broken link building

If you have been in SEO for a while, you will know the feeling when you send an email asking for a link.

You cross your fingers, hoping they love your content enough to link to it.

But there is a better solution.

And that solution is a technique known as Broken Link Building.

From low-cost and no-cost tools to premium solutions, advanced techniques, and even outreach emails, we have covered it all.

1. Broken Link Building – Using Expired Domains

Have you ever thought about finding link building opportunity, using expired domains? Instead of chasing domains all over the web you can grab expired domains with high metrics and see what is linking to them.

This is not as saturated as much as other methods because people usually don’t see it as an opportunity for broken inbound links.

For this chapter, I will use Expiredomains, GoDaddy, Flippa, and FreshDrop.

If you don’t have an account, create one, as it will unlock many other possibilities.Expired domain registration

Let’s search for expired or deleted domains with the best possible fit for your needs.Keyword domain search

Using the “Car insurance” keyword, I found, with one single click 50,286 potential domains for link building.

After you add your keyword and hit the “search” button, it is essential to select all domains by clicking on the number of backlinks from different domains (DP). After you’re done, take 10-20 domains for a start and continue searching for decent backlinks.

Add all domains in a Google docs sheet for easier sorting.

To show you how to manage all the related domains you found, I will use the first 20 results from my research.

Go to and log in.

Start a new spreadsheet and add all found and interesting domains with a higher amount of DP.Broken link building campaign

I’ll take the first one from the list to see if I get anything useful. I will then use Ahrefs (my favorite tool) to explore the websites.

Enter the URL you found in “Site Explorer” and hit the search button.
Ahrefs explore websites

In a few seconds, I found 485 potential domains for research.

Click on backlinks and Pandora’s box is opened.
Backlinks research

Let’s take some of the listed websites and see what we can find. I would recommend keeping with higher DR (Domain Rating).

It is better to find something suitable (quality over quantity) for your website to put your link there.High domain rating

For this example, I will use the marked website with 55 Domain Rating.
Broken link replacement

All you need to do is contact the website with a broken link and offer them a replacement with your link.
We will teach you how to do outreach (the right way) later.

Let’s see other sources for finding backlinks using expired or deleted domains.

GoDaddy Auctions

For even better performance, you can click on “advanced search” and try to find something even better. This way you are getting more chances for deeper research.
Godaddy auctions research

Once you’re in advanced search mode, in the “keywords” field, please choose “contains” and add your keyword.

Next, select all domain types and choose the minimum 1000 estimated monthly site traffic. That will bring you better domains with backlinks you can use.
High metric domains

Add all those parameters and click “Run Search.”
Best seo parameters

Let’s explore the marked site from the image above.
Best blog checks

Excellent achievement, after a few clicks and a few minutes of our time we managed to find a high potential domain for exploring further.

You can click on “backlinks” and search one by one.

I think you’ve got the idea. We can go on and on with this method, but we need to show you more in this post.

Flippa expired domains research

I hope that we are all familiar with Flippa. So, let’s try to use it in a completely different way.

First, go to Flippa and type your keyword. Then, click on domains and choose “All.”

Start researching…
Flippa expired domains research

Again, with only a few clicks, you can get a huge amount of domains for further research.

In this case, I’ve got a list of 44,833 potential domains for my link building purposes. A goldmine!
Potential link building domains

You can even sort them by using Flippa’s additional options.
Flippa additional options

I won’t go further here because you already know the procedure (using Ahrefs).

FreshDrop domain research

They have a huge database and a lot of useful filters to help you out with finding the best domains.
Freshdrop broken links

As you can see, I got 64,795 domains generated and ready for future use.

Domain Marketplace

It is the same with A lot of useful features and filters help you to find the best fit.
Broken link domains tool

I think that you pretty much have an idea of how to use this technique to find expired domains for broken link building purposes.

All you need to do is to go to one or all of the websites mentioned above, add your keyword and start searching.
Once that’s done you can make a nice list using Google Docs and start with outreach.

