Using Broken Link Building to Build Quality Backlinks (Classic White-Hat)

link builing illustration

Broken link builing is one of the oldest white hat link building strategies that you can use to generate relevant backlinks to your website from high ranking sites in your niche.

How Broken Link Building Works

The concept of broken link building is a very simple one:

  1. You find a broken link ( a link that goes to a 404 page instead of the original resource which no longer exists) on a top ranking website in your niche.
  2. You use archive.org to find out what the original resource looked like. You create a similar or better resource than the original piece of content.
  3. You pitch your content to the website owner and anyone that is still linking to the dead link. For example, if there are 45 other pages linking to the dead link, it means you have 45 other link prospects tht you can potentially reach out to.

Broken link building is a numbers game. It doesn’t have a high success rate across all verticals. In fact, in some niches, the success rate can be less than 5%. But the more links you find and the more emails you send out, the higher your chances of success will be, because no one really wants dead links on their website.

If you have recreated the content and it is just as good or even better than the original, then you have a very good chance of acquiring an editorial link from a relevant site in your niche. This can have a powerful impact on your organic search ranking in the search engines.

The Broken Link Building Process

  1. Search for sites in your niche using a range of advanced search operators:
    • “keyword” + “resources”
    • “keyword” + “resource pages”
    • “keyword” + “intitle:links”
    • “keyword” + “intitle:resources”
  2. Install the Check My Links Chrome extension, and check each page tht you found. This tool will highlight any broken links it finds on a page in red.
  3. Once you have found a dead link, check archive.org to see what the original content looked like.
  4. Check whether you have resource-worthy content that you can pitch to the website owner. If not, you will have to create something similar, preferably better and more up-to-date.
  5. Once you have created a similar resource, reach out to the website and offer your link as a replacement.
  6. Use ahrefs, Majestic or any other link analysis tool that you use to find other sites linking to the deadlink. Ahrefs has a broken links tool that you can use to find broken link opportunities.
  7. Reach out to the other people and pitch your content to them.

Additional Reading

Backlinko

Quicksprout

Ahrefs

Moz

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