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Broken link building refers to the practice of notifying webmasters of broken links on their pages and suggesting improved links, particularly to your own content.
As we discussed In Technique #47 of our 100 actionable SEO tips, link building necessitates strong people skills.
Broken link building employs the unfailing “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” principle.
Use broken link building to greatly increase your fleet of backlinks from authoritative websites. Pretty quickly, you will note a rise in your organic search engine rankings.
Broken link building is sustainable and ethical.
By assisting webmasters in your niche area, you are delivering more valuable content to their users, who might be seeking your kind of information.
It is important to find resource pages that are authoritative to give you the most (and best) backlinks.
Find resource pages in your industry by using search engines. Type (your niche) + inurl:”recommended links” and see what the search engine churns out.
Instead of “recommended links,” you might want to try search terms like “useful links,” “useful resources,” “recommended sites,” “suggested sites” or “suggested links” to extract the most relevant pages.
OR check out the Broken Link Builder by Citation Labs.
You will likely find that relevant industry resource pages with “Recommended Links” are best for dropping your own links.
Roundup posts are also good for link building, though they are tougher nuts to crack.
Roundup posts feature terrific resources about a specific topic, but they cannot be altered once published.
So if your page did not make the cut, it never will.
😩 Womp womp.
Upon locating your perfect resource page or other place you would like to build backlinks, find only the links that direct to 404 error pages.
Certain tools will spare you from manually opening each and every link.
You can also use Ahref’s Site Explorer to view the backlink profiles of different websites and URLs.
Now you must discover the content of the error page by searching its URL on the Wayback Machine.
This gives you the cached version of the page during the time when it was still online (or in its old place).
Begin with the date the cached version was last saved on Wayback and move along the calendar as necessary to find the time when linking to the page did not reveal an error message.
When you get there, be sure to identify why the content was important and considered a resourceful link. Only if the error page no longer exists on the Internet (not simply relocated) should you incorporate good bits of the “error” content onto your page so that you have more leverage when acquiring a link from your target site.
The time is now to think like a reader.
Fill in whatever information you believe is missing from the “error” content as well as missing from the original website with the resource page from which you are hoping to generate a backlink.
Lastly, email the webmasters of the site in which you found the broken link.
Be conscientious of timing and use good grammar, a compelling subject line, common courtesy, the whole nine yards.
Make it seem like you are not affiliated with pages to which you suggest links.
Be clever, especially in explaining how you found the resource page in the first place.
Don’t give the impression that you are looking for ways to build links!
Adding one or two other suggested links to your email will also make your broken link building practices less conspicuous. Simply informing site owners of broken links and prodding them to use yours is not courteous and will likely backfire.
Never be pushy.
Ironically, those backlinks will come if you are less set on building links. You win big, and other sites improve their own pages.
Conclusively, broken link building takes a long time.
It is a huge undertaking and not for lazy website owners. But if implemented correctly, you could see a surge in your search engine rankings.