Don’t forget, to get your link replaced; you must have a decent-looking and user-friendly website.
The content of your website must be great and useful. Otherwise, you might waste your time.

How to write outreach emails and how to do outreach, in general, will be covered later in this blog post.

2. Wikipedia Broken Link Building Techniques

As we all know, Wikipedia is the largest and the most informative online encyclopedia.
It is almost impossible to do any organic search for any terms that don’t contain a Wikipedia link in the top 10 search results.

A great opportunity for you to make your link profile looks much better.

There’s only one problem. Finding broken Wikipedia links is a HUGE pain and time-consuming.
But, there’s a solution.

I’m going to show you exactly how to use Wikipedia smartly to gain unlimited links which will boost your traffic.

Wikipedia is very clear and transparent about dead links.
Wikipedia dead links

This footnote gives a chance to other editors to make changes before they delete it for good.

Even so, that they have their own page for articles with dead links only!
Wikipedia dead external links

Simple right? Here’s how to find them.

First, you can use this simple Google search string; “your keyword” intext: ”dead link”
Google broken links search

Hit the “Google Search” button and visit the next page.

To go through this module I will take the website from the first page of Google, but you will find a page(s) relevant to your site.
Google links campaign

Now, hit the CRTL or CMD (for Mac users) and search for “dead link.”
Search for dead links

Your browser will automatically jump into the dead link from the references section.
Wikipedia permanent dead link

Now, let’s click on that dead link to see what we can get.
Not existing link

Ok, that page definitely does not exist anymore. That’s your chance to create a new page and edit the Wikipedia dead link.

All you need to do is to go to Wayback machine, enter the broken URL and click on “Browse history.”
Wayback machine search

Next, you should find the date of the website where Wayback machine snapped a cached live page.
Wayback cached live page

We now have a free article to use, but before we do that, it would be good to check if the article is still indexed.

To check that simply type;
Google index check

Ok, amazing! You can use this article for your link building purposes.

However, I would strongly suggest editing this article a bit. It’s from 2010, and it’s probably outdated.

Now, all you need to do is to make an account (if you don’t have one) on Wikipedia and start adding your links.

NOTE: Don’t get overwhelmed right away.

Make a few edits first, get some authority and then start editing articles with your link. Don’t test their patience or you will be on the blacklist very quickly.

Find broken links using Wikigrabber

Wikigrabber is a very handy tool to find Wikipedia pages with broken links.
Wikigrabber broken links

To successfully manage a campaign using Wikigrabber all you need to do is add your keyword in the “enter your keywords” field.

So, let’s stick with our existing example keyword “Car Insurance.”
Wikigrabber search

Hit the search button and start researching the results you’ve got.
Wikigrabber search options

Now, you need to reach out to the site owner and let them know about the broken link, offering to replace it with yours.

I’ll explain later in this post how to do that, step by step.

Wikigrabber by default will show you “Missing Citations” first and then “Dead links.”

You can choose dead links accordingly.

From this point, the procedure is the same as with Google search strings. You can go link by link or CRTL or CMD (for Mac users) and search for “dead link.”

3. Deep Broken Link Building – Second Level

You already know how to find broken links from your industry in one of the most authoritative sites on the web.

But what if you could dig deeper for more websites with decent authority?

How? Follow the steps below.

For this purpose, I will use the same URL ( I found using Google search string and Ahrefs (more about this fantastic tool later in this post).

Add your URL in Ahrefs Site Explorer and click on the orange search button.
Deep Broken Link Building

You will see that domain has 1.82k referring domains, which is great. The site has a nice link profile and decent history.
It is authoritative.

To continue with more in-depth broken link building, you should find broken links on that website.

You should click on “Backlinks” and see which of them are “lost.”
Lost backlinks

I will take the first one from the top.
Website analysis

After you find “lost” link(s) click on it and see where you will be led.

This is what I got. An excellent contextual post with a broken link, ready for replacement.
Contextual broken link

Rinse and repeat.

4. Outdated Content Link Creation

I’m going to present you with another great piece of broken link building strategy.

What is it all about? Finding and revamping outdated content on authority websites.

