Did you know that outbound links on your website could hurt your search rankings?
It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
The harsh reality is that Google takes a VERY dim view to any behavior that results in the manipulation of a websites organic search ranking.
That includes links pointing to your site and your outbound links.
And you want to keep on Google’s good side right?
So how can we manage our outbound links without having to go through posts, pages and blog comments with a fine tooth comb?
It can be done in a way that doesn’t involve excessive amounts of time or in depth SEO knowledge – really.
The answer is a plugin called LinkPatrol and in this review I’ll show you exactly what it is, how it will help keep your website healthy and save you an inordinate amount of time in the process.
What is LinkPatrol?
LinkPatrol is a WordPress plugin from the team at Search Engine Journal that allows you to manage your outbound links.
You can find potentially damaging links and anchor text through various reporting options. You can then strip the link or add a nofollow tag to help keep your outbound link profile healthy.
You have the option to sort by authors, domains and keywords which makes this process very easy.
No more having to manage outbound links by hand because you can resolve these issues in bulk with a few clicks.
LinkPatrol works in conjunction with your existing SEO plugin to keep your site outbound link profile healthy and improve user experience.
Who can really benefit from LinkPatrol?
The short answer is that anyone who runs a website or blog would be able to benefit from LinkPatrol. But what interest me are specific examples of how it can be used and by whom.
Let’s take a look at some specific examples:
A website owner that receives a link removal request
Companies that have been hit by Google’s updates (e.g. Penguin) and lost their rankings resort to sending out rather un-targeted emails without doing the leg work to figure out which links to actually remove.
Generally speaking this means that the link has been added to your site possibly through a blog comment or through a guest post with the purpose of manipulating Google’s algorithm.
Using LinkPatrol you can search for the domain and remove all of the offending URL’s in bulk. This process previously would have taken anything between 30 minutes to weeks depending on how many links were left.
You are the editor of a blog and contributors have been linking out to dodgy domains
If you’re in charge of the editorial side of things for a blog and have multiple contributors, there may come a time when you find out that authors have been linking out to domains they shouldn’t.
There have been occasions where contributors get approached by link building agencies and offered payment in exchange for links/mentions.
If this happens you can use LinkPatrol to filter down right to the individual author and see which sites they’ve been linking too. You can also filter by domain and then strip the links or no follow them with a few clicks.
You have affiliate links on your site that need nofollow tags adding
Affiliate links are considered to be paid links in Google’s eyes so it makes sense to add a nofollow tag to them.
This stops them from manipulating Google’s algorithm, or at least it’s supposed to. In any case it’s worth adding just in case.
With LinkPatrol you can add a nofollow tag on a per domain basis. Adding the tag manually can be VERY time consuming.
There are plenty more…
There are a lot more ways you can use these plugin, these are just a number of the examples that stand out right now.
How easy is it to get started with LinkPatrol?
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you just need to run an initial scan:
After running the initial scan, you won’t need to worry. Every time a post/page is added or updated, it will be scanned for you.
This means the on-going impact on your web host will be minimal.
Once the scan is complete, you will be able to see your outbound link profile at a glance:
The dashboard looks great and makes the entire process much easier to follow.
You then have 3 more tabs:
- Domain reports
- Author reports
- Keyword search
These allow you to get right to the very core of what’s going on with your outbound links.
Let’s talk about LinkPatrol’s features…
I can see that an incredible amount of thought has gone into LinkPatrol and it’s tailor built to solve a very specific problem that no other WordPress plugin has been able to solve.
At a top level, LinkPatrol will help you:
- Remove spammy links.
- Remove questionable anchor text.
- Monitor links and keywords to keep your site healthy.
Let’s dive a bit deeper – what can it really do?
- “At a glance” domain reports.
- Helpful filtering options via domain, author or keywords.
- See the breakdown between internal/external links.
- Strip links in posts or pages.
- Strip links from comments.
- No follow links in posts or pages.
- No follow links in comments.
- Monitor links and keywords.
- One click undo to restore links.
- Minimal impact on server resources.
- CSV data exports.
LinkPatrol pro’s and con’s
- Straight forward and easy to use.
- See your outbound link profile at a glance.
- 1 click to remove links in bulk or individually.
- 1 click to add nofollow tags in bulk or individually.
- Minimal impact on server resources (it’s light weight).
- No way to analyze links – but this is best left to external SEO tools.
- You can’t check for links that are redirects or broken – In a way this is a good thing because the server impact of running this feature would be huge.
Wrapping up and how you can save 15% on LinkPatrol
I believe that LinkPatrol solves a serious problem that webmasters, site owners, editors and bloggers alike have been struggling with for a while now.
It’s valuable tool in anyone’s arsenal.