Learn how to build broken links and boost your SEO strategy – WAU
Do you know when you enter a website, click on a link that seems to be useful or interesting, but it takes you to a non-existent page or with that famous 404 error? Only with (LOTS!) Luck to not be “awarded” with something so frustrating, isn’t it? Unfortunately, finding broken links over the internet is more […]
Do you know when you enter a website, click on a link that seems to be useful or interesting, but it takes you to a non-existent page or with that famous 404 error?
Only with (LOTS!) Luck to not be “awarded” with something so frustrating, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, finding broken links over the internet is more common than we think. But it is not because they are a problem for content producers, companies and users that they must be completely discarded.
This is the type of failure that can become a beautiful business opportunity for the sites that make link building of broken links.
Want to know how this is possible? Then check this text out until the end! We will talk a little more about broken links, how to do link building with them and their main advantages. Check out!
How do links break?
The most common way for a link to become invalid or non-existent is when a website or blog domain expires over the years.
This is more trivial in older domains, especially those for projects that have been discontinued after a while.
Another way for a link to break is when the URL of a page is typed with an error, such as forgetting, adding or exchanging a character, for example.
When this kind of misunderstanding is fixed quickly, the damage may be small or not exist due to the short time before they start to link to that URL.
The problem is if the error is perpetuated for a few weeks, months and, with that, a series of backlinks is generated. Imagine the headache this creates when the webmaster decides to correct the error after this period?
Anyway, it is bad for a website that links to the pages of those domains. After all, he ends up harming his visitor, who ends up getting nowhere, and himself, since Google and other search engines do not welcome a bad user experience.
But the best way to solve all this and still benefit your website or blog is through link building with these links. Let’s see how it works!
How to do link building of broken links?
Also known as Broken Link Building, this technique consists of fixing and replacing broken links for links that point to your site.
For example, imagine that a post from a relevant website in your area is pointing to a link to a nonexistent page.
You discover this flaw, get in touch with the person responsible for the site and suggest exchanging that redirect for content on your blog.
Ready! You fix a user experience flaw, contribute interesting content to that post, and still gain a valuable backlink to your SEO strategy.
In showing this example, it seems that the technique is simple. However, the processes are usually a little more laborious.
In addition, getting these links from other sites is just one way to do Broken Link Building.
For this reason, we have prepared a step-by-step guide with 9 best practices for link building broken links. Follow:
1. Scan your website to find these links
The first step is to fix your own house. As browsing through link by link will be a lot of work and will waste you a lot of time, it is best to rely on the help of tools.
One of them is Xenu’s Link Sleuth. This is software where you can search for a domain and have access to all internal and external links on your site.
Those with any type of error will appear in red.
2. Repair or reactivate internal links
Start the changes with your website links. As soon as you find one that is broken, click the button and select the option “URL Properties” – if you use the Xenu software.
The program will show the pages that redirect to that problematic link. Then, go to your content manager (like WordPress) and fix those backlinks.
You can remove them (if the broken link doesn’t really exist anymore) or correct them (if the link has changed URL).
3. Adjust or remove external links
The software is also able to point out the external links that the pages on your site point to. If you find any that have access errors, it is time to fix or remove them.
In the first hypothesis, you would need contact the administrators of the linked sites to find out what happened to the referenced pages.
If you don’t receive any answers or if the pages no longer exist, go to the second hypothesis: discard these links. In that case, you can choose to do another redirect or not.
4. Hit the links on sites that redirect to you
When you repair or remove broken links on your site, it is also important to alert pages that redirect to you.
To do this search for your backlinks, you can use Ahrefs, which is one of the most complete link, keyword and content analysis tools on the market. A real help when it comes to SEO.
However, this platform is paid (it is worth every penny), despite having a free trial period.
Anyway, go after the pages that link back to your site and ask your parents to update the addresses so that none of the domains lose their Google ranking values.
5. Look for broken links in other relevant domains
Now comes the most laborious and difficult part of Broken Link Building. In this step, the search turns to link errors that are not your responsibility. The focus is on broken links from other sites, just as we exemplified at the beginning of the topic.
But it is not any website that should be analyzed. To filter your search, look for domains that are relevant to your business.
By relevance, understand the following points:
- sites in your area of expertise;
- sites positioned on the first or, at most, on the second Google page;
- sites that don’t point to many links on their pages;
- sites that link to low quality pages (that spam, for example);
- sites with weak and irrelevant content;
You can decrease your margin of error if you do a Google search for keywords related to your business and your main content.
The best positioned domains and pages are likely to be the best options for searching for a broken link.
Again, it is recommended to use link analysis tools to discover the errors on these pages. After all, imagine the time you would spend to access each redirect made on these sites.
To do this, you can use two Google Chrome extensions that automatically scan the analyzed pages: Check My Links or Domain Hunter Plus.
6. Search the link history
If the link is broken, you may even think it is dead. However, it is possible to retrieve a part of the history of your content.
How? Through a website called Wayback Machine. There, you can see what a particular website or page looked like a few months or years ago.
It is important to find out if a redirect was relevant to find out if there are chances that other sites will also link to that page.
Go after other sites that link to these broken links
This can be done in the same way that you found your backlinks. Just go to Ahrefs and start a search for that broken link.
The tool will display the sites that point back to the link in question. Among these sites, separate the ones that are most relevant to your business and proceed with the process.
Select content to replace these links
The next step is to choose a page with very interesting content from your site to offer to those pages.
The intention is to make a substitution, but it needs to be at a high level. It’s like in a football game: if you want to change the result, take your best alternative from the reserve bank.
Changing links needs to make sense so as not to impair the understanding of that content by users and search engines.
So, if you want these sites to link to you, try to offer something relevant to them and their respective audience – in addition to, of course, creating interest around your brand.
Contact those responsible for these domains
Access the pages you intend to replace the links on and get the email from your webmasters. Soon after, prepare a message with a more informal, direct and personalized approach.
Explain that you were looking for broken links and saw that the site was pointing links to nonexistent pages, anyway, make your intention clear and talk about the content you are offering.
Avoid bulk and impersonal submissions. After all, it’s like a sales approach. Both sides win, but the biggest interest is yours!
What are the benefits of Broken Link Building?
The coolest thing about doing link building for broken links is that it is a White Hat technique, scalable and, mainly, useful for the internet.
The more people who practice Broken Link Building, the more users, websites and search engines get rid of pages with 404 errors. In fact, you can clean your domain yourself with this practice.
Besides improve users’ browsing experience and content consumption, this technique helps improve your relationship with other webmasters.
You eliminate a useless redirect, bring relevant content to the audience of another site, that audience has a more complete experience and both pages are better viewed by Google and other search engines.
Anyway, putting in practice the link building of broken links can be a lot of work, but it is a rewarding effort.
After all, it is a technique that can bring traffic gain, positions in search engine rankings, conversions, in short, broken links can become a great source of results for your website.
Well, if you liked how to do link building on broken links, stay with us and see how to reach the first Google page with 5 advanced SEO techniques.