How to Be a Backlink Builder By Using “Broken” Links

Chain breaking

There are over 1 billion websites on the World Wide Web today, and at least 4.73 billion indexed pages.

Linkrot accounts for around 5% of all links posted on the internet every year, that figure can be as high as 24.5% depending on the industry.

Whenever a link is posted on the internet, be that in a blog, document or website, it only works while the linked site is up. If the site goes down, so does the link. You end up with a broken link = linkrot.

But how can that help us to build traffic to our websites?

All of those broken or dead links are a resource that’s just waiting to be used. We can use them to our advantage IF we’re prepared to put in a little effort.

Backlink building is a common strategy to improve SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and drive traffic to a website, you’ll notice that backlinks happen on nearly every single website that you visit.

Becoming a backlink builder isn’t an overnight process, even more so when we talk about using broken links. The results are hard won, but when done correctly, worth it.

Become an Expert Backlink Builder

Before we get too carried away, it’s worth understanding that success rates are between 5 – 10%; for every 100 emails you send, only 5 – 10 will get a positive response. Since you’ll be emailing webmasters to fix links, you need to know that you might get a low response.

To be successful with broken backlink building, you need to scale up and do it en masse.

But we must also add a caveat: Only try for relevant links and sites.

This means that you need to do some simple desktop research.

Our suggestion would be to have reasonably broad search terms to start, then narrow that field down to keywords that may be used for your product or service.

Keyword Searching

Finding sites with relevant content is easy, a quick Google (or whichever your preferred choice of search engine is) search using the following parameters will bring up a whole world of sites.

  • “keyword”intitle:resources
  • “keyword”intitle:recommended
  • “keyword”intitle:resourcesintitle:submit (this is particularly useful – it gives results of other sites looking to add sites to their resource page, they are likely to be much more receptive)
  • “keyword” (great for the educational links and excludes the pdf’s)

Some search tips to help with your quest:

  • Use a minus (-) sign to exclude certain results as shown in the above example, or …
  • “” to remove any Wikipedia result (substitute Wikipedia for any site)
  • “-word:xxx” to remove results containing a specified word

You can also specify where you want the search to look:

  • “inurl:keyword”
  • “intitle:keyword”
  • “intext:keyword”

It looks complicated, but it really isn’t when you start getting through it.

Next up for the budding backlink builder is finding those broken links.


Yes, you could sit and read through every single site & page, clicking on the embedded links to see if they’re still live.

Or, you can automate the process to make it that bit easier.

There are a number of programs and extensions available for this, some are even free (and they do work).

Domain Hunter Plus

DHP is a Chrome extension, that allows for quick and easy scanning of any web page. It looks for dead links and available domain names.

Simply load the web page you wish to check, click on the DHP icon and let it run; it will notify you of any dead links.

Better than that, if it finds a dead link, it queries the domain with an internet domain registrar to see if it’s available to register.

It’s simple but works exactly how you’d want it to.

Check My Links

Check My Links is another Chrome extension that works simply but beautifully.

It was primarily developed for web designers, developers and content editors.

CML runs through all the links on any given page, highlighting whether they are valid or broken. It really is that simple.


LinkMiner is pure and simple.

All it does is check the links on a page, and give you the metrics & data associated with them.

It doesn’t offer any other service, no paid for subscriptions, no SEO magic, just links.

And it does it well. You can even use it to check the links on pages through a Google search without having to click through to the page.

Hi …

You’ve identified the web pages with relevant content, found the broken backlinks on those pages and you know that your content would be a great fit for them.

Now is the time to reach out and say Hi and start the backlink builder process.

The best way to do this is direct contact with the site owner or administrator, email addresses are usually found easily and the process can be made to be near seamless.

However, despite emailing being a quick and easy way to communicate, when you’re dealing with the volume needed for this to work, it’s still a lengthy and time-consuming process.

Of course there are hacks to make it easier; automated emails, templates, bulk mailing but you still need to reach out to the site owner or webmaster (and find the relevant details).

Be sure to tell the site owner that it’s a win-win for them and their customer, in fact, it’s a win for everyone.

The site doing the linking gets to fix their page and content with virtually no effort, you get a high-quality backlink and the readers can avoid dead links and annoying dead-ends.

As we’ve already mentioned, success rates can be low, the process lengthy, but some of these sites could be your dream site – the type that you may have even considered paying for before you found us!


Success as a backlink builder doesn’t come overnight, in fact there is no guarantee of any success.

But … with some clever desktop research, dedication and a decent strategy in place, you can find and utilize those millions of dead backlinks that have become a day to day part of our connected society.

Even winning a small percentage of those broken links could make a tremendous difference to your rankings.

Free backlinks? Yes please.

To find out just how we can help you with SEO Consulting services, contact us to talk with a member of our friendly and professional team – they will give you unbiased and professional advice.

Or call us at +1 585-736-9328.