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Link decay and SEO for SMB’s

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For any small to medium sized businesses (SMB’s) link building strategies can be the key to success and growth online. In fact, positive and effective link building strategies can help your website reach potential customers in a wider field, as well as having a positive impact on your search engine optimization (SEO). But over time, links that you have built up with third parties, and even within your own website, can start to decay. This is know as link rot. So what causes this? And what do you need to know about link decay and SEO for SMB’s? Well, here here at Pumpkin Web Design, we are Preston’s leading web design and web marketing professionals. We provide valuable web design, SEO, and marketing solutions to a range of clients, across the North West, including Southport and Wigan, as well as Manchester. As a result, we have produced this guide to link rot and it’s impact on SEO for small to medium businesses.

What is link decay?

Link decay, otherwise known as link rot, is a term used to describe the loss of active and valuable links over time. This covers two separate categories:

  1. The natural loss of links- as websites are updated, and businesses change hands, web pages are often updated, replaced or removed completely. And this means that you may have links directing users to web pages or even whole companies, that no longer exist. Not only is this bad for the user experience, it can also have a negative impact on your overall SEO strategy too.
  2. The loss of link power- as you publish more and more pages, and increase your website content, the link power for older pages can be reduced.

What is the connection between link decay and SEO for SMB’s?

Link decay can have a negative effect on SEO for a number of reasons. These include:

  • Losing the authority you had- link building is a powerful strategy that can increase your site ranking, and position in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). But over time, as these links become less meaningful, or perhaps no longer lead to the same page, this hard work can be lost. And as a result, your website can slide further down the results page, losing traffic and potentially sales or bookings.
  • Ranking algorithm- Google’s ranking algorithm explores links from your website, to others. 404 pages and 301 errors can have a negative impact on this, as poor links are against Googles best practice standards.

 How can SMB’s avoid link decay?

To avoid link decay, and the associated negative impacts on SEO and search traffic, you should consider redirecting internal website links. If internal links have moved to a new URL, you can reclaim your link power by using a 301 redirect to the new location. This prevents user frustration and prevents you from losing link power. However, if your original linked pages have been removed permanently, you can only 301 redirect to pages that are of the same level of quality, and is equal to the original.

For more information or advice about professional web marketing and SEO, get in touch with the experts today, here at Pumpkin Web Design.

Pumpkin Web Design Ltd is a small and highly results driven digital agency working for like minded clients in Preston, Manchester, Chorley, Southport, Blackburn, Wigan and the UK. Our services include web design, SEO, content marketing, video production, brand design and much more.