What is Broken Link Building?

Broken link-building is a tactic that involves replacing non-working or “broken” links with valuable resources, essentially improving user experience while simultaneously driving your website’s visibility and authority. 

This comprehensive guide to broken link-building aims to simplify this strategy for optimal results, enhancing your SEO tactics by leveraging the potential of broken links.

What is a Broken Link, and Why Do They Matter?

First, let’s first understand the concept of broken links and why they matter in the online world. A broken link, often called a dead link or 404, refers to a link on a webpage (dead page) that no longer exists. This can be because the linked page has been deleted or moved, leading to a 404 page when users attempt to follow the link.

A broken link impacts the user experience negatively as users anticipate finding relevant content when clicking a link. If this expectation isn’t met, it can lead to annoyance and reduced user engagement. Moreover, these defective links can have an adverse impact on your website’s SEO, as search engines consider both the quality and relevance of links when ranking websites.

Link quality refers to the authority of the domain that the backlinks come from, and relevance refers to how related the content of the linking page is to your content. Therefore, a broken link on a webpage hampers not only the user experience but also the site’s SEO standing. Hence, finding and fixing broken links are fundamental SEO tasks that should not be overlooked.

Also Read: Types of Link Building in SEO

The Benefits of Broken Link Building

Now let’s discuss the benefits of broken link building tactics. It’s much more than just a tactic for mending the user experience; it’s an opportunity to enhance your search engine rankings, build relationships, and improve content relevance.

Enhancing Search Engine Rankings

Search engines, including the likes of Google, use backlinks to demonstrate a website’s authority. Websites that have several excellent backlinks have an increased probability of ranking higher in search engine results. Therefore, replacing a broken link with a link to your website, especially on a high-authority domain, can significantly improve your SEO.

Improved User Experience 

By finding a broken link and offering a relevant piece of content to replace the broken link, you are enhancing the user experience on that webpage. Users expect to find valuable resources when they click on a link; providing a high-quality piece of content increases user satisfaction and engagement, contributing to a website’s overall success.

Networking Opportunities in Your Niche

Broken link-building campaigns can help establish relationships with webmasters and website owners in your niche. By contacting webmasters about broken links and offering a replacement (i.e., a link to your site), you open up a channel for communication and potential collaboration. This not only assists in the short term but can also deliver long-term networking opportunities.

Broken link-building is one of the effective link-building strategies, offering a unique opportunity to build links for your website, boost your SEO, and foster relationships in your niche. The success rate of this strategy hinges on your ability to find broken link-building opportunities, craft a winning outreach strategy, and create compelling replacement content. We’ll delve deeper into these aspects in the next section of our guide to broken link-building.

Your Guide to Broken Link Building

To capitalise on the potential of broken link-building, one needs to master its three pivotal stages: Finding broken link-building opportunities, crafting a winning outreach strategy, and creating compelling replacement content. They are an imperative part of a broken link building campaign. Let’s break down these stages and identify the steps involved in each.

To capitalise on the potential of broken link-building, one needs to master its three pivotal stages: Finding broken link-building opportunities, crafting a winning outreach strategy, and creating compelling replacement content. They are an imperative part of a broken link building campaign. Let’s break down these stages and identify the steps involved in each.

A. Finding Broken Link Building Opportunities

An effective broken link-building campaign is centred around identifying broken links on websites other than your own. The greater the number of broken links you can find, the greater your opportunities to enhance your SEO through this strategy. The following methods can be utilised to discover broken links at scale.

Begin with finding websites appropriate to your niche. To ensure the success of your broken link-building campaign, concentrate on sites that share your audience or industry. These websites present the most valuable link-building opportunities.  Explore their blogs, resource pages, or any external links they might have to unearth these valuable opportunities.

The process of finding broken links manually on numerous websites can be time-killing. Thankfully, there are various SEO tools available to automate this task and make it more efficient.

Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or similar SEO tools come in handy in this phase. Enter the URL of the website into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, then navigate to the ‘Best by links’ report. Here, you can find pages that previously received a lot of backlinks but no longer exist. These are your ideal broken link-building opportunities.

Remember, a single broken link on a popular website can potentially result in hundreds of backlinks, given that many other websites might be linking to the broken page. Once you have identified these broken links, you can export a comprehensive list for the outreach stage of your broken link-building campaign.

B. Craft a Winning Outreach Strategy

After identifying your broken link opportunities, the next step is to reach out to webmasters or site owners. This step demands careful planning and implementation to increase the chances of success.

The first stage of outreach is to find the right person to contact. Once you have a list of pages with broken links, you must find an email address associated with each website. This can be done manually by looking for contact information on the website or using an email finder tool like Hunter.io. 

Remember, the success of your outreach depends on reaching the right person, so invest time in this process. After you have found the right contact, it’s time to get in touch through email. Crafting the perfect broken link-building email pitch involves informing the recipient about the broken link on their page and offering a replacement (i.e., a link to a valuable page on your site). 

