Broken Link Building: Complete Guide to Master BLB

Broken Link Building: Complete Guide to Master BLB
Broken Link Building: Complete Guide to Master BLB

Back when I was 18, I had a website dedicated to my favorite Marvel Universe. It was a labor of love, but my pages often suffered from errors like 404—Broken Links. Obviously, it resulted in weak SEO.

Those broken links on my fan site were like torn pages in a comic book—frustrating and misleading for visitors. Since then, I have had to eat SEO every day.

Broken links are trash! That’s how I believed, only to discover—that’s not it. Broken link-building practices can power these dead pages to connect and walk alive.

Today, you’ll learn how these broken links can build a strong linking asset for your website. A powerful solution to strengthen your website SEO.

What is Broken Link Building?
How does Broken Link Building Work?
How to do Broken Link Building?

“Broken Link” similar to its name, means broken, missing, or not found pages on search engines with some error. Most people don’t know that these broken links fixating can boost their position on search engines. The term used for this is — “Broken Link Building”

Now how you can use these broken links? Collect them, swoop in, and rebuild them. It's that simple if you do the right practice and understand how this link-fixing works. You're not just repairing links; you're creating new ways for potential customers to enter your store on the web.

Assume a popular blog in your niche topic has a broken link linking to a no-longer-existent resource. You can step in and provide excellent replacement content. Your website receives an increase in visitors, and search engines give you a thumbs up.

Links are the love language in the eyes of search engines. They are a powerful indicator of the standard of a website and the value it provides to its audience. So, according to a search engine, your site needs to be a good boy. It's a good deed in its eyes to fix up any broken or dead links, ensuring all URLs are working and unbroken.

However, for big websites, this process is more difficult than it appears. Finding and changing broken links distributed over various articles, blog posts, and resources takes a significant amount of time and physical labor. You can resolve these annoying links by creating better replacement content for them.

Broken links are more than simply annoyances. They result in a loss of website visits and, ultimately, paying clients. So, you have the right opportunity to be the good boy and multiply your website's scoreboard.

I’ll break down the process step by step, like a GPS for your broken link-building journey. 

What Is Backlink Profile and Why Is It So Important for SEO in 2022?
Backlink profile is one of the key factors in SEO that helps websites rank higher on Google. Want to know its importance in SEO?. Let’s find out.

We get a bunch of emails asking to add their links to some of our respective content pages. And guess what, they never even get a reply. Why? Because that's not going to help us in any way.

However, that's not the case with broken link building. If someone brings value with their replacement content, to fix our broken links, it's a fair deal. Here is how you can do this practice-

Should You Pursue a Broken Link Opportunity?
Should You Pursue a Broken Link Opportunity?
  1. Search Broken Pages with Backlinks
  2. Chose for 'Good' links 
  3. Create the Best Replacement Content
  4. Use Your P2 Game (Perfect Pitch)
  5. Pitch n Repeat

Start looking for broken pages with backlinks from your site. You can do a backlink audit using the Semrush tool or any other SEO tool. You can identify broken backlinks by checking for URL and server errors.

Backlink Audit
Backlink Audit

The tool's "Audit" tab filters for URL errors, and helps remove potentially damaging backlinks. The "Toxicity Score" filter ensures non-toxic backlinks, preventing damage to the website.

Toxicity Score Filter
Toxicity Score Filter

Look for your Competitor’s Broken Pages

  • Open your go-to SEO tool—let's take Ahrefs for the competitor's research. It’s the best
Ahrefs Tools
Ahrefs Tools
  • In the search bar, enter your competitor’s domain, the one you find effective
  • Find the "Best by Links" option in Ahrefs. It's akin to their trophy case, featuring your competitor's most linked-to pages
  • You can also use the “check my links” Google extension. It’s free and works for the same cause
Ahrefs Search Bar
Ahrefs Search Bar
  • Use the filter “only broken” links to find pages with 404 errors or pages that have been moved (301 redirects). 
  • These are the breadcrumbs that will lead you to the broken links
  • Dive deeper into the websites that have linked to their content. No less than the “20 referral domains” volume should be on your list
  • From the list of pages, look for the ones suitable for you
Ahrefs - List of Pages
Ahrefs - List of Pages

Pro Tips:

Analyze the top competitors in your niche. Don’t just stick to one. Browse to the "Competing Domains" report in "Site Explorer" to see if other websites are ranking for the same keywords.

Look for Broken Pages About a Topic

Now, focus on broken pages related to a specific topic. Here’s how:

  • Choose your niche topic, something broad that is relevant. Assume you're into fitness and your topic is "High-Intensity Workouts."
  • Use Ahrefs (or any other SEO Tool)
  • Start your trusted tool and enter a keyword relating to your selected topic
  • Return to the "Best by Links" section, but this time look at it from a conceptual standpoint
  • You're looking for pages that used to rule the subject but are currently out of favor
  • To find broken or removed pages, use the same 404 or redirect the “only broken link” filter
  • Your goal is to identify pages that were once the top trends but are no longer the same
  • Now, analyze the content and prepare a better one
  • Similarly, explore diverse topics you can search, analyze, and create

Pro Tip:

Select the broken link you want to replace and enter the URL into the “Wayback Machine”. This tool allows you to view a web page, as it was back then. More often, you'll be able to find a screenshot of the page when it was public. So, you can now analyze and start preparing better content.

Wayback Machine Tool
Wayback Machine Tool

Now, the broken links in the shadows of your competitors' websites. Here's a guide:

  • Choose a formidable competitor, someone whose every move you're keen on tracking.
  • Ahrefs is your tool of choice – enter the competitor's domain and prepare to infiltrate.
  • Ahrefs has a nifty section called "Outgoing Links." It's like the blueprint of your competitor's secret weapons.
  • These are the links they trust, and you're looking for the ones that have lost their way.
  • Apply the broken link filter – 404 errors or redirects are your breadcrumbs.
  • Go for links that complement your offerings, making the replacement seamless.
Selection of the Links
Selection of the Links

Pro Tips:

Regularly update your competitor list; new contenders may have appeared.

