Who would have thought that your links would lose value as time goes on. Well it does happen, just look at your press releases and your articles for distribution, ok well its obvious that those are going to lose value, right? But what about those one way links or linking partners you may have. How do those lose value? There is no real “quick” answer as to how or why they do, at this point, it’s just a theory.

I know some of you are probably asking yourself well how did you come up with this theory, well besides the countless SEO’s that have noticed this trend, it has also been a part of my site optimization experience that some links lose their value over time. So how do the links diminish in value?

Site/Page has not been updated in x amount of days

    If a site is only updated once a month there is a good chance that Google and the other Search Engines will not visit that site very often; maybe once a month to once every two to three months. If you have a link on that site, it is not necessarily in your benefit to have the site spidered so infrequently. Although every time the search engines spider the site, they see your link and it passes value, but since they come by so rarely, the link slowly begins to lose value. If the owner of the site where your link sits then moves to only updating the site once every few months your link will get even weaker.

    If this was a link partnership you had with the site and your site gets crawled once a week while his only gets crawled once every couple months you are passing a lot more value to him then he is to you. It might be time to remove his link from your site and forget about the one you get back from him.

    This is something else that we have talked about before when looking for link partners or one way links. You want to make sure that the site has been cached within a month. Also check the bottom or around the site for a copyright date. I like to recommend that the site copyright is not older than 2-3 years old. Occasionally, webmasters do forget to update the copyright so a 2-3 year difference is about the longest I would go.


When you are consistantly building fresh links the diminishing value will not have as much of an effect you

This is why it is very important that you keep track of all your link building efforts. Make sure you find a very good backlink tool (yahoo site explorer, link diagnosis, backlink analyzer, Linkscape). It is also important that you monitor your link partners constantly. If you have a link partnership in place make sure your link is on there and make sure their page is continually getting cached on a regular basis. Monitoring your link partners is similar to the way you found them to begin with.

You should be regularly checking the:

  • Cache Date –
    • Like stated above you want to make sure the cache date of the page or site is no more than a month old. If it is older than a month you should be able to get the idea that Google doesn’t visit their site very often and your link is not getting the value is should be receiving.
  • Sites they are linking to –
    • Between the time you first started the link partnership to when you checked on your link (should be monthly) have they added any more links and more importantly are those links spam sites? If they are linking to a spam site the Search Engines tend to believe that they are a spam site as well which means you get little to no link value.
  • Spam factor –
    • Re-evaluate their site and make a judgment call on if the site has become more of a spam site over a normal site. You don’t want to be linking to their site anymore if they appear spammy. Not only will your link not pass as much value, you also may get penalized because you are now linking to a spam site.
  • Copyright date –
    • We talked a bit about this above, check their copyright date if it is a couple years off I wouldn’t worry, if they are four or more years overdue, I would email them and let them know. If you don’t receive anything from them after that then it might be time for you to remove their link from your site.

This is another reason why it is so SO important that you keep an ongoing link building program in place. You don’t want to do all this work just to see your site drop off again in a few months. Keep adding more links to your profile so if you lose one or two here and there it won’t hurt you. I would love to hear from some of you as far as an opinion on this matter as well. It can be very hard at times to explain to clients how important link building really is.