Broken Link Building: How To Find Broken Links And How To Fix Them

Have you ever browse the World Wide Web, clicking on links to find some of them have errors? To casual internet users, this is just a common thing. The web is made of links, and not every of those links do work. The web has flaws just like anything else.

While not everyone is liking it, but to you that want to build backlinks, this error can actually give you some benefits.

The causes of a link error, could be a 404 (page doesn't exists, missing or moved), failed to redirect the page to a newer address, or something called linkrot. This is where a number of old and inactive websites that had been linked by other websites, but now aren't anymore active or no longer exist.

Linkrot can lead the website that homes the broken link, to be unable to give that flawless user experience: they can't give the once-was-helpful resources to its visitors.

For marketers that seek backlinks, searching for those "dead links" can be a great advantage if they can get a hold of them. Quality backlinks are those that should be seek, and they can be a straightforward and powerful opportunity for SEO.

Building backlinks is the way to exist, so there is not reason why you should stay quiet and keep all your pages to yourself.

Before venturing onwards, lets first describe broken link building.

Broken chains

What is Broken Link Building?

As we know the web is full of links and not all of those links work, broken link building is the process of searching for external links on websites. Here the strategy is to find those broken links, and make them point to contents similar to yours on your website.

The ultimate goal is to get the broken link to be replaced with a link to your working page.

While the concept is simple, to succeed in this strategy involves time consuming work. Website who have a broken link may not realize that the link is broken, here is where you pronounce your role to fix that issue by making the webmaster to replace that broken link to target your page. At first, by having their pages fixed, they can improve their users' browsing experience. To you, with that little effort, can earn you a high-quality and relevant link.

It's a big win for all parties involved.

How To Find And Win Those Broken Links?

As your first try, you could search for relevant sites similar to yours that you would love to have a link from them. Browse their pages, and their external links to find the dead end. But this process is not only time consuming but also not effective, let alone efficient.

In general, and for the better, you could use search engines and some other tools that help you to find external links of any websites. With them, you can tweak the search operators as needed for you to target specific niche. Here are some examples:

"your keyword" intitle:resources.
"your keyword" intitle:recommended.
"your keyword" intitle:resources intitle:submit.
"your keyword" -.pdf.
"your keyword" -.pdf intitle:resources.

For the examples above, using intitle: "your keyword" is to return results where the keyword is in the title, and inurl: "your keyword" to return results where the keyword is in the URL. You can also use intext: "your keyword" to return results where the keyword is in the text.

Examples for the prospecting phrases can be seen below. They can help you find relevant linking pages.
"useful links"
"useful resources"
"useful sites"
"useful websites"
"recommended links"
"recommended resources
"recommended sites"
"recommended websites"
"suggested links"
"suggested resources"
"suggested sites"
"suggested websites"
"more links"
"more resources"
"more sites"
"more websites"
"favorite links"
"favorite resources"
"favorite sites"
"favorite websites"
"related links"
"related resources"
"related sites"
"related websites"
list of links
list of resources
list of sites
list of websites
list of blogs
list of forums

To put your search results to be more specific, you can eliminate certain results to only include those websites that you want to target. Like for example using "your keyword" to search for pages on Wikipedia only.

When you eventually find what you're looking for, you can then contact the webmaster of the site, informing about the broken link to then provide the alternative.

But even before thinking of contacting them, you must first have the qualified post to replace that broken link. No webmaster wants to be bothered with this method if your page won't give them any benefit in return. You need to give them something valuable, and this thing should be your content.

Some common criteria for a qualified content are:

  • Having the same or similar niche.
  • Having high-quality and valuable resources.
  • Having the content better, or at least as good as the piece of content you're trying to replace.
  • Good design is one because visual sells, but a fast website with a great user-experience is more often needed.

When the moment comes to contact them, make sure your email/form/message is kept short and straight to the point. Since behind any website there is a human, you should be gentle and polite. You should see a fairly good response from them if you're doing this strategy right. After all, you're not only benefiting yourself, your also offering something that is indeed an absolute necessity.

If you succeed this state, you can find yourself with some very relevant, strong link.

Broken chains fix


A great design is a great design. The more contents you have on your website, the more you have to maintain them. Each page of yours may have external links that point out to relevant sites in order to give a better glimpse of what you're saying (or maybe ad-related). But the thing is, it's not that easy to maintain hundreds or thousands of web pages.

A broken link could make a bad user-experience. For websites that thrive from the number of visitors, broken links could be disaster. They could at least show that the webmaster isn't careful, or not able to maintain the website just right. A helping hand from others can come useful, especially if it benefits all parties involved.