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Broken Link Building: Unique Strategy to Build Quality Backlinks

Broken Link Building

The top-ranked page on Google typically has 3.8 times as many backlinks as those appearing in positions 2 through 10. A unique strategy to build links is Broken Link Building.

It is an underrated technique but can be very tricky to implement. 

The tricky part? Figuring out which website to look at for broken links. 

  • Do you check the website where you want your link to go? or 
  • Do you look for websites that have broken links you can replace with your own? 

It’s like trying to decide where to dig for treasure: where you want to bury your own or where there’s already a spot that needs filling.

Here, we are going to resolve all this confusion. We are going to discuss how link building can be done with the help of broken links. And how it is the most efficient way to build quality links.

What are Broken Links?

Broken links are hyperlinks on websites that no longer work due to the target web page being unavailable, moved without proper redirection, or deleted. These links can lead to a 404 error page, signaling to users and search engines that the content they’re trying to access doesn’t exist. 

Broken links negatively impact user experience by hindering access to desired information and can harm a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) by reducing its credibility and search rankings. Regularly identifying and fixing broken links is essential for maintaining website health and performance.

Benefits of Broken Link Building

Broken link building is like finding hidden treasures on the internet that can make your website shine brighter. Here’s why it’s so cool:

  1. Make New Friends: When you tell someone their links are broken and offer your link as a replacement, it’s like helping them out. They might be thankful and link back to your site. It’s a win-win!
  2. Boost Your Site’s Power: Search engines love websites that are well-connected with quality links. By fixing broken links with your awesome content, your site looks more valuable to search engines, and they might show your site higher in search results.
  3. Stand Out: There’s a lot of competition out there, but not everyone takes the time to fix broken links. Doing this can make your site stand out as more helpful and reliable than others.
  4. Help Your Readers: By replacing broken links with relevant and helpful content, you make sure your readers always find what they’re looking for. Happy readers mean more people visiting your site and sticking around.
  5. Save the Internet: Okay, maybe you won’t save the entire Internet, but by fixing broken links, you’re making the Internet a better place, one link at a time. It’s like being a superhero for a healthier, more connected web.

So, broken link building isn’t just about getting more links; it’s about building relationships, improving your site’s standing, and making the internet a better place. 

How Broken Link Building Works?

Broken link building is like a digital treasure hunt. You’re on the lookout for links that don’t work any more across the web. It’s a smart SEO strategy, blending detective work with outreach. While it’s a bit of effort, the payoff in boosting your site’s visibility and making new connections is huge. 

How Broken Link Building Works

Step 1: Locate Broken Links of Competitors

The first step in broken link building is like playing detective with your competitors’ websites. You’re on a mission to find links that lead to nowhere, the broken links. Here’s how you can do it step by step using tools:

  1. List Your Competitors: Start by making a list of your main competitors. These are the websites that have similar content or offer similar services to yours.
  2. Choose Your Tools: There are many tools out there that can help you find broken links. Some popular ones include Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz. These tools can scan a website and report back with links that don’t work.
  3. Enter Competitor’s Website: Take the website of one of your competitors and enter it into the tool. It’s like telling the tool where to start looking.
  4. Scan for Broken Links: Let the tool do its magic. It will crawl through the competitor’s website, checking every link to see if it leads to a live page or if it’s broken.
  5. Collect the Broken Links: Once the tool has finished scanning, it will give you a list of broken links. These are your opportunities. Save them because you’ll be using this list to find places where your content can be a perfect fit.
  6. Analyze Relevance: Quickly look through the broken links to see which ones are relevant to your content. Not every broken link will be a good fit for you to replace, so pick the ones that make sense for your website.

By following these steps, you can efficiently identify your competitors’ links that are broken. This process lays the groundwork for enhancing your website’s SEO and visibility by leveraging these found opportunities in the subsequent steps of broken link building.

Step 2: Find Broken Links on Resource Pages

After you’ve scoped out your competitors’ broken links, the next step is to hunt for broken links on resource pages. These pages are gold mines for broken link building because they’re meant to provide valuable information to readers through multiple links.

