Broken link building is a strategic approach used in search engine optimisation (SEO) to improve a website’s rankings and authority. In simple terms, broken link building involves identifying broken links on other websites and reaching out to the respective webmasters, offering replacement links from your own website. Broken links are hyperlinks that no longer function due to various reasons such as page deletions, URL changes, or website migrations. These broken links not only hinder user experience but also have a negative impact on search engine rankings.

Broken link building aims to fix these broken links by providing webmasters with valuable replacement content, thereby benefiting both parties involved. This approach has gained significant importance in SEO as it not only helps in building quality backlinks but also enhances the overall user experience and website credibility. By utilising broken link building, website owners can improve their search rankings, increase organic traffic, and establish themselves as authoritative sources in their respective industries.

Understanding Broken Links

Broken links are hyperlinks that no longer function or lead to an intended webpage. They occur when a linked page is removed, renamed, or its URL structure is modified without proper redirection. Broken links can also result from typing errors, server issues, or improper coding. These broken links can significantly impact user experience and search engine rankings.

From a user’s perspective, encountering a broken link can be frustrating and may lead to a negative perception of the website’s credibility. From an SEO standpoint, search engines consider broken links as dead ends, which can harm a website’s visibility and rankings. Search engine crawlers rely on links to navigate through websites and index their content. When they encounter broken links, it disrupts the crawling process and hampers the website’s overall visibility and ranking potential.

The Concept of Broken Link Building

Broken link building is a link building strategy that capitalises on the existence of broken links on other websites. Instead of simply reporting broken links, this strategy involves reaching out to webmasters or website owners and offering them relevant replacement content from your own website. By leveraging existing broken links, website owners can secure new backlinks and improve their SEO efforts.

The concept is based on the idea that webmasters would prefer to have working links on their websites rather than broken ones. By providing them with valuable replacement content, broken link building allows website owners to earn new backlinks, enhance their website’s link profile, and increase their chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This strategy not only helps in building quality backlinks but also contributes to the overall improvement of the internet ecosystem by fixing broken links and providing users with valuable and functional resources.

How Broken Link Building Works

The process of broken link building involves two main steps: identifying broken links on other websites and reaching out to webmasters with replacement link offers. To identify broken links, you can employ various methods. One approach is conducting manual checks by visiting relevant websites and exploring their content for broken links. Additionally, you can use online tools like broken link checkers or browser extensions that scan webpages and highlight any broken links they find.

Another method is competitor analysis, where you examine the backlinks of your competitors to uncover broken links that you can potentially address. Once you have identified broken links, the next step is reaching out to the webmasters or website owners. Craft a personalised email highlighting the broken link you found and offering a relevant and valuable replacement link from your own website.

Emphasise the benefits of the replacement link and how it can enhance the quality and user experience of their website. Building a genuine connection and providing value to the webmasters increases the likelihood of them accepting your offer and incorporating your replacement link.

Benefits of Broken Link Building

Broken link building offers several advantages as a link building strategy.

Firstly, it allows you to acquire high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. Since broken link building focuses on offering valuable replacement content, the chances of obtaining relevant and authoritative backlinks increase significantly. These quality backlinks contribute to improving your website’s rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) and increasing its overall authority and trustworthiness.

Secondly, broken link building helps drive targeted traffic to your website. By providing relevant replacement links, you attract visitors who are genuinely interested in your content, which can lead to higher conversion rates and engagement.

Thirdly, broken link building aids in enhancing the user experience by fixing broken links on other websites. By offering functional links and valuable resources, you contribute to a seamless browsing experience for users and build positive brand associations.

Finally, this strategy provides an opportunity for networking and building relationships with webmasters and influencers in your industry, opening doors for future collaborations and partnerships.

If you like the idea of broken link building and the benefits that accompany it, may I suggest you read our How to guide on broken link building? It will provide more valuable insight into how to do it correctly and effectively.

Ethical Considerations of Broken Link Building

When engaging in broken link building, it is crucial to uphold ethical practices and respect webmasters’ decisions. Remember that webmasters have the autonomy to accept or decline your replacement link offer. Respect their choices and avoid any aggressive or manipulative tactics. Transparency and genuineness should be the guiding principles of your outreach efforts.

Clearly communicate your intentions and the value you can provide through the replacement link. Avoid deceptive or misleading practices that may damage your reputation or the reputation of your website.

Additionally, always follow legal and copyright guidelines when using any content for replacement links. By adhering to ethical considerations, you not only build positive relationships with webmasters but also contribute to a healthier and more trustworthy online ecosystem.


Broken link building is a powerful and effective strategy that can greatly benefit your SEO efforts.

Throughout this blog post, we have covered the key aspects of broken link building, including understanding broken links, the concept of broken link building, how it works, and its benefits. We have also highlighted the importance of ethical considerations and genuine outreach practices.

Broken link building offers long-term benefits such as improved website rankings, increased authority, targeted traffic, and enhanced user experience. It presents an opportunity to connect with webmasters, build relationships, and establish your website as a valuable resource in your industry.

As you embark on your SEO journey, consider implementing broken link building as a part of your strategy. Take the time to identify broken links, reach out to webmasters with valuable replacement links, and contribute to a better online ecosystem.

By embracing broken link building, you can elevate your website’s visibility, authority, and ultimately achieve your SEO goals.

Neil Manchip SEO Consultant