This is a brilliant combination of broken link building and guest posting.

Let’s start with an example. I noticed that people are talking less and less about broken link building strategies lately, even though this is the future of SEO.

That brings me in front of a ton of outdated content.

Type into Google a keyword in your industry and try to find posts in the time range of 1-3 years.
Click on “Tools” and then on “Custom range.”
Google custom range

Let’s search posts from 1-3 years old. Any older content than that can be really old and newer than a year means it’s pretty much up to date.

For every industry out there the situation can be slightly different, so I encourage you to play and see what fits the best.

Click on “Go” and start researching.
Customised date range

I found a great website, Quicksprout founded by Neil Patel, with high Page Authority and his infographic about the broken link building case study.

What I noticed is that some of the links are dead and the content has space for improvement.

Especially in one chapter. There is a full explanation of how to use a “brokenlinkindex tool.”

I saw that they do not operate anymore and they have a full page optimized around that topic.
Broken link index

All I need to do is to contact them, saying that they have a broken link and the whole explanation about the software that doesn’t work anymore.

After that, I can offer to replace with fresh content, new software on the market and my link inside. Now, I won’t lie to you…

It’s a tough and time-consuming process, but in the end, it is very powerful.

Another example; Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko, wrote in his post regarding broken link building strategies about PRWeb which doesn’t exist anymore.
Prweb replacement

Find a replacement website with some content around and send an outreach email.

I think you’ve got the idea (using your keywords) of how to search for the same in your industry.
Go one by one and start searching for outdated content or some information that is not accurate anymore. If you find some nice broken links, save it for later.

People like reciprocal offers.
If you do something good for them, they will feel obligated to do the same for you.

Other examples to give you an idea for searches;
“Book reviews for old editions”
“Reviews of products that are no longer sold”
“Techniques that don’t work”
“Records that have changed hands”
“Tools that have changed “
“Advice that isn’t relevant anymore”

Next is outreach. I will explain all later in this post.

5. Find Broken Links Directly On Sites From Your Industry

As you have probably already noticed, people are not diligent in updating content. Most of them are write, publish and leave it just like that to collect dust.

It is the same for authority websites.

In this module, we will focus on authority websites from your industry or so-called Linkreators. (Linkreators are people who tend to write and share about the same subject that you do).

Now, just imagine if you can find broken links on their authority sites and offer to replace them with yours.

Sounds good?

Let’s start with search strings;
Resource page search strings;
“keyword + “inurl:resource”

Ultimate guide search strings;
“keyword” + “ultimate guide” or “keyword 101”

Embedded resource page search strings;
“keyword” + “additional resources” or “keyword” + “related links” or “keyword” + “further reading”

Before we start searching, let’s install “Check my Links,” a Google Chrome extension to make this process easier.
Check my links extension

Click on Add to Chrome.
Google check my links

You will see a small icon on the top of your browser and each time you find an interesting website, you should click on it, and this extension will start searching for dead links.

Now, it’s time to go through the whole process.

You can use each search string one by one and see which will best suit your needs. I will use “keyword” + “additional resources”

Let’s research the marked website.
Google search

It has 100+ link building resources and has huge potential for broken links SEO and replacement.

After you find your own research go to the website and start using the Check my Links extension.
Broken links replacement

VerticalMeasures is a high authority website with high URL and Domain Rating.

An excellent opportunity to gain a nice backlink from an authority site.
Ahrefs rank

All I need to do is to go one by one through each dead link and see what was there.

After that’s done, you need to contact the site owners and propose to replace dead links with your website.

To get links from a high authority website, you must have decent content on your site and something valuable to be accepted.

You can even make a step further and check what was on that page and why that page was accepted.

How to do that?

The Wayback Machine.
Wayback machine research

I was checking this article, and it looks pretty much OK.

It is outdated a bit which is a great opportunity for an update and re-post to your blog.

After you’re done with that, you can make your outreach and ask for link replacement. Later, we will discuss outreach emails.

For the last stage in this module, we will be finding broken links directly on your Linkreator sites.

