Lost a few backlinks with your site migration? Here's how to fetch them back

Piranha Designs - Tuesday, February 05, 2019

You can't expect your site to fare particularly well in Google's search rankings if you neglect the task of collecting backlinks. That's because Google's algorithm has long counted a backlink as a vote of confidence in the linked-to site; that tradition has held since the search engine's 1990s genesis.

For that reason, as your site wins hard-earned backlinks, you should treasure them. Alas, some of those backlinks could disappear without you realising – perhaps because you have migrated your site from one platform to another and inadvertently left backlinks behind.

Why can site migrations break your backlinks?

In replatforming your site, you are almost definitely going to produce new URLs for it. If a migration led you to change the URLs of pages that had attracted backlinks, you should have put in place 301 redirects for all of those pages to keep the SEO juice flowing.

However, if you omitted this particular readjustment, you might have been left with a large pile of faulty backlinks. Fortunately, you can reconnect those links – here’s a step-by-step guide to how.

Where we're going, we do need URLs

You don't have to jump into a time-travelling DeLorean to find out how sites used to link to yours – just use the Wayback Machine at https://web.archive.org to uncover lots of pages from years gone by. With a tool like Screaming Frog, you can use the Machine to extract many legacy URLs.

Still, how can you quickly tell which of these links work and which don't? Turn again to Screaming Frog. Switch its crawler to list mode, upload or paste the ageing URLs you have amassed, and click start to leave Screaming Frog detecting which of these URLs are properly resolving.

A URL would be improperly resolving if it leads to a 404 page, so you should consider getting a 301 redirect in place for each one. However, you also ought to make sure each redirect is to a page that is as close in relevance to the old one as possible; don't just redirect all of those outdated URLs to your homepage.

With some of your old backlinks having possibly faded in SEO power over time, you might want to augment them with a few new ones. We can add those, thanks to our search engine marketing packages – just call our Gibraltar head office on (+350) 200 45599 to learn more about what these plans entail.

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