

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