  • Think of the key topics in your industry that serve as hubs for resources. It could be "Ultimate Guides" or "Resource Lists."
  • Use Ahrefs – enter a broad keyword related to your industry, and let it guide you to the resource pages.
  • You will see several pages that could serve as broken link-building opportunities.
  • Navigate through the resource pages and keep an eagle eye on outbound links.
  • Apply the “broken link filter”. The 404s and redirects are where your X marks the spot.
  • Use the broken links that align with your niche. You're not just adding any link; you're providing value.
  • Your replacement content should offer value to the reader and viewers

Pro Tip:

Explore different types of resource pages. In Google, use the following search terms to find resource pages:

  • “Keyword” + inurl:resources
  • “Keyword” + intitle:links
  • “Keyword” + “helpful resources”
  • “Keyword” + “useful resources”
Google search for Resource Pages
Google search for Resource Pages

Not all links are 'good' links. As a result, you should choose your efforts strategically. Let us now begin the process-

  • Check the domain authority of that link site using tools such as Moz or Ahrefs. Look for links with high-DA (Domain Authority) sites. They are more SEO-friendly.
  • A link from a niche-specific site is worth more than a generic one.
  • A healthy link profile contains a variety of link types, including dofollow, nofollow, text, and image links.
Ahrefs - Referring Domain
Ahrefs - Referring Domain
  • Research into the existence of a broken link. Was it a citation, a reference, or a recommendation
  • Analyze the anchor texts in the broken link. Follow them in your replacement content to ensure an effortless shift
  • Prioritize quality over quantity. One link from a high-authority site may outshine many from low-authority ones

Create the Best Replacement Content

Now that you've found and analyzed your broken link treasures, it's time to create your masterpiece - the replacement page!

  • Go through the original content
  • Analyze the original content gaps
  • Divide it into pieces or steps for simple use
  • Enhance your content with the most current information & industry data. It boosts reliability and makes your page more linkable
  • Make use of visuals, infographics, and videos. Visual content is easy to understand and share
  • For easier reading, use brief paragraphs, bullet points, and subheadings
  • A page that is easy to use is more likely to keep users and earn natural backlinks
  • Naturally, blend relevant keywords within your piece of content

Pro Tips:

Your replacement page does more than just fix a broken link. It also improves the user experience. Consider your page to be a magnet, automatically attracting links for its worth and appeal.

Use Your P2 Game (Perfect Pitch)

It's time to take the stage and tell the world about your PERFECT replacement page. Your call is to reach out, and here's how to do it skillfully.

  • Determine the contact information for the webmaster or site owners whose pages have broken links
  • Tools like Hunter and Voila Norbert help you search for any VIP's mail with their name
  • Your pitching email is your initial point of contact. Make it customized, clear, and to the point
  • Mention the broken link, thank them for their content, and offer a solution


Greetings, Brian Dean

I hope this email finds you in good health. I recently discovered your great [5 easy steps to find broken links and power them] page, and I couldn't help but notice a broken link pointing to [page url]. As someone who is really interested in [SEO & marketing], I recognized an opportunity to help by providing an up-to-date and thorough resource to fix this out.

I've created a replacement page that fits appropriately with the rest of your content. You can find it at [Your Replacement Page URL]. Use it, and be sure to let me know how it enhances your existing masterpiece.

Looking forward to hearing from you!



Don't give up if you don't receive a response after your first email. After a week, send a courteous follow-up email. Persistence pays off. Often it's as simple as catching them at the right time.

Pro Tip:

Your strength is personalization. Mention specific parts from their text to demonstrate that you've done your research. Be sincere and polite. You're not simply asking for a favor; you're providing value.

Pitch n Repeat

Don’t just stop there with 10 to 20 mail thinking that’s enough. It’s a long-term conversion process. You are not just offering your article but building a long-term relationship. 

Go for all your best pitches to the big and small players. Address them by name, acknowledge their significant work, and convey genuine admiration.

Convey how your replacement page is a collaborative effort rather than a gift. The idea is to create a connection that would work for a long-term conversion link.

Pro Tip:

You can try tools like "Ninja Outreach", and "Find that lead" or you can go hand in hand with Gmail. It's evergreen. You can adapt to the CloudHQ free extension on your Gmail account. It helps you manage the flow. Also, you can use links within the email text copy. This simplifies your work.

SEO Link Building: How to Get Powerful Links in 2023

Final Notes

Bravo! You have accomplished the small process. Now here are some notes that can help you in the overall process of SEO-

  1. Track Your Success - Monitor the performance of your replacement pages. Tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs can provide information on traffic and link growth.
  2. Maintain an Adaptive Approach - Adaptability is the key to long-term success in the fast-paced world of SEO.
  3. Build Relationships, Not Just Links - Keep in mind that every website has a human behind it. Develop genuine connections with webmasters, influencers, and other link builders.
  4. Educate and Share Your Knowledge - Not only does being a valuable contributor to the industry increase your authority, but it also enriches the SEO community.

Leave your queries in the comments below. Let's figure things out for you!


Broken Link similar to its name, means broken, missing, or not found pages on search engines with some error.

A backlink can be exemplified by any article that includes a hyperlink leading to another source or website.

Broken link building can be done by following the below steps:

  1. Search Broken Pages with Backlinks
  2. Chose for 'Good' links 
  3. Create the Best Replacement Content
  4. Use Your P2 Game (Perfect Pitch)
  5. Pitch n Repeat

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