21 May 2023

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The Comprehensive Treatise on Broken Link Building

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Broken link building, also known as dead link building, is a powerful technique for acquiring backlinks by replacing broken links with functional ones on targeted websites. This strategy flips the traditional outreach dynamics on its head.

Instead of demanding something from website owners, like a link or a share, broken link building starts by offering help. By identifying broken links on someone’s website and providing a valuable service, you establish a foundation of goodwill. Then, you follow up with a request for a link. This “give before you ask” approach makes your request more appealing and increases the likelihood of success.

One indispensable tool in the broken link building process is Check My Links, a free Chrome extension that scans web pages for broken links. While you can use this tool to browse random sites, scaling up your efforts requires strategic targeting of pages that are likely to have a high number of broken links. Pages with numerous external links are more prone to containing broken links.

To find these heavily linked pages, leverage Google to search for “Resource Pages.” These pages curate resources on specific subjects and often host a multitude of links. By using search strings like “Keyword” + inurl:resources or “Keyword” + “useful resources,” you can discover these pages that are ripe for broken link building opportunities.

Leveraging Google and Wikipedia

Once you’ve identified a broken link, don’t limit your outreach efforts to the host site alone. Take it a step further by finding everyone else who links to that broken link. You can achieve this by inputting the dead link into comprehensive link analysis tools like Semrush.

Another underutilized source of broken links is Wikipedia. Many of its 404 pages attract numerous backlinks due to the valuable information they contain. By using search strings like site:wikipedia.org “keyword” intext:”dead link,” you can uncover these hidden gems and capitalize on them.

Efficiency with Tools

While manual processes can be effective, if you’re looking for efficiency and scalability, consider leveraging Semrush’s Site Audit’s “Broken external links” report and “Broken Pages” report in “Backlink Analytics.” These reports simplify the process of finding broken links and save you valuable time.

Providing Compelling Alternatives

When implementing broken link building, aim to provide a close replacement for the dead link. Your content should be a compelling alternative that makes it an easy decision for the host to replace the broken link with your content. To maximize effectiveness, ensure that your content closely matches or surpasses the quality of the original content that the broken link pointed to.

Effective Email Outreach

In your email outreach efforts, strive to be exceedingly helpful. Don’t just point out a single broken link; identify all the broken links on their page and provide detailed information about them. This value-first approach will impress recipients and make them more inclined to add your link.

However, it’s important to note that not all sites are worth your time. If you come across a site that appears abandoned and neglected, it’s better to conserve your energy and move on.

When communicating with potential hosts, avoid being overly insistent or demanding. Pushiness is often counterproductive in this strategy. Instead, gently nudge them into considering adding your link without explicitly asking for it.

Targeting the Right Sites

Additionally, ensure that your outreach emails reach the right person – someone who has the authority to replace the broken link on their page. This may require some extra effort, especially in large organizations with multiple departments. However, getting your message to the right person can significantly increase your chances of success.


In conclusion, broken link building is an ingenious strategy that can greatly enhance your backlink building efforts when applied judiciously and consistently. By offering help first and approaching outreach with a value-first mindset, you can establish strong relationships and secure valuable backlinks for your website. Remember to leverage tools like Check My Links and Semrush to streamline your process and maximize efficiency. With these tactics in your arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped to succeed in the world of broken link building and boost your website’s visibility and authority.

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