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If you’re jumping on the “clean up your links” bandwagon, then I have a few things for you to think about before you get started. First, take some time to analyze whether or not it’s worth your time. Link cleanup is a time intensive activity and if you don’t get a good payoff on the back end it will feel like you’ve just wasted your time.

That said, I’ve identified three ways you can go about cleaning up old links.

  1. The Kill Link Method – This method can be used for sitewide links, which are often low value anyway, as well as page-specific links. If you think a link may be hurting you more than helping, then send an e-mail to a webmaster and ask to have the link removed. Be forewarned, however, many webmasters won’t spend the time removing links unless you pay them.
  2. Anchor Text Exchange – If a link is passing value but you think you can improve it, then you can change its anchor text. Again, this might require an e-mail to a webmaster and maybe even payment. But there are a lot of links you might be able to control yourself. You can change your anchor text to make it more specific to the page it is linking to or to create more diversity in your link portfolio.
  3. Target URL Exchange – With this method you aren’t changing the link itself. Rather, you are changing the URL to which it points. If you discover that a link is pointing to the wrong page, you can rectify that easily. If you’ve added pages to your website and some of them are more specific to links you’ve created in the past, then this is the method you should use. You can also use it to cut down on the number of links pointing to your home page if you notice an imbalance between home page linking and internal page linking.

Link clean ups are very popular right now. Not everyone needs to do it, but if you do, you could very well see an improvement in your link portfolio.

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