Link Echoes & Link Ghosts: How Do They Affect Your SEO?

Implementing SEO into your content and your website may seem like an endless and overwhelming task. After all, there are over 200 individual guidelines to consider, so one can never be sure which ones to prioritize to get your pages to the top of the search engine result pages.

To keep you in the know, today, we’ll explore the ins, and outs, of links, in particular, ghost links and link echoes and they’ll affect your rating and therefore your lead generation statistics.

First, let’s explore what these actually are. Link ghosts are links from external sources, such as a partnered website that have been removed or deleted.

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This could occur for countless reasons. Some of the most common reasons include the other website going offline, temporarily or permanently, or the content in which your link was posted has been deleted.

A link echo is the same thing. It’s just another term for it, and you can use the terms how you please.

The effects these terms had on SEO rankings first occurred when a team at Moz, a platform that assists in boosting SEO rankings, was working on a project. The Moz team found that the process of removing a link on another site had no effect on the SEO ranking on a website or a content post.

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In the worst cases, the ranking dropped ever so slightly. However, over time (five months), these pages with link ghosts were significantly higher on the search engine results pages than they were before the test. As a result, they concluded that link ghosts actually boosted a page’s SEO ranking.

To prove this theory, two tests were carried out between writing service providers, State of Writing and Best Australian Writers. To start with, the first website was ranked at position 30 while the other was at 13.

Each website received 22 links on other websites. As expected, the website rankings shot up to position 1 and position 5. The links were subsequently removed, and the results added up. There was next-to-no change at all. The websites stayed in the same place.

To ensure there wasn’t any mistake, the same theory was carried out similar writing service websites with similar keywords, Resumention and UK Top Writers. The results were shockingly similar.

In fact, when checked back four to five months later, the results of the test had remained in effect.  So, the technique works. But what does this mean for SEO practices and how does it affect your website?

There are countless ways you could interpret this data and use it to your advantage. However, there are two main points you should remember.

Firstly, if you manage to acquire quality links with leading websites through partnerships or guest posts, the effects of these links will remain on your benefits for months to come, even if the content or the links have been deleted.

This means one of your leading strategies should source out new and innovative ideas on how to get your links onto these leading websites.

Secondly, this technique and the effects can backfire dramatically. If your website is hit by a black-hat SEO attack or you try and boost your website’s ranking by investing in frowned upon or illegitimate sources, this will negatively affect your SEO ranking, when Google finds you out.

When this happens, which it eventually will, the effects of this action could damage your website’s ranking and its credibility for months, even years to come.

Links are a vital part of an SEO practice, even more so with this new information, so you must be smart with where you place them, now more than ever.


Author Bio: Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at Letsgoandlearn.com

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