  1. Identify Resource Pages: Look for pages that list resources within your niche.
  2. Use Search Operators in Google: This can help you find pages with compilations of resources using keywords relevant to your industry plus terms like “links,” “resources,” or “useful sites.”
  3. Select a Broken Link Checking Tool: Use specialized tools like Broken Link Checker, Check My Links, or Dead Link Checker to scan for broken links on those resource pages.
  4. Check for Broken Links: Input the URLs of resource pages into your chosen broken link checker tool. It will crawl the page and identify any links that are not working.
  5. Compile a List of Broken Links: Save the broken links you find, focusing on those that are most relevant to your content or website.

Finding broken links on resource pages is a crucial step in broken link building. It allows you to identify opportunities where your content can add value, thereby helping you build backlinks that enhance your site’s SEO profile.

Step 3: Assess Link Opportunities

You have to decide which ones have the potential to make your website a star. Here’s how you can assess these link opportunities carefully:

  1. Check the Relevance: Look at each broken link you found and ask yourself, “Does this topic fit with my content?” You want to make sure that the link is closely related to what you offer or write about. If it’s a match, it’s a good candidate.
  2. Evaluate the Website’s Authority: Use tools like Moz’s Domain Authority or Ahrefs’ Domain Rating to see how influential the website is. Higher authority means the link is more valuable, giving your site a better SEO boost.
  3. Consider the Traffic: It’s also smart to check if the page where the broken link is found gets a good amount of traffic. More traffic means more eyes on your link if it gets replaced. Tools like SEMrush can help you see traffic estimates.
  4. Look at the Context: Where is the broken link placed? Is it in a prominent spot like the main content area or hidden away in a footer? Links in the main body of a page are usually more valuable because they’re more likely to be clicked on.
  5. Assess the Effort vs. Reward: Some broken links might require you to create entirely new content or significantly update existing content. Consider if the potential SEO and traffic benefits outweigh the effort you’ll need to put in.

By going through these steps, you ensure that you focus your efforts on the most promising opportunities. Remember, not all broken links are worth pursuing. Choose the ones that offer the best potential for boosting your website’s visibility and link authority.

Step 4: Develop Content for the Replacement Page

Creating content for the replacement page is like preparing a special dish that everyone’s been craving but couldn’t find on the menu. Here’s how you whip it up:

  1. Understand the Broken Link: First, figure out what the original content was about. You can use tools like the Wayback Machine to peek at what used to be there. This gives you a clue about what the audience is missing.
  2. Plan Your Content: Based on what you learned about the missing content, decide what you’re going to create. It should be relevant, valuable, and even better than what was there before. 
  3. Create High-Quality Content: Now, get down to writing, designing, or producing your content. Whether it’s an article, a video, or an infographic, make sure it’s top-notch. You want your content to be so good that website owners will be happy to link to it.
  4. Optimize for SEO: While you’re creating, remember to sprinkle some SEO magic on your content. Use keywords wisely, add meta titles and descriptions, and ensure your content is easily shareable. This not only makes your content more findable but also more appealing to link back to.
  5. Make It Better: Aim to make your content not just a replacement but an upgrade. Add fresh insights, up-to-date information, and engaging visuals. You want people to think, “This is exactly what I needed!”
  6. Review and Refine: Before you put your content out there, double-check for accuracy, grammar, and overall flow. Maybe even get a second pair of eyes on it. You want your first impression to be the best one.

Creating the replacement content is a crucial step in broken link building. It’s your chance to showcase the quality and value you bring to the table, turning lost links into golden opportunities for your website.