To find them, you can use the search strings from above, or you can use a different approach using this;
(keyword) blogs to follow best
(keyword) posts (year)best
(keyword) blogs top
(keyword) blogs to follow + (year)

This way you can find a lot of outdated links on high authority sites from your industry (don’t forget to use “Check my Links,” a Google Chrome extension).

As always, I will use Ahrefs, but you can use Screaming Frog SEO, the free version which will also give you nice results.
This is my selected search string;
(keyword) blogs to follow + (year)
Link building blog

Using this search string, I found a great website to go with, SearchEngineJournal.

After you find an appropriate website, you can put it into some research tools and check for broken backlinks.
Ahrefs tool resutls

This is a very good source.

As you can see, there are 3M backlinks a massive opportunity for further research to finding broken links.

If you use Ahrefs, next click on “broken links.” Go one by one, down each link and see which ones are broken. Ahrefs broken links

That’s not all; you can go a step further.

Take any approach from this module and pop the broken link into Ahrefs. That will show you all pages that link to the broken link you already found.

For example, here is a link I found using this technique.
Ahrefs metrics results

Instead of reaching out to that person and telling them about their broken link, you can also get a huge additional link opportunity by seeing who else is linking to that page.

In this case, there are 38 new backlinks opportunities for you to reach out and ask for a replacement.

I hope you’ve got an idea of how incredible this method is.

6. Moving Link Method

As you all know, Google changed their the name of their Google Keyword Tool (to Google Keyword Planner), and this means that anyone linking to the old name has an outdated link to an outdated tool.

No matter what industry you happen to be in, just like with the old Google Keyword Tool, there are tons of links that technically still work but are outdated for one reason or another.

Let’s go step by step, about how you can do the same here.

First, you need to find them (remember those links are not 404’s so you will need to find another approach).

We need to find outdated links in old content (this is a similar technique that you already learned about when we went over Outdated Content Hunting).

Just search for a keyword that describes your blog post.
Outdated links

And set the date range from 1-3 years:
Outdated links date range

But instead of looking just for outdated pieces of content, you’re looking for outdated links. Fortunately, finding outdated links is easier than it might sound.

You need to click on any links that look like they might point to an outdated, old or non-functional resource.

We all know (people from the SEO industry) that SEOmoz is no longer in existence anymore and now it’s it just MOZ.
Outdated link replacement

According to that, there are still thousands of SEO articles that link to the old tool/link.

Those pages make for perfect “Moving Link Method” link building opportunities.

Another great method is to use search strings.

Using search strings for nonexistent or dead websites.

“service not available” + your keyword
“no longer available” + your keyword
“page no longer exists” + your keyword
“website closed” + your keyword
“website is no longer updated” + your keyword
“service no longer available” + your keyword
“this page is no longer updated” + your keyword

Take a look at how many websites in any industry can be found:
Google search strings

Another example.

If you type in Google News “rebranded as” you will see all websites that changed their name, or they completely rebranded their site.
Rebranded as searches

Companies like to announce their changes, small or big ones. One of the ways to do that is to publish via press releases.

And you will find pages that are technically working but do not provide value anymore.
Rebranded link replacement

You will see how to find these and later on you will see how to do outreach and gain your link. You will learn how to recognize this method and use it for your purposes.

Think of how changes in your industry might open up Moving Link Method opportunities.

When I heard that SEOmoz became MOZ, I didn’t just read that article I setup my radars for opportunities.

I can usually take that tidbit of news and make it into several HQ backlinks.
HQ backlinks replacement

You now know how to spot opportunities for this method and use it for your own purpose.

Think of how changes in your industry might open up Moving Link Method opportunities.

The last step in this module is to use dead links directly with Ahrefs or any other similar tool.

When I heard first heard about SEOmoz becoming MOZ, I wanted to dive deeper and find out how much content is out there that is outdated with old SEOmoz links.

I took Ahrefs and popped in the old SEOmoz link.

I found so many do-follow links ready for checking whether they are updated or not.
Dofollow links

Search for these, make a list and start outreaching.

