What is Broken links Method ?
Broken links method is most popular in link building activities, but only if and when they are repaired.
Repairing broken link means that you will have to replace it with the original URL or with a new one, which I’ll be discussing here.
In general terms of SEO, link building can be divided as back links and broken links building.
Although back links are commonly used, broken links are more relevant, because they are more specific.
Another reason is the fact this strategy literally makes the internet a better place because it eliminates the errors.
Search engines pay a special attention to this, meaning that your link building strategy will be appreciated and awarded with higher organic traffic.
The definition is that you will help webmasters to replace broken links and therefore have a more relevant and better content on their websites.
At the same time, they will link to your websites, which is mutual benefit.
Below I will try to assist you by giving you the ultimate guide for creating amazing links that will not only boost the traffic on the website but only spread your content across the internet.
How to find broken links?
The first and the main step are to find broken links. There are numerous ways to do this, but not all of them are equally effective. Make sure you always look for broken links on websites those are relevant to your business, service or niche!
The three methods, commonly used and therefore highly recommended involve targeting potential broken links with keywords or links or direct URL.
However, the first strategy or a method, if you prefer is the best one. It is the simplest and it gives you the best results over a short period of time. All you will have to do is to google for specific keywords, find resource pages and download them, in order to check them and get owner info. After that, the procedure is much easier.
How to do keyword search ?
This is the first, actual step in searching the mentioned keywords. Keep in mind that if you make a mistake here, the entire guide and the entire process will be useless. Anyway, you should start by searching:
- Category-based keywords – It means that you should use keywords that will be chosen according to your niche, not directly to your service or a product, in order to find your For example, if you look for ‘’spy software for viber on iOS resources’’ you won’t get many results. But, if you search for ‘’spy viber resources’’ you will get plenty of results. The bottom line is that you should find resources, which are slightly or completely linked to your content.
- Generic keywords – Equally important step is to search keywords that may fall into the industry you are searching for, but not in the specific field of expertise. If we take the previous example again, we should look for ‘’spy software’’.
Once you are done, you should create a phrase, just because it will help you get a much better result. Just add them to your keyword you have just discovered and search the Google. Some of the additions you want to take into consideration are website, resource, link, resource page, useful site, useful link and etc. This step can be called phrase-making.
Here are some search queries you can use, but you’re free to get creative as well:
“Keyword” + links
“Keyword” + resources
“Keyword” + intitle:links
“Keyword” + intitle:resources
“Keyword” + intitle:sites
“Keyword” + intitle:websites
“Keyword” + inurl:links
“Keyword” + inurl:resources
“Keyword” + inurl:sites
“Keyword” + inurl:websites
“Keyword” + “useful links”
“Keyword” + “useful resources”
“Keyword”+ “useful sites”
“Keyword” + “useful websites”
“Keyword” + “recommended links”
“Keyword” + “recommended resources”
“Keyword” + “recommended sites”
“Keyword” + “recommended websites”
“Keyword” + “suggested links”
“Keyword” + “suggested resources”
“Keyword” + “suggested sites”
“Keyword” + “suggested websites”
“Keyword” + “more links”
“Keyword” + “more resources”
“Keyword” + “more sites”
“Keyword” + “more websites”
“Keyword” + “favorite links”
“Keyword” + “favorite resources”
“Keyword” + “favorite sites”
“Keyword” + “favorite websites”
“Keyword” + “related links”
“Keyword” + “related resources”
“Keyword” + “related sites”
“Keyword” + “related websites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”useful links”
“Keyword” + intitle:”useful resources”
“Keyword” + intitle:”useful sites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”useful websites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”recommended links”
“Keyword” + intitle:”recommended resources”
“Keyword” + intitle:”recommended sites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”recommended websites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”suggested links”
“Keyword” + intitle:”suggested resources”
“Keyword” + intitle:”suggested sites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”suggested websites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”more links”
“Keyword” + intitle:”more resources”
“Keyword” + intitle:”more sites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”more websites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”favorite links”
“Keyword” + intitle:”favorite resources”
“Keyword” + intitle:”favorite sites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”favorite websites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”related links”
“Keyword” + intitle:”related resources”
“Keyword” + intitle:”related sites”
“Keyword” + intitle:”related websites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”useful links”
“Keyword” + inurl:”useful resources”
“Keyword” + inurl:”useful sites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”useful websites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”recommended links”
“Keyword” + inurl:”recommended resources”
“Keyword” + inurl:”recommended sites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”recommended websites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”suggested links”
“Keyword” + inurl:”suggested resources”
“Keyword” + inurl:”suggested sites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”suggested websites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”more links”
“Keyword” + inurl:”more resources”
“Keyword” + inurl:”more sites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”more websites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”favorite links”
“Keyword” + inurl:”favorite resources”
“Keyword” + inurl:”favorite sites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”favorite websites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”related links”
“Keyword” + inurl:”related resources”
“Keyword” + inurl:”related sites”
“Keyword” + inurl:”related websites”
“Keyword” + list of links
“Keyword” + list of resources
“Keyword” + list of sites
“Keyword” + list of websites
“Keyword” + list of blogs
“Keyword” + list of forums
Scraping the search results
Once you have searched and discovered all the potential websites that may be used, the time is right to accumulate the results for each phrase. Around 100 results per a search are recommended, meaning that you are going to need some time to complete the task!
