Links are important in helping us find helpful, relevant, and informative material. However, have you ever clicked on a link on someone’s website page, only to get the dreaded 404 error message? We’ve all done it, and sometimes it’s at the worst times. A few things to keep in mind when building links are:
Relevance is everything when building links, because they are a courtesy to your viewers and saves them time. If I company sells dishes and uses a link that directs to a car dealership, then that link is not valuable to their customer at all.
When we take the time to go through our website to see if all of our links are working accurately, we remove the frustration that visitors to our website might feel if they were to click a dead link. This is something I do, free of charge, when I’m finished with a research project for a client. Providing links is just not enough; we need to make sure that the links work.
Links to Sites That Don’t Exist
Sometimes, even when we have been careful to make sure that a clickable link pointed visitors to a site of interest, the site has moved or is no longer active. So, it’s important to check for broken links, and we need to check out where they lead to. If we’re pointing our links to another website, it’s a good idea to check once every few months to make sure that the link is not outdated and that it leads to where you wanted it to.
Linking to Sites with a Bad Reputation
It’s been said that when we link to a site with a bad reputation, it’s not a costly mistake; it’s a deadly one. When we link to another site, Google considers it as an endorsement. Even if the site is offering to pay you to link to their site, it’s bad business to link to a site that you know has bad business ethics.
Check, Check, Check
Finally, check from time to time, to make sure that you’re okay with endorsing the companies that you link your site to. Another company could have taken on the domain name, and you could end up embarrassed as to where your website visitors have been directed.