It's very possible your link juice is leaking. From discontinued products to press releases from years back, below are 7 ways to cork the leak and make the most of your existing site.
1. Newsletter Archives: Even if you don't have any, there's still value at the end of this for you.
Check the PR & backlinks coming into old newsletters. Newsletters could be several years old and are waiting for internal linking. Find some decent anchor text in them and links into the pages you're targeting now. The four readers a 2004 newsletter attracts each year will not mind. Are there links you can strip out of them to lower the amount of links on the page? Check that too.
Oh you don't have a newsletter archive? While it may take some time, why not see if there is some adspace available on old newsletters. I'm sure there's plenty of companies out there that would gladly pimp out their old newsletters for a few extra bucks.
2. Webmaster Tools:
The Not Found section, pictured below, shows all of the pages that Google can no longer find. It also shows the number of links pointing to each page. Are there any pages that can be redirected to an updated page that's currently being targeted? Are there any pages that could be 301 redirected to the homepage? Webmaster tools is one of the few places where Google truly tells you what's up.
3. Press Release Services
There are dozens of press release services available for when you want to spread you big news. While these aren't internal links as the post says, these are entirely under your control....unless you're unaware.
Answer the following questions before using an unfamiliar or new service:
- Does the release level you're selecting allow for links?
- Does it allow for custom anchor text or only absolute links?
- Is there a certain text threshold required before the release qualifies for links?
- Are there different character limit levels that could allow more links in the release? (eg: under 500 allows 1 link, 501 - 1000 allows 2 links)
- Are links not allowed in the opening paragraph? This is important when other sites pick up the release and only list the first 250 characters or so.
- Are any weird redirects placed on links?
When you're paying for a release, you want to make the most of your linking opportunity within it. Don't be misled by the stipulations some release sites have listed above.
4. Unused Websites:
Whether they were purchased for a contest that is now over, purchased for the common site misspelling or whatever reason, there are often stagnant links that aren't being used to their fullest potential. As Laura mentioned in a previous post about Starbucks, they STILL have not linked over an old contest page that has hundreds of external links. While Starbucks probably doesn't need the links from this contest to rank, 99% of other companies do. So...
- Find old websites
- 301 redirect any misspelling or duplicate content sites not being used to your original site.
- 301 redirect old contest sites to a related page or back to your homepage.
- Benefit from corking your link juice.
5. Old Press Releases:
We covered new press releases, but what if you have an internal press release section that's dated back for years?
- Find releases with value (backlinks, PR, still cached somewhat frequently)
- Search for anchor text you can use & link it up to currently targeted pages
- Strip out old unnecessary links
- Reward yourself by reading about awkward office conversations.
6. Duplicate pages splitting link value:
Again, this is something that can be solved by digging into WMTools. Google lists out in the HTML Suggestions tab under Diagnostics where your site has duplicate title tags. If the engines don't like duplicate content and they are reporting on the pages that have duplicate title tags, checking out the pages could lead you to find duplicates caused by capitalization in the urls (eg: examplesite.com/Bananarama vs examplesite.com/bananarama)
Link value could be split, especially if your url structure isn't consistent across the site.
7. Secure pages & Non WWW vs WWW:
The last one is less involved than all the others, but seven is such a nice number. Make sure https pages aren't showing up and that the non-www version is being 301 redirect to the www version or vice versa.
There are dozens of ways to get the most out of your existing links. Drop some favorites as comments if so moved.