The Art of Broken Link Building

Here’s a technique used by people who are taking SEO seriously and who realise that there can be spectacular gains to be made by building on someone else’s work. It sounds daunting, but it can generate amazing results.

  • Broken Link Building involves identifying links around the web to pages on sites which have since disappeared, then writing a replacement for the lost page and getting the website with the broken link to send people to you instead.

One way to find the broken links is to look for them on the websites of trade publications or other relevant sites, using a site crawling tool like Screaming Frog. Another way is to find broken links pointing to your competitors, using a tool like Ahrefs. The latter technique can show you how many links it’s found which point to that non-existent page – occasionally you can strike gold this way. Imagine finding a dozen sites linking to a deleted technology background page on one of your competitors’ sites – then think how you could provide a replacement and offer it to those sites, gaining all the link equity once enjoyed by your competitor.

If you want to investigate the technique in detail, there’s an old but still good article on Moz.com here.