Are you in a situation where you notice that your site is filled with links you would rather not have but can’t really get rid of? Remember back when you were first setting up your site and begged everyone for links? You set up your site, hit up all of your friends and family members for links, and now those non-relevant, off topic, zero PageRank links from blogs and little personal sites are dragging you down an endless spiral.
The only problem is that removing those links may wind up hurting people’s feelings which is more damaging than what their links are doing to you. Is there anything you can do to keep the Google spiders from crawling your site and seeing these unwelcome links?
In the past, we have spent some time covering information regarding what sites to link to, what backlinks will be worth the most, and how to avoid links that will hurt your site. But what if you jumped into link building the wrong way when you first set up your site, and you have some links that are sitting there like an elephant in the room no one wants to talk about doing anything about?
There is good news, you are not really stuck with those links forever. You don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings or make enemies by deleting those links which are not helping you. You can easily direct search engine spiders to discount links, pages and even whole directories if need be and it‘s very simple to do. ‘Disallow’, ‘no-index’ and ‘no-follow’ are useful tools to keep bad or unwanted links and/or junk pages from hurting your site so much. Eventually you will have to clean house thoroughly, but if you are short on man-hours, here is a temporary quick fix.
Add a ‘no-follow’ attribute to ‘bad’ links and ‘disallow’ spiders to access those awful pages. You can add a no-follow to a link simply by adding it to the HTML like this:
<a href=”http://www.link-not-good.com/”rel=”nofollow“>don‘t look! </a>.
You can put a page disallow in your root folder added to the robots.txt file.
You should also very specifically link to each page for the highest relevance. Categorize your links carefully and matching them to the best pages in your site will help strengthen your website from within. It is no secret that you need strong internal site architecture to compete in a consumer satisfaction driven environment!
As for the reciprocal links from family and friends, consider a ‘Friends of (your sitename)’ page, and have the less relevant links listed there. They are still mentioned so it’s not like they are totally being abandoned, but you also are not lagging behind by featuring them. You can no-follow each link, or simply disallow the whole page if that makes more sense. This also lends a little extra ‘testimonial’ style to your site for visitors as well; it’s like seeing your ‘followers’ .