What Is Broken Link Building In SEO And How to Use It to Your Advantage
Perhaps everyone has at least once clicked on a link to a web page that does not exist anymore. If that happens, we usually see that irritating “404-page error” message. This can happen because of various reasons, but anyway, we can make use of such broken link pages to our advantage. So let’s see what those dead links are, why they show up, and how to find and settle such a problem with broken link building.
What Is Broken Link And Why Do Links Break?
Simply speaking, a broken link (or a dead link as it is also often called) is the kind of link that leads us to a web page that is no longer available due to certain circumstances. When clicking on such links, the visitors usually receive error messages like “404-page error” or similar ones that explain that the page you are seeking can not be reached.
As it comes from the broken link definition, such refs do not operate anymore, and we can name a few causes for this:
- a website may no longer be available
- someone moved a web page you are seeking and did not add a redirect for some reason
- changes in the URL structure of the website can also be one of the causes
There is also another cause for refs to turn into non-working, which implies no interference from outside. Its name is link rot, and it is the natural propensity for references to stop operating after all. Link rot is a prevailing challenge, whether we want it or not, and researches show that websites tend to lose about a quarter of their links every decade approximately!
The most common cause why link rot takes place is that websites become unavailable due to being abandoned. Also, it can happen after interests change and the site does not attract visitors anymore.
It may seem that such “disabled” links create problems for SEO, but in fact, it is possible to flip the coin and turn the situation to your advantage!
How Broken Links Affect SEO
References are crucially substantial for SEO. As we all know, every single link serves as a kind of vote for the grade of a website. In fact, this is the way search engines see them. Both internal refs within the website and those that lead to it play a substantial role in where this site will rank in search results.
For this reason, the best thing you can do with those broken refs is either to delete or shift them to the working ones. When doing such a clean-up regularly, you will add context to the website and help your visitors and the search engines to find it simpler.
Broken Link Building As a Solution Of Dead Links Challenge
To effectively cope with dead refs, the optimal approach is to go for the broken link building option. It simply means that we build backlinks by replacing refs to the unexisting web pages with the refs that work right and lead to a target website.
Everyone knows that for upgrading the rating and traffic of the website, the prevailing number of web marketers prefer to buy blog backlinks from trusted and verified services to make their backlink profile look natural to Google and boost brand recognition.
But with the use of broken link building, we can also build multiple and qualitative backlinks to our website! To perform the task successfully, we will need to find the pages that have lots of external references, define the ones that don’t operate anymore, and then spot everyone who has them on their web resources.
Sounds impossible, but with the help of several handy online broken link building services and programs, impossible becomes quite realistic!
And then, after we find those dead links, we just need to get in touch with the folks that still have those unavailable refs on their sites, and offer them our help. The best would be to offer a worthy and close replacement for that non-working link. Usually, nobody rejects such a proposition.
Tools For Spotting Broken Links
If you need to know how to find broken links for further repairing them, the optimal solution is to make use of special tools. No matter whether you will be “hunting” for the dead refs on your own site or on the other platforms, if it is small enough, opt for one of the suggested tools:
It is good for spotting all the non-working external refs. The service will check and show you all of them that are not accessible anymore, plus you can use them for both external and internal refs. In addition, you can receive the report regarding any website, not only your own one.
- the Site Audit
In case your goal is a larger website, shift to this one. It will do a live crawl which means you will not miss any single external ref that is not leading anywhere now. By the way, the Site Audit will be suitable for scanning the internal refs, too.
Since performing these tasks (even with the help of online tools that do all the search work for you) is rather mundane stuff, no wonder that most people prefer to rather find a good VA and pay him for doing this instead of spending days or even weeks in front of the monitor.
What About Fixing Them?
Well, you have searched out all the dead refs that show the way to nowhere. But what shall you do now? Honestly saying, the procedure of rectifying broken refs is rather simple. It is just that performing this is super tedious so be ready for that.
Speaking of rectifying itself, basically, you can perform it in two distinct ways:
1. Replace the non-operating “dead” refs with the live ones. That is obvious. Simply find a proper and close replacement for the dead link and replace it on the website. Nevertheless, the time you will have to spend on trifling with that may vary significantly.
Everything hangs upon how many broken refs you detected. If there are only a few of them, it can take you several minutes to settle this, but if you have tons of “dead”, well, prepare for days or even weeks of monotonous work!
2. Remove the “disabled” refs. The procedure itself is simple (just spot the reference in the content, and then delete it), but it can be rather time-devouring, again, depending on the number of refs that you will need to take care of.
So, as you can see, broken links are not always that bad. With the reasonable use of broken link building, it is possible to create well-working backlinks that will contribute to your website’s development and make it boost.
Now that you are aware of why those dead refs appear and what you can do to rectify the challenge, you can offer your help to other online marketers and bloggers with “repairing” broken refs in exchange for linking to your site.
A win-win situation for both parties, don’t you agree?