Websites change over time and links either get changed or deleted. If those broken links are either on your website or pointing to it, that’s not going to help you retain or attract visitors or earn you a decent ranking despite your best search engine optimization efforts. Link reclamation is the process of locating and taking steps to fix broken links. Link reclamation is also necessary if your website is significantly changed, redesigned, or removed.
Using 301 Redirects
The purpose of a 301 redirect is to restore some value to a link and transfer the visitor to the correct link. Go to the “Install Plugins” tab on WordPress and search for “404 to 301” to find plugins you can use to convert 404s to 301 redirects. Many browsers have a short attention span, so consider this a temporary fix.
Contact webmasters to correct links. If webmasters are no longer accessible, assume a site was permanently deleted and do the same with those links.
Using Available Tools
Webmaster Tools is free and can do a good job at finding 404s. Both Google and Bing have similar tools. Add Microsoft Excel and Open Site Explorer, a free tool that provides handy metrics you can use to check links, to your arsenal and you’ll be all set to tackle link errors.
Manually Checking Links
Links can be checked by clicking to confirm each one is active and going to the intended destination. As long as you don’t have massive amounts of content with links, manual checks can be effective.
Link reclamation is important because broken links don’t do you any favors. You can get penalized for having invalid links, which can downgrade your ranking and decrease your visibility. Make it a habit to go back and check any links related to your site on a regular basis to avoid unexpected dips in traffic.
Learn more by reaching out to Saba SEO in San Diego. We offer SEO, PPC, social media, and web design services to businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada. Give us a call today at (858) 277-1717 to schedule a free consultation!