how to find broken links, broken link building guide

Broken Link Building in 5 Simple Steps

Broken link building is often referred to as an “advanced” link building strategy. The truth is, if you know how to effectively leverage broken link building, it can be a simple and effective means of securing those much-needed new links to your ecommerce website, service based website, or blog.

The idea of broken link building certainly isn’t an new one, in fact, there are over 180K results when you go and search “broken link building”.

 

So…

With all the articles, services, and super-ultimate evergreen best-ever biblical guides, why in the world would you read this one?

The answer is simple – As in this is going to be a very simple, straightforward explanation of what it is and how you can get started.

You see, the internet marketing space is stuffed with content, tips, guides, and more training videos than you could stomach to watch in a lifetime.

One thing most of them have in common – they are complete and utter bullshit. They are just glorified sales pitches, meant to leave you feeling overwhelmed so you don’t act on the information.

That stops today.

With the right content and strategy, broken link building can be scaled up considerably. However, you must walk before you crawl, so let’s start with the basics.

What is Broken Link Building?

For many years, people have been linking out to other relevant or authoritative resources when they write content for their own website. Over time, some of those websites or pages go offline, resulting in a “broken link”.

For example, let’s say someone is writing an article about the best street/strip drag radials for a Dodge Challenger. To support their statements, they may link to a test performed on three separate types of tires for the car. If that page was to be removed, the article about the best street/strip drag radials would now contain a broken link.

If you were attempting to do broken link building for your website, you would then contact the site containing the article with a broken link and share a link to your own article with test results for best drag tires. If your site and article were suitable replacements, the site owner may link to you in place of the original source, which is no longer online.

How Can You Find Broken Link Building Opportunities?

There are several ways you can find broken links. Here is a simple workflow to get you started.

  1. Visit well-known websites in your niche and crawl them for broken links using this free tool: https://error404.atomseo.com . Once the “crawl” is completed, look at the list of broken links and see if a) you have content that would be a suitable replacement on your site already or b) if you could create a piece of content that would be a suitable replacement. If you don’t find any broken links, go to another niche authority site and repeat the process.
  2. Go to this site: https://archive.org/ and enter the URL of the now non-existent site to see the type, quality, and length of the old content.
  3. If you have or can create content that is a suitable replacement, find out what other sites are also linking to the broken site using Ahrefs. Here is a link to their 7 day, $7 trial (not an affiliate link!) https://ahrefs.com/pricing
  4. Take the list of backlinks pointing to the broken page you found in step 1 and you now have a list of people you can also contact about linking to your replacement content.
  5. Lookup the contact information for the people linking to the 404 page and share your new content and link with them. Some will link, some won’t but even one link is better than none!

After you get some practice, you can use broken link building tools to automate this process and use more advanced tactics but, getting started with this simple approach can help you land some great links quickly, unless of course your content isn’t speaking to the right audience.

Once you work through this several times and get first hand feedback from other site owners, you can then start to look at advanced broken link building tutorials, to scale up what is already working for you. Even if you are able to build a lot of broken links, don’t become a “one trick pony”.

Don’t Just Build Broken Links Though…

Like a good investment portfolio, your link building efforts should be diversified. Broken link building, resource page links, brand mentions, guest posting, and blogger outreach link building are all effective strategies.

The resources you or your company have and the types of pages you are trying to promote should be the determining factor when choosing which type of link building is best for your project. Sometimes broken link building is a great choice, while other times, guest posting is the quickest way to reach your end goal.