Saturday, April 21, 2007

Link Rot and Its SEO Effects

Dead link or broken link is a link on the world wide web pointing to a website, web page or web server that may either be permanently unavailable or temporarily inaccessible . The most common result of a dead link is a 404 error, which indicates that the web server responded to a query but the specific page could not be found and loaded in your browser.
The browser may also return a DNS error or the temporary unavailability indicating that a web server could not be found at that specifically intended domain name. Any link may also be called dead because of some form of blocking such as content filters, anti-spy or firewalls which are all configurable on their settings. Most webmasters make mistakes here seeing dead links permanently but actually just having problems on their settings of either of the three factors.

There is actually another type of dead link which i would like to personally call as "irrelevant link"wherein a certain URL that points to a site unrelated to the content sought becomes virtually useless to the visitor or to the original content itself. This type of dead link are the ones responsible for getting tagged as useless by most visitors to a webpage or website. This is also where many webmasters make mistakes and take for granted their SEO efforts for the sake of giving one-way outbound links to their advantage to inflate or overpopulate their website's link popularity campaign sheets.This can also sometimes occur when a domain name is allowed to lapse, and is subsequently re-registered by another party for ownership and giving other types of content to it as like buying stiff stable domains with multiple or numerous existing inbound links for a lesser effort on SEO and link building needs. Domain names acquired in this manner and advantage are attractive to those who wish to take a peek at the already existing stream of unsuspecting surfers that will inflate hit counters and Page Ranking (PR).

Link rot on the other hand is the process by which links on a website or webpage gradually becomes irrelevant or broken or sometimes dead for over a period of time as sites they link to disappear, change content, have DNS problems or redirect to new locations for whatever purpose they may serve the owner.

Therefore Link Rot is actually what becomes of any link, after a certain period of time of becoming a dead link, broken link or irrelevant link existing in the world wide web today. Link rot is also one of the most disregarded terms in seo these days although many webmasters are actually familiar with them and encounter them somewhere along the way on their seo life.

There is another existing phenomena on links based on a certain name called originally by the Dutch as "zangelding". According to wikipedia "links specially crafted to not resolve, as a type of meme, are known as Zangelding, which roughly translated from Dutch means tangle thing. A zangelding is basically a list of self referencing broken links."
This zangelding is actually a very popular technique but also a very unpopular as an SEO word at the same time as many of us webmasters and SEO personalities i am sure have tried doing it before or quite some time on our SEOing of webpages and websites that we handle personally.

Actually, this is very unbecoming or unethical to use or resort to as a webmaster but i myself has tried it also and am still continually doing to this point in time of my SEO and blogging life for my own reasons which i find ease doing.

According also to wikipedia, "dead links commonplace on the Internet can also occur on the authoring side, when website content is assembled, copied, or deployed without properly verifying the targets, or simply not kept up to date. Because broken links are to some very annoying, generally disruptive to the user experience, and can live on for many years, sites containing them are regarded as unprofessional."

So assessing overall the usability of these dead links, i would say it falls to "0" because of its natural characteristics and bad reputation as a word and as a tactic of usage. Although most of us webmaster never even bother at this terminology, still we cannot take our attention at these few things that some of us don't even know exists and is as popular as the best SEO personalities there are in the SEO umbrella.


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