What are Link Echoes and Link Ghosts: How Do They Affect Your SEO?

There’s a lot to know when you’re dealing with SEO. One concept you may not have heard of before is the Link Echo or Link Ghost. What are they, and how do they affect your SEO? Read on to find out everything you need to know.

How Links Work In Your SEO Strategy

First of all, we need to examine links and their place within your SEO strategy.

A backlink is a link to your site that’s elsewhere online. A good quality backlink is one that is on a high-quality webpage, one that ranks highly with Google and other search engines. Part of your strategy should be organically growing your backlinks profile with other sites.

The more of these links there are, the higher status you’ll get from search engine algorithms. The thinking goes that if you’re getting more links from other, high-quality sites, then you must be a well known and good quality site yourself. This will help you make your own way up the rankings. Alongside other SEO strategies, they can really help you get in front of your intended audience.

What are Link Echoes and Link Ghosts?

A link echo, also known as a link ghost, is the residual search engine optimization ranking power that an off page backlink has on a targeted web page even after the backlink has been deleted from the web page.

Sometimes, a link will be removed from a site. This can happen for various reasons, including:

  • It can be deleted along with content because of style, mistakes in the content, and so on.
  • It can be part of a limited time offer or competition, so the link’s taken down once the offer is over.
  • The website that hosted the link has been taken down or no longer exists.
  • The website that hosted the link has been edited or taken down for a period of time, as often happens when they’re being redesigned. That means that the link is no longer live.

seo backlink ghostsThese are just a few reasons, but there can be many more why a link is taken down. Whatever the reason, the link no longer exists online.

However, researchers have found that even though the link is gone, the effect of the link is still seen in SEO rankings. Search engine algorithms aren’t known by the public, so there’s no clear-cut reason why this is. SEO-specialist, Daniel Perkins from Paper Fellows says: “The research saw that when links were included, the rankings shot up. Once the links were removed though, the rankings stayed as they were, for quite a sustained period of time.”

Those links that are no longer online are known as link echoes or ghosts, as their effect is still being felt online.

What This Means for Your Marketing

seo backlink ghosts

Link echoes are a real boon for many websites, as the effect is still felt even though the link no longer exists. People may not be able to click through to your site anymore, but you’re still going to get more clicks from search engines.

Sites like Australian Help and UK Writings have seen this effect, as they’ve been mentioned by sites such as the Huffington Post. Even as posts have been altered or removed, they’ve still seen increased traffic thanks to the link’s effect as a link echo.

This means that it’s incredibly important to be building up that links profile. The more you have, the better traffic you’ll have, even if those links go down later on. This means that you’ll need to work on building them up if you haven’t already.

If you want to be getting those links, you’ll need to ensure that your site is one worth linking to. You should already be looking to create content on a regular basis, which will keep you in the public eye as a current site. As well as this though, you need to ensure that that content is relevant and useful to your readers.

You can do this in a number of ways. For example, if your readers are looking for ‘how-to’ content, write posts that break down how to do tasks that are related to your business. If you run a gardening blog, write posts on how to plant seedlings at the right time of year. It’s all about giving your readers what they need.

As well as this, start building up relationships with other sites so you can get those links. You can offer to let them guest post on your blog, and so you can post on theirs in return. These guest posts naturally build up backlinks, which will benefit you in the long run.

How to Gain More Backlinks

Ok, so you’re going to need more backlinks. How do you do that? Here are some tips:

  • Put out high-quality content: Make sure your content is worth linking to. Are you worth reading? Ensure your content is of the best quality, and useful to readers. Use Via Writing and Grammarix to improve grammar, and State Of Writing‘s writing guides to help you here.
  • Make your text technically flawless: Ensure your work is well proofread, to avoid any errors that will put others off linking to you. Use a site like Big Assignments to avoid style errors or mistakes in your work.
  • Build up relationships with other sites: Reach out to other sites and ask if they could link to you. Perhaps you could team up on posts or contests to make this natural.
  • Properly cite your own links: Return the favor by linking back to websites. Use Cite It In to ensure you’re citing them properly.
  • Guest post: Many sites will ask for guest writers. If you post with them, you’ll be able to place your link with them.  There are also many great blog outreach services that can help you get brand mentions and quality back links from high authority, niche and influencer blogs.
  • Hire a link building agency: The are also many professional link building services that can help you gain high quality, relevant backlinking from authority websites.
  • Use a an SEO tool like Linkio to plan, track, automate, and report your link building efforts


As you can see, link echoes are a good side effect of having a strong amount of backlinks around the web. Even if you lose a link, you’ll get the benefit of them with your SEO. Try building up your own links, so you can take advantage of them when they appear online. Creating good relationships with other sites and posting up good content regularly will help you achieve this.

About the author

brenda bergBrenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. She is self motivated results driven individual who is encouraged to travel and share gained experience in career, business and self-development.

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