Optimizing Your Dead Links!

by : Rick Hoogendoorn

I have been reading, with great interest, all the online advice about how to optimize a website. We have a financial planning business in Victoria, BC. Like most towns, there are lots of financial planners, investment advisors, insurance agents, brokers, dealers, and Starbuck’s locations here. Somehow we needed to find a way to stand out, perhaps by getting our meta-tags in order.

For a time, we were looking fabulous in searches on Google, but our site couldn’t be found on Yahoo! Then we got the Yahoo search engine figured out … but promptly disappeared off of Google. Now I thought this optimizing thing would fix it once and for all.

The strategy made sense. You have your title designed, and it ties in with your meta-tags and content. You have your meta-tags match your content. You think about what content you actually want to have. I spent an hour or three on several of our site’s pages optimizing like crazy. Poof!

We were nowhere on Google and now I had successfully torpedoed our site on Yahoo! There were old (really old) dead link pages cropping up in searches for us on Yahoo. The brand spanking new, optimized pages were nowhere to be found. Huh?

Perhaps I needed to wait for the spiders and robots to visit. Day after day I would check. Financial Planning Victoria? Nope. Financial Planner Victoria? Nope. CFP Victoria BC? Nothing.

And then, today, I checked Yahoo and there we were #1 or #2 on Yahoo for all kinds of different search terms! It works!!! We were top ranked for at least three dozen different search terms! Financial Planner Victoria - #1! Retirement Victoria BC - #1! Tax planner Victoria - #1! And so on. I was thrilled.

I sent an email to everybody in the office bragging about it, and then set about creating our e-newsletter which tells clients about our website updates each month. I uploaded the new articles. One was about the wonders of technology. I encountered some weird loading prompts. I checked the website. It was extremely slow in loading. I checked it again. The main page was a dead link this time! I checked again, and while the main page loaded, the navigation bar only loaded partially. Dead link. Slow load. Nothing!

Here I had spent all this time optimizing pages and on the day it works, people will be clicking through to dead links! So I am now leaning out the second storey window, holding the computer by the cords in one hand, whilst finishing this article in the other. Should I drop the computer on the street? Come on! Lemme do it! Please! I'm swinging it around now like a lasso. I think I can hang it up on the telephone wires like an old pair of sneakers!