Make sure your email is concise, polite, and proficient, but don’t be frightened to add a personal touch. Mentioning a specific aspect of their website can demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and are sincerely interested in assisting them with site improvement.

Personalisation can significantly boost the likelihood of obtaining a reply. Use the recipient’s name, reference specific details about their website, and make a clear, relevant offer. For instance, you might say, “I found a broken link on your resource page and thought this piece of content on my site would be a great replacement.”

C. Create Compelling Replacement Content

Finally, no broken link-building campaign would be complete without compelling replacement content. This content needs to provide value, match the original topic of the broken link, and be optimised for both SEO and user engagement.

Make sure your replacement content is as relevant as feasible to the existing content. This increases the chances that the webmaster will consider it a suitable replacement and that users will find it valuable. You can use sites like the Wayback Machine to view the original content and create something similar but better.

Also, the content should be high-quality, engaging, and optimised for relevant keywords. This not only satisfies the users but also improves your SEO. A well-structured article, with relevant images, well-placed keywords, and clear subheadings, can improve both readability and SEO ranking.

Ultimately, your replacement content should enhance the user experience. Users clicking on the link should find information that’s valuable, reliable, and helpful. Whether it is a piece of writing, an infographic, or a comprehensive guide, ensure that it provides value and deserves to be linked to.

By grasping these measures, you’ll be well on your way to executing successful broken link-building campaigns. In the next segment, we’ll discuss best practices for broken link-building to refine your strategy further.

Also Read: How to Do Link Building in SEO: Comprehensive Guide 

Best Practices for Broken Link-building

Broken link-building, when executed correctly, can yield significant SEO benefits. To ensure your campaign’s success, follow these best practices to increase your chances of getting those high-quality backlinks.

  1. Focus on Relevant Websites: Focus on websites relevant to your niche. The more relevant the website, the more likely your content will be accepted as a suitable replacement for a broken link. Moreover, search engines give more importance to links coming from relevant websites.
  2. Check the Authority of the Website: The higher the authority of a website, the more valuable its backlinks are. Use resources such as Moz’s Domain Authority or Ahrefs’ Domain Rating to determine the website’s authority.
  3. Prioritise Pages with High Backlinks: Pages with many backlinks are ideal targets in broken link-building. A single replaced link on such a page can result in multiple backlinks to your site. You can identify these pages using SEO analysis tools.
  4. Offer High-Quality Replacement Content: The quality of your replacement content is crucial. It should be comprehensive, engaging, and better than the original content. This increases your chances of the webmaster accepting your replacement and provides users with valuable resources.
  5. Use Personalised Outreach Emails: A personalised outreach email raises your odds of acquiring a response. Mention specific details about the website and explain why your content would be a valuable replacement.
  6. Be Patient and Persistent: Broken link-building requires patience and persistence. Not all website owners will respond to your first email, and not all who respond will accept your replacement content. Don’t get discouraged, and continue reaching out to new link prospects.
  7. Follow Up on Your Emails: If you haven’t obtained a reply within a week or two, consider sending a gentle follow-up email. The webmaster might have missed your first email, and a follow-up serves as a gentle reminder.
  8. Keep Your Link Profile Natural: Having a variety of backlinks from different domains is important. It keeps your link profile natural, which search engines prefer. Don’t just focus on high-authority websites; backlinks from smaller, relevant websites are also valuable.
  9. Monitor Your Results: Keep track of your broken link-building campaign. This includes monitoring if the replacement links are implemented, how they impact your website’s traffic, and if they improve your website’s search engine ranking.


Mastering broken link-building can elevate your website’s authority and provide a significant boost to your SEO strategy. By replacing broken links with relevant, valuable content, you not only enhance user experience but also create powerful backlinks to your website.

Remember, broken link-building is a tactic that involves patience, dedication, and strategic thinking. From identifying broken links to crafting persuasive outreach emails and creating engaging, high-quality content, each step plays a crucial role in the success of your campaign.

Broken link-building is hard, but when done right, it’s a practical and effective link-building tactic. Embrace broken link-building, refine your strategy, and watch as your website climbs the ladder of search engine rankings, one broken link at a time.

How Can ACERO Digital Help?

Finding broken link opportunities can be daunting as it involves many steps, from identifying broken links, creating replacement content to crafting personalised outreach strategies. As a busy business owner, managing all these aspects can be overwhelming. This is where ACERO Digital steps in. 

Our team of SEO experts has a deep understanding of effective broken link-building tactics. Using state-of-the-art tools and our extensive experience, we find broken link-building opportunities, craft relevant, high-quality content, and manage the outreach process. 

Our goal is to boost your website’s authority and drive business growth through improved SEO. We tailor our strategies to your unique needs, enhancing your chances of success. Contact us today, and let us show you how we can take your SEO game to the next level!

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