Broken Link Building: How And Why You Do It?

Broken Link Building: How And Why You Do It?

One of the challenges of brand new websites, even those old ones, is how to gain backlinks. As many of us know the importance of those links pointing to your site as it will help us rank better on the Google search engine result page. In this post, we will guide you on how to do broken link building.

Before we dive deeper into this topic, let’s clear up some common questions with regards to backlinks as not all links pointing to your web assets are the same in Google’s eyes. The truth is, if you don’t do it properly the result will be harmful, not to mention a waste of time.

What is broken link building?

It’s one of the link acquisition tactics where you look for broken links from pages of another website. Once you have the list of web pages with hyperlinks pointing to 404s, you then contact the owner of that website and offer them your own write-up found on your website and convince them to replace the broken link with your own.

Many SEO practitioners consider this tactic as an effective tool as you’re not only helping the webmaster fix their website by eliminating those unwanted dead links but you’re also giving their site more value by providing informative and complementing articles.

Are all backlinks the same?

Well, maybe before 2021 or before Google unleashed their Penguin update we can say that all links are equal. Most webmasters at that time discovered that by inflating the incoming links of their website they saw improvements to their Google search rankings. There are even tools that were developed to automate the link acquisitions. These webmasters are getting their backlinks from places like forums, blog comments, article directories, web directories and even they built their own link pyramids by implementing private blog networks.

The result of these now known as blackhat tactics is that the site will gain backlinks from different sources and the majority are irrelevant to the destination website. Likewise, the anchor text used to obtain backlinks are unnatural like “Sydney dentist”, “best dentist in Sydney”, and “dentist near me”. According to White Hat SEO studies, anchor texts of the popular legit website use either their brand name or their site’s naked URL as their anchor texts.

What is Google Penguin?

Google realised that many webmasters found a flaw in their search algorithm. To fight web spam, they released a major update in their ranking process in 2012 and called it Google Penguin.

This major update from the search engine giant is to analyse the incoming backlinks. What most SEOs understand about the details of this matter, is that the new algorithm will try to analyse the number of backlinks of a particular website, analyse the number of referring domains and then take the percentage of the anchor text used. If Google finds irregularity; with the assistance of their machine learning technology, they will drop the search ranking of the website in question for some specific keyword.

How to do broken link building?

Here is the basic guide on how to execute this broken link-building process. In this example, we are using a Chrome plugin called Check My Links to find dead links from a page.

Step 1: Find a page with broken links that is relevant to your website

We assume that we’re building backlinks for a dentistry clinic in Sydney. Here we found a relevant website that contains a broken link.

Broken Link Building

Step 2: Create your own version of the page that will be used as a replacement

You can use Wayback Machine to see what was the original article so that you’ll have an idea of what it looked like in the past. If it’s not available in Wayback Machine then your next option is to search in Google and use the top results as your content inspiration.

Important: Make sure that you don’t copy and paste. You must publish original content.

Step 3: Send an email to the webmaster and inform them of the broken link you found.

It’s recommended to send two emails, the first is just like an introductory message then the second will contain your backlink request. Remember, the other party are not robots and they’re also human beings. You need to gain a relationship with them before you can get what you want.

You can say something like this in your first email:

Hi {webmaster name},

I was browsing for some information on the internet related to dentistry and I found your amazing article called {title of the article}.

The content is awesome.

{Mention part of the write-up and why you like it most. This is to give the webmaster the feeling that you sincerely went through the article and not just another random backlink beggar.}


What I like about your article is that you explained the solution in deeper detail. It will help not only regular patients but also the dentistry community.

However, I found a few links which aren’t working or end up on a 404 page. Do you want me to forward you a list of these deadlinks I came across?



Here’s what you can say in your second email or after the webmaster replies to your initial message:

Hi {webmaster name},

As I mentioned in my previous email, your article is top notch. You can keep the current write-up apart from those links which aren’t working. You can refer to this screenshot where you’ll find the section of this non-working hyperlink.

{provide screenshot}

Also, it’ll be great if you can consider my write-up as a replacement for that mentioned broken link. Here’s the URL of my page {provide your url} which I’m confident can bring additional value to your readers.



So there you go, that’s how you do broken link building to improve your website search ranking.

Please feel free to provide your thoughts and comments to this article based on your experience.
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