7. Ahrefs – Best Website Broken Link Checker

Ahrefs is my favorite tool for finding broken link building, outdated content and links that are outdated.

Ahrefs is much more than that, (in my opinion it’s the best broken link checker online) but I will keep explaining about broken link building techniques and how to use them the smart way.

Why did I choose to use this powerful tool? Because you won’t need a pile of WordPress plugins, browser extensions, and web services for your broken link building campaigns anymore.

Let’s assume you already have a competitor site you want to explore.

If not, please just follow some of the steps above.

Put the website you chose in Ahrefs, “site explorer” and click on Backlinks, “Broken.”
Broken backlinks Ahrefs

You will see dead links under the Anchor and backlink column and referring page to that broken link.
Backlinks anchor

You can start research now.

I will take one from the top 10 backlinks and make an example.
Ahrefs search example

Go to the desired website to see if the link is dead and leading nowhere.

This blog post is about a successful content marketing strategy, which is great because I have the same on my blog and this will be easy to outreach and suggest my link for replacement.

To find the broken link, just search anchor text.
Anchor text

In this case, I will search for “case study” anchor.
Case study

Once you find your search, click on the anchor and see if referring link is still alive.
Referring links

The link is dead, which is a tremendous opportunity to gain a link from a site with high metrics like a 76 URL rating and a 66 Domain Rating.
Domain rating link

Next step is outreach but before that, let me explain a few Ahrefs link building techniques.

Plug your rival’s website into Ahrefs Site Explorer, go to “Best by links.”
Best by links

Then apply the 404 checkers “not found” filter in “HTTP codes.”
HTTP codes

You will see a list of website’s “missing” pages along with the number of referring domains and referring pages that still link to them.
Referring domains

404 pages with the largest number of backlinks are most attractive for broken link building.

You can take any of those pages with high metrics to see what pages are still linking to them.
High metrics pages

Once you find a perfect match, it’s time to reach out to the website owner and offer your link for replacement.

You can also check the selected page, putting in and seeing what was on that page and whether your page matches with the deleted one.

If not, you can guess by title and if your content does match, proceed with outreach.

8. Find Broken Links Using Screaming Frog

This is another great desktop-based broken link generator for finding and checking broken links. Screaming Frog is much more than that.

There are free and paid versions. The free version is limited to 500 URLs which is quite enough for your first batch of research.

You can also purchase a premium version and unlock all other features.

For this example, let’s use the free version of Screaming Frog.

How To Crawl the website

Let’s assume you used any of previously mentioned methods for finding broken links and you already have a list of websites for crawling.

So pick a website, and we will take you through the following steps:

1. Enter the website you want to crawl
2. Click on Response Codes
3. Filter, Client Error (4xx)
Screaming frog

The first step is to add your chosen site, hit the “Start” button and wait. Sometimes it can take up to 10-15 minutes, depend on how big the site is.

After crawling is finished, you will see a list of results, and you want to hit the filter tab and click “client error” or 4xx.
Screaming frog crawling

By doing this, you will see links that are broken.

Now, the Screaming Frog tool has a lot packed in, so you will need to slide the panels to make more room to examine the broken links.
Screaming Frog tool

Once you do this you have some space, and you can look at the broken link on the page:
Screaming Frog broken link

This crawl has only shown 2 broken links, but we can see 3 key elements on the page when we investigate them:

The URL, the outbound link, and the anchor text.

To make sure this link is broken I head over the page and check it using the Check My Links chrome extension.
Chrome link check

As you can see we have confirmed the broken link.

Screaming Frog offers a lot more than this, and the premium version offers even more tools and variations.

But for broken link building, this 1-2 punch combination of using Screaming Frog and then manually checking the links using Check My Links works really well.

9. Dead Link Checker

Dead Link Checker is a free online tool that allows you to check a whole website or a single page of a site.
Dead link checker

With the Dead Link Checker, you can have up to 2000 webpages crawled on a site and then you have to sign up.
I think for most people 2000 will be fine.

