Step by Step to Successful Broken Link Building

Broken link building

Backlinks contribute significantly to the success of the company website. However, building an ideal link profile usually requires a lot of patience. Especially since the Google Penguin update, it is highly recommended to avoid dirty link building strategies such as link purchasing or link farming. One option that not only helps your own company is broken link building.

Read this blog post to find out exactly what is behind this tactic and how you can proceed step by step to generate new backlinks!

What is Broken Link Building?

Broken link building is an online marketing strategy in which you as a user track down broken links on external websites. In response, create or identify a suitable page with similar content and offer it as a replacement to all those publishers who link to the non-existent target. With this approach, you contribute to search engine optimization (SEO).

Broken links are usually displayed with the HTTP status code 404 Not Found (the document was not found) or 410 Gone (the document was permanently deleted). The aim of broken link building is to gain a link and in this way optimize your own link profile.
Broken or dead links are mainly caused by human actions: changed page configurations, letter rotation, or a domain move without redirection. The list of causes is long and disadvantageous for operators and authors.

That’s why broken link building is worth it for you

Even if at first glance they only have a negative impact on the user experience and usability, dead links sometimes have serious consequences. This particularly affects the ranking in the search results (SERPs) of Google & Co. Because the following applies: What the user dislikes does not elicit a scream of joy from crawlers.

This is where you come into play. You are doing the affected publisher a favor by making them aware of an inhibiting ranking factor. In this way, you offer your help to the company free of charge, build trust and, ideally, be rewarded with a backlink.

You will also benefit from the following benefits in return :

  • Scalable strategy
  • Acquire links previously owned by competitors
  • Links from websites with thematic relevance and high-quality content
  • Optimization of the ranking

Because of its positive effects, broken link building is a proven tactic that you should include in your link building strategies.

Instructions: This is how you can build links with dead links

Do you like the benefits of broken link building? So that you don’t have a rude awakening during outreach, we’ll explain to you in three steps how broken link building really works.

1. Find broken links

You will rarely come across a dead link by chance that is on a high domain authority website within your niche. That’s why you need a clear approach and, if necessary, tools at hand. The latter not only saves work but also frustration.

When detecting broken links, you can choose between a keyword analysis or a domain analysis.

Keyword analysis

When analyzing keywords, you must first select appropriate target keywords that are relevant to your website. This approach is suitable if you only want to examine selected pages. Using the following search strings, the results can be narrowed down by reducing the search to the linked key terms:

  • keyword “sources”
  • keyword intitle: sources
  • keyword “links”
  • keyword “further links”

A list of potential linking pages can then be created from these results. You can identify dead links on these pages by checking them manually or with the help of tools like Ahrefs or Screaming Frog. The websites can then be sorted within the list according to preference.

Domain Analysis

Searching for broken links based on the URL is similar to keyword research. To start, you will need a list of various competitors and their websites. You can generate these via Sistrix or Google, for example. Using various free or paid tools such as MOZ, Ahrefs, Link Explorer, BacklinkWatch, and others, backlink lists of the corresponding websites can be viewed, which are then examined for the availability of redirection. For the latter, tools such as Screaming Frog or ScrapeBox are ideal.

The main difference to keyword research is the number of links to be checked. While you can use the keyword method to narrow down your search thematically, with domain analysis you can check multiple data at the same time.

2. Create your own content

In the best case scenario, you already have adequate content, but before making the offer you should check whether it is up to date with regard to the data and figures used. Basically, the better the content, the greater the likelihood that it will be accepted as an alternative link target.

This principle also applies to newly created content. offers the opportunity to access the original content of the broken link. Whether in terms of topicality, scope, accuracy or aesthetics – try to beat it again. It will be increasingly attractive for webmasters to link to fresh, high-quality posts. However, it is a good idea to identify the key aspects of the article behind the dead link. This ensures that you provide the operator with a content offer that meets their expectations.

3. Contact us

After selecting the content and possible dead links, you proceed to the third and final step – the contact request to the webmaster. This step usually determines the success of your strategy. So how do you go about it?

The classic way is an email with a corresponding request. It has proven useful in the past to also send the alternative link destination. You should also consider the following aspects when writing the email:

  • Short scope
  • All information included
  • Personal speech
  • Specific subject line
  • Notice of dead link and its placement
  • Showing the benefits of collaboration
  • Do not use a template (prevent mass targeting)

For example, your request could be:

“Hello [website operator],
during my research on the topic [insert topic] I came across your following article: [insert article URL].
A very interesting and informative post!
Unfortunately, I noticed that you refer to a post from [website name] that is no longer current / can no longer be found.
We recently published an article on this topic, which [states advantages]: [Post URL}.
We think that our article could provide your readers with added value and would be very happy if you would link to it in your article.
Thank you!
Kind regards,
[Your Name]”

Disadvantages of the Strategy

Although the advantages of link building via dead links speak for themselves, the process itself shows how labor- and time-intensive this method is. Especially if you forego the support of tools. It should also not be ignored that it is not just the quality of the content that is a decisive factor for the success of broken link building. The quantity with which you contact webmasters is also relevant .


Broken link building is a time-consuming but effective method of building backlinks. Make foreign webmasters happy with your free service and content offering. They are happy about the trust they have gained and you benefit from high-quality backlinks to your website. A win-win tactic that enhances any link profile.

Would you like to integrate broken link-building into your link building strategy and need support? The Times IT content and link building experts at your SEO agency in the USA will be happy to provide you with advice and support! Together we will develop a meaningful link profile for you that will please search engines like Google & Co. What are you waiting for? Arrange your non-binding consultation appointment now!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Broken Link Building?

Broken link building is a tactic in which broken links are deliberately sought in order to replace the lost links with your own.

What are the advantages of broken link building?

Broken link building offers the advantage of allowing SEOs to build trust with publishers. This increases the likelihood of successful outreach.

How does broken link building work?

With broken link building, webmasters are alerted to broken links and made aware of newly created content, with the suggestion to link to it instead. This process creates a win-win situation for SEO managers and publishers.

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