Broken Link Building

How to Exploit Broken Links for SEO Growth

Broken Link BuildingWe have all been down the road before. You click on a hyperlink within an article hoping to find some extra information, or a new resource, and instead you are greeted with the dreaded 404 Error letting you know that the content you are looking for cannot be found, or is no longer there. While it is frustrating and disappointing, it also means that an opportunity is waiting for you. 

While it may come as no surprise to anyone, it is true that broken internal links on your blog can have huge negative implications and ruin the experience of people visiting your site. If you have broken links on your own site, it is important that you get in right away and clean them up by replacing them, relinking them, or switching content all together. However broken links can be on your own site, broken links offsite can actually come with a lot of opportunities for you. 

When broken links are offsite, they can provide you with an opportunity to expand your SEO work by working on strategic link building. 

What is Broken Link Building

Links are the connective tissue of the internet. To mix metaphors, they are the roads connecting all of the information people search. Clickable hyperlinks within stories help direct the flow of traffic from one website to another seamlessly. As such, these roads can be used to your advantage. 

Link building is done when you strategically gather links that will allow you to point from other websites or content back to your own blog, website, or content. This helps add clicks leading to your site’s most important pages. However, this system can also bolster your site’s SEO standings, which will help you climb the rankings and become established as an authority. 

Link building it vital to the growth and health of your website, and as such, it is labor-intensive and time consuming. So, it can be handy to have helpful alternatives like Broken Link Building. 

Broken Link Building has been developed from something that SEO experts call Link Rot, which is the tendency for links to break overtime, websites to shutdown, or developers to ignore the upkeep on their product/blogs. The result of all of this is countless hyperlinks within articles, blogs, news posts etc. leading to dead links and 404 error pages. 

These dead links are annoying for users and can be devastating to site owners and operators. Because of Link Rot and the frustration of dead links, there is a space for the broken link building strategy to take place. You do this by finding broken links on pages that are related to or relevant to your own content, niche, website, or developing brand. When you find these links, contact the author or webmaster of the article with the dead hyperlink and offer your own, fresh, maintained and working link as a replacement for the link leading to a 404 Error page and consumer frustration.

This strategy can be labor intensive, but the end result is very rewarding for your SEO gains and your content. One of the main reasons for this is the strategy is beneficial for everyone involved. The original website is improved by having working, live hyperlinks and you benefit from having more traffic directed towards your website, articles, or blogs.

Most Effective Broken Link Building Methods

Premium Method 

This is referred to the premium method not because it is inherently better, but because it does require you to have access to SEO tools, which do not always fit the budget of every website or blog.

Using SEO tools available, you can create a list of web pages that you want to build backlinks from (whether they are sites of industry authorities, niche blogs, or websites with a large intersection with the audience of your content.) 

After you compile this list of known sites, you should run a Google search for your specific keywords and add the top search result domains to your list. This is an important step because it will help you add websites that you may have forgotten about or simply overlooked when coming up with your own list. 

These SEO tools will allow you to run an analysis on these websites which can be filtered to show you a list of all of the 404 error pages that are linked to from these sites. 

Once you have a collection of links and pages, you can use the online resource the Wayback Machine to see what these links looked like before they stopped working. This will help give you a clear picture of what kind of information the webmaster wanted to link to, and you can rebuild that content in your own style, or even create original work that is closely related. You can then pitch your own website to the webmaster knowing that your content is exactly what the original intent to link to was. 

The Free Method

The free method works in the same way that the previous method does. However, instead of using premium SEO tools, it works with a few free web browser plugins such as Check My Links to find the broken links on your desired website list. Contact us today for your free assessment!