So, all you do is add the link to the site and fill in a quick captcha form, and away you go.
Dead link tool

Once scanned, we get to see the failed ones, or you can request a full report.

As we can see Neil Patel has 18 broken links (hey, who doesn’t want a link from Neil) and if we click on the full report, we can see more detail.
Scanned full report

My next job is to go through the links and start to check for opportunities.
Link opportunities

When I spot a broken link on the site, it is important that I look at the text. As you can see it says the operator timed out so I advise you to go and manually check the broken link (you should always manually check the links are broken).

The good news about the Dead Link Checker is that it tells you the anchor text, so it is easy to spot.
Twitter anchor

In this case, the link works, so I can return to my list and again look for opportunities.

10. Domain Hunter Plus

Domain Hunter Plus is another broken link finder, free tool, this time from Netvantage Plus.
The difference with this tool is that it is a Chrome Browser extension rather than a website (broken link checker chrome).
Domain hunter plus

Domain Hunter Plus is a little different in that it does two tasks. Yes, it will find the broken links, but it will also tell you if the website that the link goes to is registered.

This is a super cool technique because if the website is dead, you have an even easier chance of getting a link because no one likes linking to dead websites.

To use the plugin/extension is simple enough. Go to the Chrome store and search for the plugin and install.

Next, go to a website and click the Domain Hunter logo in the corner.
Domain hunter tool

From there Domain Hunter Plus does the work and opportunities will appear.

The downside of this tool is that it does not show all the links, only the dead ones.

In practice as an SEO specialist, we need to make the most of our time, and a tool that shows both live and also broken links is going to be better, but hey this baby is free, so it is a minor gripe.

So how would we use this?

Personally, I think the power of the Domain Hunter Plus plugin comes via casual browsing.

Go to Google Sheets and set up a spreadsheet called “Broken Links,” and keep this open during your daily web use.

Whenever you come across a page or article for your niche (or your clients) simply press the Domain Hunter Plus button, and away you go. Once there you can add to your spreadsheet.

Issues With Domain Hunter Plus

We are not going to tell lies, the reviews on the Chrome store are not that kind, and yes we found issues with the extension as well

For example, we wanted to export our results using the big green export button, but this did not work for us.
Domain hunter extension

Also, the extension only worked on about 1 in 3 websites.

So while it is free, it does not always work.
It wasn’t a great tool for us to use, however, if you are doing SEO for your own website and do not want to hire a company then this tool might be great for you.

11. Broken Link Checker

The Broken Link Checker is another online tool. The main difference between this and the Dead Link Checker is that there seems to be no limit on the number of web pages you can check.

That being said, I know that they have a “free limit” of 3000 pages per site, but again this is more than enough for most SEO uses.
Online link checker

To start, you simply type in the site link and fill in the captcha.

For this broken links test, I used the awesome SEO blog of Matthew Barby.
Dead link checker seo

You will get a report back fairly quickly (it is not exactly greased lightning, but it is not tortoise speed either).

You will see on the post a range of codes, and if you click on them, the definitions pop up which is handy.
Broken link seo

Now I have to say the next trick for the Broken Link Checker tool was pretty darn impressive.
Broken link results

When you find a link, you want to investigate you can click the URL button to go to the URL and the src text to see the source code of the link.
Link codes

As we can see, this is a case of a blog comment link that is broken so not of any use, but still a nifty trick nonetheless.

It is easy to see how this tool will save you time and effort as it finds the code on a site in seconds and highlights it for you.

12. Xenu Link Crawling Tool

Ok, so the Xenu link sleuth program is old as the internet (or certainly seems that way), and it is included in many tools online.
Link crawling tool

And we really did want to include it in this list, but when we did some research, the word “malware” came up.

Now as this writer hates the word malware, I didn’t have the guts to download the tool, but as it is covered on other lists, I thought we need to add it and the reason we did not use it. You can never be too safe online!

13. Dr. Link Checker

Dr. Link Checker is another cloud-based free website link checker, that is fast and free to use.
Dr link checker

All you need to do is copy and paste your website into the browser and press the start button.

