Effective Link Building with Broken Link Buidling

Effective link building with broken link building

Just a few weeks ago, the results of a survey on moz.com appeared, according to the respondents Broken Linkbuilding as the most effective strategy for link building. We already reported about it in our weekly review . Today, the topic Broken Linkbuilding will now be examined in more detail in a journal article.

How does Broken Linkbuilding work?

Broken Linkbuilding = das kaputte Glied einer Kette wiederherstellen

The Broken Linkbuilding is about the replacement of foreign, no longer functioning links by your own. The first step is to find dead links. In the second step, suitable content will be created, if it does not already exist. In the third step you contact the webmasters of the sites with the dead links and offer them an alternative with their own content.

The potential of Broken Linkbuilding is that it aims for long-term success. The strategy only works if you create good content. This acts as an incentive to link to the website. If you publish good content, you do not have to fear Google’s punishment. As Russ Jones puts it in the Broken Link Building Bible, “The success of the campaign is just proportional to how much good you do for the web .” Another advantage of Broken Linkbuilding over conventional link building is a higher success rate for requests from webmasters. If you contact a webmaster about a dead link, the site operator not only notifies you of a problem (link on 404 page), but also provides the solution (link to your own content). It creates a win-win situation. Most site operators will be grateful for pointing out the problem as well as offering an alternative. Linkbuilding on high trust sites is also possible.

No wonder that the participants in the study mentioned Broken Linkbuilding as very effective. The graph shows an overview of several link-building strategies that were rated by the study participants on a scale of 1 – 5 (1 = harmful, 5 = extremely effective).

Here are two of the different ways to do broken linkbuilding:

  • Search for broken links using target keywords
  • Search for broken links using a selected URL / website

The former method requires more work, but is also more promising. Therefore, in the further course of this article, I will take a closer look at this link-building strategy.

Step 1: Find broken links

  • First, important keywords need to be identified . These can be selected based on their relevance to the website (or product sold), the targeted audience, or their geographic relevance. For brainstorming, the question helps: In which categories is the company / product / website?
  • To find suitable pages on which a link is eligible, is the Google search. Let’s say “health insurance” has been identified as an important keyword for a career starter portal. The search query can look like this: 

Some useful search terms help filter the results. For example:

Intitle: “Left”

Intitle: “useful links”

Intitle: “Sites”

Intitle: “Websites”

Inurl: “Left”

A detailed list of helpful search parameters can also be found on moz.com .

  • From the results you create a list . All duplicates from the list are deleted (eg with Excel> Data> Remove duplicates).
  • You now have an extensive list of websites that rank to the keyword health insurance and the word links in the title. So far so good. Now all external links pointing to a 404 error page are searched.
  • With the Browser Extensions Check my Links (Chrome) or Link Checker (Firefox) you can see the dead links of a page at first glance. Alternatively, you can use the Screaming Frog, which also displays the status codes of the outgoing links of a page. On the basis of the link text one examines at the same time whether the own content represents a meaningful, contentwise addition.
  • The 404 pages can be sorted by number of incoming links . The more links she has, the greater the chance of being able to substitute.
  • It may make sense to check exactly what content was previously published on the 404 page. The Wayback Machine finds older versions of pages that have been archived. So you know, if you have to offer relevant content yourself.

Step 2: Produce your own content

Although this step is not explained in detail here, it is the most important step. The success of this particular link building strategy depends largely on the quality of the content. In particular, if the links come from sites that are non-commercial and have a high trust, sufficient time must be invested in content creation. This means including current numbers and statistics as well as citations and specifying sources. Good content is specifically supported with a few internal links to increase the power of the page.

Step 3: Contact

When contacting the Broken Linkbuilding, even more than in the conventional link structure, it is personal and individual to design. This is especially true because you often write to potential link givers who are not themselves from the online marketing area and do not know the link building business. The following basic rules help with a successful contact:


  • Become acquainted with the webmaster prior to the first request for the link and post it to a blog post, for example, in the comments or via e-mail questions.
  • Follow the webmaster on Twitter.
  • No link in the first e-mail: URLs and hyperlinks increase the likelihood that the e-mail will end up in the spam folder.


  • Address the addressee by name ; The contact details of a webmaster can be viewed on denic.de .
  • Do not assume that the webmaster knows the principles of search engine optimization.
  • Clear list: What advantages does the webmaster have by setting a link?
  • Concrete examples help laypersons and professionals alike understand the cooperation.
  • End the email with a question: So the webmaster knows that an answer is expected from him.
  • Control: Votes Contact and Website?
  • To “hide” your own link between other valuable links (which are not competitors).