There are several tools that can help you with this matter, just make sure you use them accordingly. Google doesn’t prefer autonomous software, meaning that SERP tools for this application may be detected and even banned. Bing API requires severe modifications and adjustments in order to work and even then, it isn’t very productive. SEO tool bars, on the other hand, are the safest alternative. Tip: To remove duplicate content, you can use option available in Excel, from Microsoft Office pack. Read here Filter for unique values or remove duplicate values
Extracting the 404 links
This step involves obtaining all the links from the search result pages you have gathered earlier. The main idea is to extract the links and then check them for 404 errors. In order to use that, you can try to Check My Links or Domain Hunter tools. The best thing to do here is to download and copy the links to a tool known as a Code checker (without HTTPS) and click check. All links with 404 errors will be displayed.
Choosing the most suitable links
Once you have gathered a small base of 404 links, the time has come to choose the most suitable ones. Here, I can assist you by dividing the process into two parts:
- The main goal is to find a high number of back links that were connected to a specific page. In this case, more links mean better success. Try to remember that you should include only back links with the most 404 errors, while those with a few of them are irrelevant. Majestic SEO bulk tools allow you to check all the links at once, definitely useful.
- Relevance is the next best thing. Make sure you check the links with Way Back Machine. In simple terms, this tool will allow you to get a better idea about the cached URLs, and those which are not blocked by web crawlers. It is truly an impressive method that actually offers a huge potential. In addition, you can also check the linked pages manually in order to see the content quality. The point is to get the most relevant broken links!
A tool for all the steps mentioned above
The Broken Link Builder is a tool which will literally replace all the steps above. It is simple to use, and it requires just entering the keyword or a phrase. Once you are done, it will gather data, find resources and rate them.
Obtaining links directly from the website
In order to make this process work, you should already have a website in mind. It is a method that gives you the same success as with keywords, but it is done in a completely different way. Once you have found a website that looks promising, you will have to extract the links. Make sure the website is:
- Non-commercial. They are the best and the safest alternative.
- A website must be important and related to your content.
- High-authority. Only websites that are appreciated by Google and by the users should be taken into account.
Acquiring the links
Use Majestic SEO or open site explorer to get a complete list of the back links to the targeted website. The strategy is the same as in a case with keywords and the steps are the same.
Using targeted links
In this method, you will already have the targeted website, meaning that you already have chosen as the source. All you have to do is to check the links and find a broken one. It may be an easy task, but it isn’t very efficient. We recommend it for beginners and those who don’t have plenty of time to try other methods here.
Once you have found a broken link, just contact the webmaster and get the job done. Top tip: Make sure to find several links and several websites just to boost the success of the method.
What about site crawlers?
Website crawlers are software that will scan the entire website and find broken links and potential errors. There are a lot of them, but not all are a great choice. First and foremost, make sure you use a software that performs ‘’gentle’’ site crawling, or it may be rejected. IN addition, only those that comply with robots.txt are preferred. We discovered a few of them, with the highest success rate and they are:
- Xenu Link Sleuth- It is simple, it is effective and it is a powerful SEO tool. It will check all the errors and find all the broken links. Definitely the first choice.
- Deep Trawl– It is a valuable choice that gives you all what you have to know. This choice is less popular than other two here.
- Screaming Frog SEO – The software will search and find broken links, duplicate content and etc. It is more and more popular as we speak.