You will be directed to a page whereby the tool starts running through the website.
Broken link status

Once you have done this, you click on the broken link status on the right-hand side, and it will show you all the broken links they have found.

At this point, you need to go and check them manually.

The tool is fast and free (free version is limited, 1000 links per website) but other tools that show you the link “highlighted in the code” are possibly better (in our opinion) because this again saves time.

Any SEO specialist values time as their most important resource and seconds add up to minutes and minutes add up too. You get the picture.

My point is that when you are doing broken link building at scale, the ability to shave seconds off any given task is crucial because it soon adds up!

14. Canned Response Gmail Feature

How to send a broken link?

Canned responses won’t find you any broken links, but it will help you to get links once you find them. The best part is that it is free and it is in Gmail.

What Is A Canned Response?

Well, a canned response is simply a template you can pre-write to save you time and energy writing out emails and also copying and pasting.

And when it comes to link building, this is essential because time = links.

To begin with, head over to Gmail and select the gear icon.
Gmail seo

Once you click the gear and then “settings” this will appear.
Gmail settings

Next, click the labs option.
Gmail labs

Then you need to select the canned responses feature and press enable.
Canned responses

Once you are enabled, save your changes and come back to the inbox.

How To Create A Canned Response In Gmail

Now we have the settings turned on, open up the Compose A Message window.
Message window

There you will see an arrow pointing down – click it and access the canned response feature.
Canned response feature

You will be asked to type a name for which you might “broken links.”

Then type up your response which could be:


My name is Marko and I run

I was doing some research for an article when I came across your website (website URL).
In particular, it was the article called (add the link).
The thing is I noticed that you have a link on the page to XYZ.
Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link and noticed it was broken (add an optional explainer such as, I checked the link, and that site no longer exists, etc.).
As it happens, I have written an article called xyz that I think would be a great link in its place and would be a good addition to your site.
Let me know if you would like me to send the article through to you for you to have a look at.

Best regards,
Your name


Feel free to edit that for your needs.

Once you have done that, you can either save it and type in the name or if you have already named it, simply click on the name in canned responses and it will ask you if you want to overwrite it (which you do).

How To Send A Canned Response In Gmail
With your response template set up, it is easy to get going.

All you need to do is to select compose an email and then the down arrow again and click on canned responses and the name of your response.

And up pops your email.
Email templates

All you need to do is edit, and you are away.

The canned response is a free way to try and gain some links for your site.

15. Making A List For Outreach

So you need to make a list and check it twice. Your job is going to find out which webmasters are naughty or nice (sorry, I couldn’t resist adding that).

Having done link building for what seems like forever, I can tell you that it ain’t easy.

But why has link building become such a pain in the backside?

Well, here are a few issues:
1. People do not understand why they should even link out
2. The site owner/blogger wants to make money selling links
3. Someone told the blogger they should only ever sell links
4. The blog is part of a private blog network
5. The site owner can’t see the value of your article
6. The site owner can’t be bothered to fix the link

So yeah, trying to gain links by fixing broken ones can really suck.

That being said it does work, but my advice would be that you need to play the long game with these things.

The way I would do outreach is as follows:
1. Use one of the tools mentioned in this list
2. Create a spreadsheet/Google Sheet to collect the data
3. Start your research
4. Find the broken link, add it to your spreadsheet and also try and find the contact information for the site owner at the same time you find the link (because doing it afterward is a pain)
5. Email the site owner
6. Make a note of when you emailed them (write this in your sheet)
7. Email again in 14 days if they haven’t replied
8. Await responses

Remember, this is at scale!

If you want some success with broken link building, you will need to put the hours in and find those links. It is not easy, but the power of a single good link is incredible.

One link can change your business, or your website rankings from page 10 to page 1 and beyond.

But success comes with the outreach and emails you send, which we will cover next.

16. How To Find Someone’s Email

Now we know that one link can benefit a site (which is why SEO is so important) and we know that to get a link from others requires great outreach.

But here is the thing. Great outreach requires you to contact people and to do that you need their emails!

