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Broken link building is one of the strategies that haven’t been heavily explored, mostly because it involves a bit of creativity from your part. In short, you find a page, with an outbound link to a page that doesn’t exist anymore, see if some of your pages could fit in instead, then you contact the owner of and politely ask him to place your link instead of the broken one. Pretty straightforward.

The process roughly goes like this: you find link prospects, decide on what to offer them instead of the link you’re about to suggest them to replace, then contact the website owner and cross your fingers. The strategy works extremely well, but if you like to think “outside of the box”, here are some additional tips you can implement to make the most of it.

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#1. Never run out of prospects

Say you come across a page with five broken links. You contact the site owner, he replaces one of them with yours, and that’s it. No! You’ve just stumbled into a gold mine: plug those broken URLs into Open Site Explorer (you can use another tool if it suits you better) to find other places linking to them, and do the whole process all over again. If there are 100 pages linking back to that URL, that’s 100 more potential opportunities for you.

#2. Check the content on the page you want a link from

Dropping new links in old content don’t always deliver the desired results, especially if nothing else about that page changes, so it’s a good idea to suggest some changes in content as well. This is particularly easy to do if the content is outdated, and pointing that out to the owner of the website, or even writing some new content yourself, will be equally of use for both parts.

#3. Don’t dismiss the 301s

Sometimes when you search for broken links, you will find links that 301 point to another site. It’s safe to assume that linking to redirected content wasn’t the original idea of any webmaster (there are exceptions, of course), so if you contact them and explain that they aren’t linking to what they originally intended, they will often be willing to remove the link in question. It gets even more fun if they were linking to the competitor’s site: if they agree to link to your site instead, you’re +2 links against the competitor. Neat.

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#4. Think twice before writing websites off

If you fear that website you came across could send spammy signals around your website, or if you already have a link from that website, don’t be too hasty in deciding that you don’t want a link from them. You have other pages linking back to you, right? So why not use them to link to your 2.0 (for the potentially spammy ones), or to one of your guest posts on another website (for those that you already have a link from)?

#5. Expired content? No problem!

When you can’t find out from the context what was the original content on the expired page, and you aren’t sure if you have a relevant replacement, you can use this simple tool, Wayback Machine to discover it. Then, recreate the content, but do your best to make it ten times better than the original. Also, think of it this way: if it worked once, chances are it will work again. Then go through tip #1, and find even more possibilities.

Broken link building is a strategy that can provide you with tons of link opportunities. It is all white hat, and it’s a win-win – you are helping other webmasters fix their loose points, and they are helping you get backlinks. If you have more ideas on how to do it in a more creative way, feel free to share them in comments!

One should always check there links regularly, here is a list of 5 tools to check broken links:

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Posted by Jeff Gross

Jeff Gross writes about social media, online marketing, advertising and more for, a SEO Company in NYC.

One Comment

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