I‘ve heard it a few times lately that adding new links to your old content can somehow hurt your search engine rankings.
First of all, why would you want to do that, right?
Here are a couple of scenarios for you:
1. Deep linking.
So you wrote a post and now you are starting your link building campaign in order to rank it for a specific keyword.
What’s the easiest way to build a few links to the post, possibly even from well-ranking pages? By using your own blog and building links from older related posts to the new one – this is called deep or internal linking.
2. Updating a post.
Imagine you have a post that is already ranking highly on search engines, but the content is a bit outdated.
What happens when the search engine traffic visits that post?
They see that the info is not up-to-date and leave your site to look for a better answer. You miss out on converting that traffic to potential loyal readers and subscribers, plus increase your bounce rate.
The simple answer is to update that post with more current information, add a few links to current resources on the topic if needed and the post is as good as new.
Will it hurt your rankings?
I was always of the opinion that adding links to an already published post doesn’t carry negative consequences from Google.
Now I have 132 of the world’s best SEO experts supporting me on this… well, most of them, anyway – according to Rand Fishkin’s of SEOmoz.org 2011 Search Engine Factors report.
What it comes down to is weighing the potential benefit of adding new links to a published post against some vague threat from Google.
Ping Your Post
A couple of weeks ago we talked about pinging: what it is, how to take advantage of it, and how to avoid being labeled as a “pinging spammer”.
Assuming that you actually took my advice and are now using a plugin that prevents WordPress from automatically pinging your posts each time you edit them (bad for business), you now need to make sure to ping your newly updated post by hand.
This way you’ll notify the search engines that there is new info on the page and, hopefully, trigger a new crawl.
I do tend to update my higher ranking posts every once in a while to ensure that the content is fresh and relevant.
I am yet to see any problems from Google for doing that – and hope it stays that way. 🙂
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