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How To Use Broken Links To Earn New Links

How to earn links with broken linking

If you've hit a brick wall when it comes to moving your content up the rankings, then it's most likely time to start doing some active link building. Google will naturally rank the best and most informative content. Still, posts that have serviced queries for a long time or domains that have high authority or age are pretty stubborn when trying o leapfrog them to get a more significant piece of those SERP clicks.

Link building is a tough gig, it covers sourcing, reaching out, pitching, preparing content and constant follow-ups with a lot of it out of your control. Getting your foot in the door, especially with more significant sites can be a task many site owners stumble at and give up on the idea of link building.

I can completely understand, as a profesional link builder myself I've had the digital door slammed in my face enough times to know what works and what doesn't work so I thought I'd share some of my secrets with you. One of my more fruitful link building techniques leverages broken links, in what I call the good samaritan method of link building.

Larger sites have all the negotiating power, and they're often get blasted with several outreach emails a day making them numb to your pitches, and that's why you need to try earning their good graces first.

So how do you go about ingratiating yourself with the masters of the universe that have all the domain authority and link equity that could make a difference to your rankings? Well broken links, of course, it's a great ice breaker to get your foot in the door.

Specific broken links

The first thing you should do is install a broken link checker into your browser there are several available for Chrome, Brave and Firefox which allows you o quickly see and highlight any broken links on a page. When you are doing your research for links and reviewing various blog posts and articles, if you pick up any broken links, you could use it as a way to get a link on that article.

Contact the owner and mention that the link is out of date or broken, and you have a replacement link as a source. If its a listicle to mention that product is no longer available and to add yours as an alternative. This is a great way to help the other website gain value for their users, remain competitive with their content and thus refer you more traffic should you secure a link on that article.

To give you an idea of how to reach out, please check out the template outreach email here.


Hi Sir/Madan

I came across your post researching xxx, and I thought it was an excellent resource of anyone looking for xxx information. While reading your post, I couldn't help but notice that one of your links *example* links off to a broken site/page.

I thought I'd reach out and let you know what we have a complimentary resource that could take the place of that broken link.

You can find a direct link to our resource here, and we would appreciate it if you would consider linking to our post.


General broken links

I realise that situations like the one mentioned above are rare, but that doesn't mean you can't still leverage this same technique to get yourself a link. If you've identified a site, you would like a link from, and you find no issue with their links what you can do is spider their entire site for problems.

Boot up your web crawling tool, (I often use Screaming Frog for these reports) and run a scrape of their site and look for any broken internal or external links. Once you've identified a broken link, you can use that as your way to break the ice.

To give you an idea of how to reach out, please check out the template outreach email here.


Hi Sir/Madan

I came across your post researching xxx, and I thought it was an excellent resource of anyone looking for xxx information. As I was browsing through your site, I couldn't help but notice that one of your links *example* links off to a broken site/page.

I thought I'd reach out and let you know that you may want to consider fixing this by replacing the link (If this an external broken link) / running a 301 redirect (If this an internal broken link).

You can find a direct link to the blog and the link that is causing the issue here.

Oh and by the way, while I have you here, I thought I'd compliment you on the post that brought me to your site and was wondering if you would be willing to include us as a resource on this article.


Broken links building ties

It is by no means a full proof plan, but it does have a better percentage of success over here's my content, it's excellent, would you kindly link back to it strategy.

If you've had trouble reaching out and getting a response from sites, then this could be an opportunity to grab their attention.

Link building doesn't get any easier, and it's up to you get creative if you want to pitch sites for links, the conversion rate is so low that any link you do acquire puts you in a better position than those who don't make an effort.

Yes, it can be time-consuming and demoralising to be ignored or said not to regularly, but it only makes the upside of getting a link feel a lot sweeter as a victory.

Protip! If you're keen on checking out other link building methods we highly suggest you check out our posts on:

Tell us your SEO story

Have you been frustrated with SEO for your business? Has link building got you down? Have you ever secured a link using the broken link strategy before? Let us know in the comments below.

Additionally, if this method has worked for you, we encourage you to mail us with the subject line "A linky boom-boom down" and the URL to the link you acquired, we always love to hear success stories with the informant method. 

Contact us

If you would like us to improve the SEO or want us to create a link building strategy for your site or want to know more about digital marketing for your business, then don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us

Are you looking to promote your business?

South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.

If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles. 

Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on SEO and search updates.

Tags: Link Building, SEO

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