If you’re selling products online as your home business, you probably have one or more pages devoted to links to other sites (outbound links). Whether your outbound links are reciprocal arrangements or just one-way links, it might help to validate them periodically. What should you check for?
Broken Links – Maybe the site was there when you first set up the link but maybe it went out of business or closed for some reason. If that’s the case, get rid of it.
Parked Domains – Along the same lines, if a site has disappeared, it may now be just a parked domain. Here is an example of a parked domain. They’re characterized by some Ads and the name of the Domain Registrar – in that example, GoDaddy. It’s not very desirable to link to a parked domain, so you should get of these as well.
De-indexed sites – If the site has been removed from Google’s index, this may be because they did some SEO black hat trick that violated Google’s terms of service. If this is the case, maintaining a link to them can in turn get your Google rankings devalued. How do you tell if a site has been de-indexed from Google? Take a glance at the Google Toolbar PageRank indicator for that site to start out with. If it shows no Page Rank, you can tell by then pasting their URL directly into Google’s search box and clicking Search. If it’s not in Google’s index, you’ll get the message “Sorry, no information is available for the URL: www.deindexedwebsite.com”. And if the site has been de-indexed from Google, it may also have trouble with the other search engines. So you will definitely want to get rid of these kinds of links. Unfortunately, they take a little more work to spot.
You can do this work manually by just setting aside some time and clicking on each outbound link, then noting the results. Or you can use a tool such as SEO Elite to assist you in this task. But cleaning up your outbound links is one way you can keep your own site clean in the ‘eyes’ of the search engines and more importantly, in the eyes of your human site visitors.