Broken link building is an SEO strategy in which you increase your web traffic by recreating contents and linking this new resource to broken or dead links of a popular webpage. In short, you find broken links and replace them with your own.  In this way, you can use popular webpage as one your link or conduit to your own page. In replacing broken or dead links, you help update and revitalize the content of old popular websites and give it a new lease or life.

Importance of Broken Link Building

Broken Link Building is important because apparently everybody wants all links on their website to fully function and updated. Any instance of a dead link can result to poor user experience that will negatively affect the image of website or the company it represents. So helping people fix their broken links is important to website.

As an SEO strategy however, broken link building is one of the most effective technique to enhance the organic search ability of a website.  Fixing broken links is vital because backlinks are of the major factors that correlate to higher rankings. Maintaining your links update and live is critical to put and keep your website in top ranking position. This is also true in Google searches.  However, more than just having many backlinks, having an assorted source of referring domains is also vital for ranking high.   Note however that your referring domains where you create links must be a quality site or an authoritative domain. Links are an aspect that Google utilizes to determine significance, knowledge authority, and popularity of subject matter. Here are tips for broken link building.

Learn common link building techniques.  Learning basic link building strategies such as guest blogging, mentioning authoritative influencers and using info graphics is important in broken link building because it helps you determine which referring domains to target to start your broken link building and provide you the opportunity to create your own name/ authority so that people will permit you to be the replacement for their dead links.  For instance, by guest blogging in different sites, which already have tons of viewers or market, you obliquely gain authority on a subject via a trickle- down effect. You enjoy the same reputation of the popular site when you guest blog in the said site. Once you achieve this, you can also gain trust and confidence of quality referring domains to replace their dead links. You should equally make a name for yourself first before you can go replacing dead links.

Search for dead links and replace them.  Prospecting for dead links and creating a substitute for them the basic idea and work in broken link building.  The concept is simple but could be tiring and difficult if you don’t have a strategy.  Visiting the popular sites and manually scanning and looking for dead links in it would be time consuming and tough. Here are some ways to find relevant dead links:

  1. Use online apps for finding dead links. Yes, there are specialized apps that you can use to find dead links. These apps were originally designed for webmasters, web developers and content editors in order to regularly check if their links are all working. This time, SEO experts also use them to find their broken link building efforts.  One of commonly used easy to use online app is “Check my Links,” a Google Chrome extension that scans a webpage to search for broken links by highlighting it. Another tool you can use is the “Broken Link Checker”.  It basically works the same as the aforementioned app.  However, aside from determining functioning and broken/ dead links in your webpage, it also analyses the external links by reporting links to your page with 404 errors. Meanwhile, you can also use an app to assess the strength or authority of a page/ site.  The “Majestic Backlink Analyzer” allows you see who are linking to the page you are browsing, which helps you evaluate the potency of a page or site based on its backlink information.  You can use this tool to find dead pages on the major sites in your specific subject matter or niche. There are other tons of apps available to help you in your efforts to search for dead links that provide additional features.  Learning to use them can definitely help you speed up the process for your broken link building.
  2. Find Expired Domains. Finding expired or deleted domains with high metrics can help you find opportunities for your broken inbound links, which you can serve to replace. Fortunately finding dead domains is also automated by using the search sites such as Expiredomains.net and GoDaddy.com, among others. The former specializes in identifying expired, deleted and dropped domains. What you need to do is simply visit said websites and enter the correct relevant keyword to your search for dead site and links that you can use. The latter on the other hand is an Internet domain registrar and web hosting company that also helps in determining dead domains. Another site for searching expired domains is Flippa, which specialize in buying and selling online businesses.
  3. Check Wikipedia. Another way to find opportunities for broken link building is searching for dead links in Wikipedia. As biggest and comprehensive online free encyclopedia in the Internet, replacing dead links in Wikipedia is one sure way to boost your reputation. Finding dead links in Wikipedia is easy because it’s candid about its dead links as it openly identifies them especially in its footnotes. Moreover, it also has a special page that that list articles with dead links.
  4. Search for outdated content in Google. One way to approach broken link building is finding outdated links or outdated content. This can be achieved in Google for instance by making a customized date range search. In this way, you can immediately trim down sites or contents that need updating.

Proper Outreach.  Once you have identified the dead link to replace, you need to write to the site’s owner and ask permission from them that you will replace link or content for their broken link.  Aside from making a nice pitch, you should personalized your message to the owner so that you will be rewarded the permission or license to provide the updated substitute to the dead or broken link.