These days there are a few obvious ways to find an email. Firstly, it is often in the contact us section of a website.

That is always your first port of call.

However, if there is no email and simply a contact box (an SEO’s nemesis), what are you going to do?

I personally have 3 options:
1. Find their email
2. Message them on social media
3. Use the contact box

The best tool will always be the old email, and we are going to teach you how (with Ninja stealth) you can find the email you need.
Email outreach tool

Ninja Outreach is a great tool for doing all your outreach, but it also has a hidden gem, the email finder.
Outreach email finder

All you do is literally add the first and last name of the person you want to find and then the domain they are linked to and voila, press the button, and away you go.
Outreach emails

And yes, finding an email is as simple as that!

The downside is that Ninja Outreach is a paid tool, but if you are desperate for those emails it presents a great way to get them.

17. Email Templates And Outreach

This is the juicy part of the article, some free templates.

Now here is the thing, outreach works but only if you are good at it.

If you check out The Art of Email they have this broken link building email template for you:

Subject: Name of Blog

Hey Cool Blogger,
I was looking for a few resources on momentum trading, and I came across your very informative guide: [Title]
I noticed that one of the resources you mentioned on online brokerage comparisons no longer exists.
I recently created an extensively researched guide on how to choose the right online brokerage for you: [Link]Considering trade volume, trade frequency, invested amount and other key factors.
It might make a good addition to your article.
Either way, keep up your insightful articles – Google sure loves those 10 000+ word articles

Sign off

This is not bad and to be honest I think it would work.

But there is an alternative: stand out.

Every webmaster gets emails asking for links. In my experience, your email copy needs to be pretty darn unique to stand out.

Anyway, there are a few strategies for outreach that I like to employ.

Strategy 1: The Would You Like To See Technique
The idea behind this template is pretty simple, ask for a micro-commitment first.
The aim is to say “hey you have an issue with your links” and then say “I have a great solution, would you like to see it?”.

The email might go a little like this:

Subject: Problem with site

Hi (name)

This is a cold email, let’s not pretend otherwise.
Cold emails tend to be annoying; I get them a lot too but please don’t close the box and send me to email hell just yet, I promise this will be useful. I was doing some research and came across your article on XYZ.

I loved it, especially the bit about (insert a part that makes it clear you read the article), it was a well-thought-out article that covered the subject, and I learned a lot (you need to make them feel great).

However, I went to click on the link to XYZ and noticed that the link is broken.

In fact, I checked, and the post and entire website no longer exist (optional), another website bit the dust. As it happens, I have already written an article that I would think would be a great fit to replace the broken link.

I think your audience would love it and it supports your article.

Anyway, I know you are super busy so if you would like to check out my article let me know, and I will send it your way.

Either way, keep up the great work.


What has happened here is that we have injected a little bit of personality into the email and that matters.

You can never go wrong; also you are not only contacting them for something, as this outreach email is a bit like a fan mail as well.

Anyway, this is a solid method and has worked for me personally.

Strategy 2: The Straight To The Point
This email is not about trying to build a beautiful friendship with the site owner; instead, you want that link, and you are going for it.

Up front, no hidden agendas and straight in the kisser.

Subject: Issues About Website

“Hi xyz

I love your site, it is full of cool content. I am a fellow blogger as well (make them feel they are a peer).
My blog is at XYZ and covers (add your subject).
Anyway, I know you are super busy, and I want to get to the point. I was doing some research, and I saw your post about XYZ.
However, I noticed that the link to XYZ is broken. As it happens I have a great article that I think will be an even better link.

Here it is: 

It would be brilliant if you linked to my article.

If you could let me know that would be superb.


Three different templates each with a variation. The advice I have is to create your own templates and stand out from the crowd.

Make it look as if the email you wrote took effort.


Phew, are you still with us? If so, well done, you deserve a broken link building medal.

You now have the tools, you now have the knowledge, so go out and crush this and become a broken link building champion.

Let me know, by leaving a comment below, if you have any questions, other broken link building tools or techniques and we will be happy to add them to the list.