When was the last time you checked all of the external links on your web site? Who are you linking out to?
Hopefully, check your external links from time to time. You can’t just put them out there and then assume they are always going to work. Nothing is more frustrating to a visitor then seeing a link, clicking on it, and the link is broken. Or, the domain name has expired and you’re linking to some web site that you don’t want to link out to.
This can make your site appear to be very unprofessional. It can also result in your site dropping in terms of where it is placed on the search engine rankings. Checking those external links frequently will aid you with your various SEO efforts. It is very simple to check them, but you do need to keep track of where you have links. The more your website grows, the more external links you will have out there.
Then you can routinely just click on them and make sure every single one of them works. If they don’t, take immediate action to find out what the problem is and to correct it. If you have a links page that is quite old, then it may be time to update it all. You also want to make sure the links are to sites that you are happy with. You may be out there involved with sites that you don’t think are a good fit for your business such as one that offers adult materials.
Find sites that offer you plenty of link value too, which means that they get a decent amount of traffic on a regular basis. You can use various tools too so that your efforts for checking your links are very simple. One that I highly recommend is called Xenu Link Sleuth. You can add all of the links to your website here and then get regular reports about them.
You always want to make sure your links work and that you aren’t linked to any type of site that you would rather not be associated with. Links are a vital resource for effective search engine optimization, but they can also hurt you if they aren’t good links.
For more detailed information about external links and external linking, see the SEOmoz info about external links.