Backlinks. Their importance has been discussed to nearly a nauseating point. Most webmasters realize that in order to increase the relevancy of their site in the eyes of the search engines, acquiring quality backlinks is a vital piece to the puzzle. What I want to talk about is not the importance of acquiring backlinks, but the importance of keeping the backlinks you have acquired up-to-date.
It’s no secret that increasing your site’s link popularity can be extremely time consuming. This is how the search engines want it. They prefer you build natural, relevant inbound links over time; not using a reciprocal scheme or inadvisable, spam technique.
You’re a webmaster who didn’t want to risk being penalized or banned by the search engines, so you spent the time writing and submitting articles, authoring press releases for distribution, writing reviews, submitting your site to worthwhile directories, and partaking in a number of other prolonged link-building initiatives. It took months, but you eventually increased your link popularity ten fold.
It’s now a year later.
Your parent company has been acquired and news of a domain change has filtered down the pipeline. The new site will be rolled out in 6 months. Suddenly you have more on your plate than you can handle and the sizeable number of inbound links you attained over the past couple of years goes by the wayside.
Six months later the new site goes live, and all is lost. At least temporarily.
This type of example happens on a frequent basis. Domains change and all previous link-building efforts are abandoned. It often takes a substantial amount of time to acquire quality backlinks, so why not allocate a fraction of that time to find out who is/was linking to you, and take the necessary steps to get those sites to update the links accordingly?
When receiving notice of an upcoming domain change, putting forth an all but obsessive effort to update all current backlinks should be at the top of the priority list. If the new site is launched before you are able to notify all those who link to you, continue your endeavor until each backlink has been updated, or at least an attempt has been made.
Updating your inbound links not only applies to domain changes, however. Several circumstances may call for the assessment of your site’s backlinks, including the addition or removal of available products and services, pricing updates, contact information, or even the location of your business.
Staying up-to-date with your backlinks not only ensures that your site is generating the highest level of traffic possible, it also guarantees that both users and search engines are provided with an accurate reflection of your company and brand image.