Step 5: Determine Contacts for Outreach

After you’ve found those broken links and have your replacement content ready to go, it’s time to reach out. This step is all about finding the right people to talk to. Here’s how you can do it, step by step:

  1. Identify the Website Owner or Editor: The person you need to contact is usually the website owner, webmaster, or content editor. They’re the ones who can make changes to the site and replace the broken link with your link.
  2. Use Website Contact Information: Start by looking at the website itself. Many sites have a “Contact Us” page or a footer with contact details. This is the easiest way to find out who to reach out to.
  3. Leverage Social Media: If the website doesn’t list contact info, check out their social media profiles. Sometimes, they’ll have a direct message option or list an email address in their bio.
  4. Utilize Tools for Finding Email Addresses: There are tools out there, like Hunter.io or Voila Norbert, designed to help you find people’s email addresses. Just enter the domain name of the website, and these tools will give you a list of emails associated with that domain.
  5. Check WHOIS Records: For more elusive contacts, WHOIS databases can provide contact information for domain owners. However, privacy settings might limit the info available.
  6. Prepare a Spreadsheet: Keep track of your findings in a spreadsheet. List the website, the broken link you found, and the contact information for outreach. This will keep you organized and save time when you start sending out your pitches.

Finding the right contact is crucial for your outreach success. It ensures that your message gets to someone who has the authority to make the change, increasing your chances of replacing that broken link with yours.

Step 6: Deliver Your Pitch

After finding the broken links and crafting the perfect piece of content to replace them, it’s time to reach out. This step is all about communication. Here’s how to deliver your pitch effectively:

  1. Prepare Your Email: Start by writing a friendly and concise email. Your goal is to get the recipient’s attention and make them see the value in replacing the broken link with your content.
  2. Personalize Your Message: Use the recipient’s name if you can find it, and mention something specific about their website. This shows you’ve done your homework and are not just sending a generic email.
  3. Explain the Issue: Politely point out the broken link you found. It’s helpful to include the exact location of the link to make it easier for them to verify.
  4. Offer Your Content: Introduce your content as a valuable replacement for the broken link. Highlight how your content is relevant and beneficial for their audience.
  5. Be Polite and Concise: Keep your message short and to the point. Respect their time by making your pitch easy to read and understand.
  6. Follow Up: If you don’t hear back within a week or two, it’s okay to send a polite follow-up email. Sometimes emails get missed, and a gentle reminder can help.
  7. Handle Responses Gracefully: Whether they accept your offer or not, always respond with gratitude. Building relationships is key, and a polite exchange can open doors for future opportunities.

Delivering your pitch is a critical step in the broken link building process. It requires a blend of tact, clarity, and persistence. By following these guidelines, you increase your chances of success and pave the way for building valuable backlinks to your site.

Don’t Limit Yourself to Just Broken Link Building

Think of broken link building as just the start of your adventure in boosting your website. It’s a great tool, but there’s so much more you can do!

First off, explore other SEO strategies, like using keywords that match what people are searching for. It’s like leaving breadcrumbs for search engines to find your site. Also, make your website super easy to navigate. If people can find what they need quickly, they’ll stick around longer.

Don’t forget about creating awesome content regularly. It’s like feeding your visitors with tasty treats. The more delicious your content, the more they’ll come back for more. And, when they share your content with friends, it’s like throwing a party where everyone’s invited.

Lastly, connect with others in your field. Share ideas, collaborate on projects, or just chat about what’s new. It’s like building a network of friends who support each other.

So, while fixing broken links is a great start, mixing it with other smart moves can really make your website shine. It’s about being creative, staying active, and always looking for new ways to stand out.


Broken link building is like fixing puzzles on the web. It’s a smart way to give your site a boost by finding and fixing links that lead nowhere. Think of it as helping out the internet while helping yourself.

This strategy is not just about getting more links. It’s about building connections. When you reach out to fix someone’s broken link with your content, you’re making a new friend. Plus, it makes your site look good to search engines, giving you a leg up in rankings.

Sure, it might seem a bit tricky at first, figuring out where to look for these broken links. But once you get the hang of it, it’s like finding hidden treasures all over the internet. So, don’t shy away from giving it a try. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is broken link building?

It's a strategy to find broken links on websites, create matching content, and suggest replacing those links with yours.

Why is broken link building important?

It fixes web errors, improves user experience, and boosts your SEO by gaining quality backlinks.

How do I find broken links?

Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz to identify links that lead to non-existent pages.

Can broken link building help with SEO?

Yes, it increases backlinks to your site, improving your search engine ranking.

How do I approach website owners about a broken link?

Send a polite email noting the broken link and suggesting your content as a valuable replacement.




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