With so many factors affecting your search engine ranking, it is sometimes hard to tell what is currently giving your site a boost – even if you are not focusing much attention on SEO at that particular moment. Google works in mysterious ways, you would need a lot of case studies, and research to actually figure out what affects your site’s ranking the most.
Some factors, however, are well-known – like keyword usage, number of visitors and inbound links.
Inbound links are links to your sites from other sites that used your link in their content. These have a positive impact on your website’s ranking. However, links get deleted along with posts and you may think that it can take away an important factor in your SEO strategy. But the truth is, this does not mean that the power of that link will disappear.
‘The power of a link outgrows it is time in an article. To beginners, it often seems as if all of the good things that they are getting from that link will evaporate once the link is gone or the page is gone. But in truth, what stays behind is just as powerful – link echoes. ‘says Angelina Mason from Academized.
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What Are Link Echoes?
Link echoes, or otherwise called link ghosts, are links to your blog or your website that have been deleted or moved. Do not take this too personally as most people do not remove links intentionally from their websites, they do it accidentally, without thinking much about your links. When a web page updates, for example, it can delete links along with the content that featured it or it may be deleted after a period, like in contests for example.
There are also websites and blogs that close down or get deleted for various reasons. If a website goes offline for updating, that can also cause a link ghost. However, this doesn’t mean that the valuable path to your site that link was is going to disappear. Google knows that there was a link leading to your website and it will still impact your ranking.
‘Link echo and link ghost are often viewed as separate terms when they are, in fact, the same thing. It happens when a link that leads to your website gets deleted for one of many reasons and while that may seem like it’s going to affect your rankings negatively, it actually works for you and improves your ranking even after it’s gone. The term link echo is much better and explains what had happened in a more conclusive way. ‘says Randall Smith from Paper Fellows.
How Do We Know That Link Ghosts Affect SEO?
Most people wonder where the proof of this effect is and the simple answer is that it was brought to light in one of the research studies done by Moz website, which often takes up similar studies of Google Ranking, and factors that affect it. Their explanations and stream of actions is clear and elaborated with all the information presented in a way that websites and companies can use it for their own benefits. According to SEO expert, Dimitar Karamarinov “the art of link building constantly evolves and you have to stay sharp to keep up with trends.”
One of their studies of search engines and how they rank articles lead them to the discovery of link echoes.
The page that they were testing had links pointing to it and it naturally, boosted its position. Inbound links along with many other helpful factors do this and that is the best way to improve your SEO. In this test, the Moz team removed these links and expected to see a drop in the placement of those pages in search engines. But what happened surprised them – the pages either stayed in the same position or dropped down just a bit.
It was the complete opposite of what they thought would happen.
Once the Google indexed those pages, they expected to see a real drop in position but it didn’t happen. After four months, the team that continued monitoring these pages still didn’t see the expected effect of deleted links on ranking of those pages. They either held the same or slightly higher position than before.
This is amazing for people interested in improving their position on Google search engine results. It removes the fear of getting your link deleted and the hard work of looking for websites where your link will stay for a long time. With finding that link echoes play just as important a role as inbound links do, even temporary links can prove to be useful. Eliminating the necessity of those links staying where they were posted makes Search Engine Optimization that much easier. Websites like UK Writings and Big Assignments have noticed this as well and they started utilizing temporary links.
People focusing on SERP are usually the ones that are most focused on SEO. SERP is important because your ranking determines how many visitors you get. This is what inbound links are for – they are not the only factor but they are certainly valuable. You can use tools like State Of Writing or Via Writing to maintain the quality of your content and retain links that you have, just as you can recommend them to people that have your link in their content.
Why Do Link Echoes Retain Their Value?
People from Moz have not concluded as to why these links do not have a negative effect on your ranking. However, they do have some theories.
This is the most unlikely theory but it deserves a mention. What it essentially means is that many factors affect you are ranking on Google and since the Google does not publish which affect it the most, we can only guess how important inbound links are.
- Website performance
If your website’s performance is optimal and visitors are not returning to search engine results to look further, this signals to Google that your articles are useful and that they provide enough value for your readers. This may be the reason why you retain position on rankings.
- Ranking factor
The third explanation is the one that would work best for every business or website out there. It says that Google takes these link echoes into real consideration because the value that they hold doesn’t disappear as they get deleted. Other websites came to the similar conclusion, Australian Help most notably. But they also say that this may be changed some day.
How Link Echoes Affect You
“It was believed that only permanent inbound links could give you enough boosts for the search engine optimization. This is what most people strive for, as a part of their SEO strategy as well as their SERP strategy. However, link echoes have proved to be a valuable source of web page boost even without the actual links being there.” states SEO expert Ryan Brown – Edmonton SEO Company | Alberta Search Engine Optmization.
What this means for you is that you will be able to have more temporary links and more time to focus on other elements of your search engine optimization. This also helps indirectly since maintaining a high position on Google means having more organic traffic, which will result in more inbound links. It is an engaging circle and the one that will boost you on the search engine rankings. This does not mean that these link ghosts will last forever and you should not lean only on them – after a year or two their effect will disappear but the temporary one will give you enough time to be noticed and your links to be used on reputable websites. However, knowing that this exists is a good backup.