Most SEO writers understand that a good article needs essential elements like the right keywords at the right density, the right tags and most of all quality backlinks.
Backlinks are the links found in other websites that point a reader or user to your website or web page and the more quality links there are to your page the better for SEO and when I say quality, I mean the links are from websites with “Authority” and not from a link-spamming site.
It used to be that it was just the number of links pointing to your page that mattered to get a good PageRank but now as the “spiders” of search engines become smarter they consider the quality of the link before they come up with a rank for your page. Quality includes the relevance of the anchor words used to refer to your page as well as the weight or endorsement by the site where the link is found. This is one of the most common errors and it is the most easily overlooked.
A nofollow tag on a link simply means that the link points to your website but the writer who placed the link does not endorse your website, which means the link does not carry weight with the search engines. Links embedded on comments of blogs or forums automatically get a nofollow tag especially on popular blog software like WordPress.
Other problems arise when the link does not lead to the intended page and the page becomes inaccessible using the link.
A good link should always return with a Code 200 but this is not always the case. In the case of bad links, even if there are several hundreds of them in different websites, still it would not be able to help with SEO. The most common problems are:
- Error Code 302 – Found/Moved Temporarily, this redirect shows that the page the link is pointing to used to be on that address but is not there anymore. This type of redirect is not good for SEO, it is best to use code 301 or Permanently Moved, this way the search engine follows to the new website and transferring all the backlinks from the old site to the new one. This can fortunately be remedied by adding the 301 code [R=301] at the end of the line in your .htaccess file.
- Error Code 404 – Not Found, this error code means that the link the URL is pointing to does not exist. Websites or web pages that are very active or constantly being improved normally gets this error. This is a common problem, and it needs to be addressed quickly. The best way to find these pages is by registering your site to Google Webmaster Tools or submitting your URL to a HTTP Header Checker Tool. The remedy is to create the page if it really does not exist or if the URL changed because of a recent update use a 301 redirect on it.
The errors described above can hardly be detected unless you test them out or somebody tells you that your link doesn’t work but they can be detected earlier and fixed faster with the use of a HTTP Header Checker tool. Do not waste a high quality page with SEO optimized content just because of a bad link.
You can use Monitor Backlinks to detect this errors in just a few seconds, automatically.