Broken link building: A way to take advantage of a 404 page

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It's been quite some time before I last posted an update here on my blog. Lots of things have changed and it drove my attention to stay away from keyboard to write content, enough with the excuses. Nobody cares what I've been doing for the last couple of weeks.

Broken link building is probably quite new to other SEO practitioners and probably, not all link builders are aware of this method since initially when people think about website marketing: content marketing, video marketing and search engine marketing are probably the first thing that will come out of their mind.



Since the competition nowadays in the advanced approach in online marketing is content, the majority of websites are losing a tremendous amount of benefits from taking advantage finding and fixing 404 pages. Though some people say, having 404 pages on your website is alright to keep them stay a bit longer on the website, it would be much better if we could deliver them something they needed in the first place.

The formula here is to find websites related to your niche and conduct on site link audit to see if you can find broken links that you can benefit from.

Search - Initially, you would start by looking for resources to create a list of your prospect websites that you can use to your campaign. This process could take a lot of time if you are kind of picky when choosing a website to add into your resource list. But if you are just after increasing your inbound links then, you can list down all the websites in search results and be prepared for the penalties after quite some time. So to find websites related to your industry, try using operator search in search box ("keyword" inurl:resources") You can find Google search operator keys here.

Keep in mind that you need to segregate which websites are the most valuable and worth linking to compare the other. Identify good ones and bad ones.

Analyze - Once you have a list of prospect websites, you can now conduct a bit of checking to have your trusted list of websites that you will be using for broken link building. Although this may seem pretty easy to basic, it's still good to keep using these four criteria in practice to properly identify good sites in your industry.

Domain authority - Identify your prospect websites' authority in search. This is one of the most important factor to consider when looking for opportunity whether if it's for guest posting or broken link building. Since authoritative domain is competitive itself, better to take advantage of it.



To check a website domain authority, you can use opensiteexploree.org for reliable results. Just keep in mind that a good authority of a domain starts at 30-40 then for competitive 50-70 higher ranking and competitive is 70-100.

Citation Flow – This is a Majestic SEO Flow Metric, which is weighted by the number citations to a given URL, or Domain.



Trust Flow - Trust is also an important factor in SEO, as this associate with long term relationship. Identify the trust flow of your prospect websites by using tool such as majesticseo.com. You will then see how strong and important your prospect website to its target audience and in your industry.

Identify the 404 page - Now that you are done doing all the major factor to look at when doing your broken link building campaign, it's now your opportunity to make a list of 404 pages of a website.

You can use several tools to conduct onsite link check so that you will not have to do this manually. Here are some:

  • http://frayd.us/extensions/linkchecker/
  • http://www.brokenlinkbuilding.com
  • http://www.screamingfrog.com

Outreach - The last part of the process is to contact the website owner/webmaster through email saying the problem/broken link that you've discovered while doing your research. Suggest your very own website content asset or resources relevant to the broken link so that they can fix those errors with a help of your website.

Summary

Old link building methods are long gone (directory and article submission) can lead to negative result in the long run which can affect your website and business performance. Being creative and unique in building your profile links will do the job better than you expected. Broken link building may not be the best tactic to all industries but slowly but surely, once you find the treasure in your roadmap, you will get the best out of it.


Joseph Gojo Cruz is the author of RankingElite, a Philippine-based Online Marketing blog. Joseph has been working in SEO industry for over 3 years from website audit, link and content development, social media and search engine optimization. Connect with Joseph on Google+Twitter, and Facebook. Joseph is also a contributor on SEJ and Ahrefs.