Choosing the most suitable link to be replaced
Once you have completed the previous steps, the time is right to determine for which broken link you should contact a webmaster. There are two rules here:
- A link should be external. Chances are much higher than a webmaster will replace an external link than internal, boosting the success of the process. It also means that this isn’t their mistake, which has a positive effect as well.
- Make sure the broken link should be similar or the same as the one you want to recommend as are placement.
Creating and improving the content
Now, you should create a content that is much better that the one the targeted website linked to. This isn’t as simple as it sounds and you are going to need time and tools. The main thing to consider is that you need as many details as possible in order to make this work. The recommended tools are:
- Wayback Machine: The tool in mind will show the progress and the history of that particular content. You can use it as many times you want and it is the main thing here.
- Warrick: If for some reason, you don’t want to use the first tool, this one is recommended. It is more complicated to use, but it is ideal for finding the content blocked by the annoying robots.txt.
Relations between your website and the target
Your website will be less important to the Google than the one you are trying to get a back link from! It also means that it will offer good information, it won’t be commercial and it will have far more visitors. All of this may sound like an impossible task, but it is actually very simple to tweak the reality, if we may call it like that. Content must be improved and it must include several aspects in order to become relevant to the high-authority website. The points to include are:
- Always use the latest statistic data. Useful website is Statista.
- Include citations and quotes a few times.
- Can you find the author of the original content and try to get a few more details?
- Continue improving the content on a regular basis.
All of this could be combined and constantly used, in order to help you get a content that can make a difference and a content that will be better than the original one!
Make the first contact
Now you have the links and you have the websites that will be used for back links. The next piece of a puzzle is to contact the webmasters. It is a time-consuming process, but it isn’t complicated. There are some tools you can use (will be mentioned below) but old, good contact us page is the main deal. Anyway, tools for multiple contact info gathering are:
The first email: What to write and what it includes?
The most important step is this one. If you make a mistake here, all the work you have done will go in vain! But, if you are successful, you can expect a huge amount of success. The trick is to write an email that will be tailored for a specific website and a specific webmaster.
The relation between the transparency and the content quality is extremely important. In other words, better content you have, more transparent you can be. On the other hand, this also means that if the content quality is low, not even the best email can help you! Each email must:
- Be written especially for just one use. Generic emails don’t work!
- Be sent by a user who accidentally saw the broken link. Websites don’t prefer providing back links for free, so if you are a website owner, you may be rejected.
- Contain the link of the page, broken link and the replacement link!
You are giving the link of your website as a recommendation, so use corresponding words and sentences. If you just say ‘’I want you to use this link’’ don’t expect any success.
Subject : Issue at [ DOMAIN NAME]: Broken link found.
My name is [YOUR NAME] and I represent the [INDUSTRY/WEBSITE].
I have been reading the amazing content on [YOUR WEBSITE], but sadly I discovered some annoying issues. The problem is in the broken links. You can see them on a page: [ARTICLE LINK].
Once I tried visiting the: [BROKEN LINK] on [ANCHOR TEXT] I got 404 errors.
I was free to help you find a correct link. Hope you can use it.
Anyway, I also found some resources that look more relevant and newer than the one you have used. They can be seen at:
- [LINK #1]
- [LINK #2]
- [LINK #3]
It would be great if you can replace the broken links so, other visitors don’t get the same error as I did.
Thank you for your time and thank for offering this, amazing piece of content.
As you can see, creating the template is very simple and it takes no more than 5 minutes. We will have to repeat that each webmaster will deserve a special and original email, in order you to get the most success. In addition, always include your industry credentials and professional details as much as possible.
Tip: If you have more than two websites, you can use one as your credential, while asking a webmaster to replace the content related to the first website. Basically, you will be a webmaster of another, successful website, not an ordinary user.
Your own broken link building begins now
Here you were able to see ultimate guide for using broken links to your advantage. Keep in mind that this strategy is becoming more and more popular as I said and it can boost the traffic to your website up to 100%, meaning that it is a crucial part of SEO.
Maybe it doesn’t look simple and easy at the beginning, but once you get a better idea about it, you will see that basically, all you have to do is to search, find and contact. The number of webmasters who will accept your suggestion cannot be generalized, but it is almost always determined by the email you have sent and the content you developed.
The best part of this strategy is that it can be used over and over until you get as many as back links as you need.
Here, the more the merrier, so keep trying and keep creating the links as often as you can. After a few back links created, you will become a professional and see the full potential of the strategy in question.