Broken link building can be a great way to find topics for your content marketing campaigns that have demonstrated past success at generating links. When you then take that broken piece’s content and convert it into a visual format, like I talked about in my last article, you will have a wealth of data for figuring out what types of websites link to this topic and how they are doing it. Once you finish your broken link building outreach, you can get even more mileage out of the topic with your visual piece. But how do you find these opportunities quickly?
The key to finding good broken link building opportunities is all in website selection. You want to make sure you are looking at websites that have a pretty high number of referring domains linking to them (relative to industry) and put out a lot of content. In my experience, the .govs and large .orgs/associations typically have the most broken pages. To start my research, I will try to find all of the .govs and .orgs that are related to the website for which I am trying to find a broken link building opportunity.
Once I find a handful of sites, I take them to my backlink-analyzing tool of choice, Majestic (other tools will work as well), and download a list of their most linked-to pages. From there you can filter down to see only the pages that turn back a 400, 500 or any other status code that denotes the page is no longer there. Since I am going to turn this content into a visual asset, too, I do not need a large number of referring domains to pursue the opportunity. I just need enough data to validate the target markets to which I am going to pitch this asset.
If for some reason the .govs/.orgs aren’t turning up any opportunities, a site such as Alltop can provide a large list of blogs in almost every niche. I tend to stay away from them, though, because blogs manage their content better than a lot of .govs/.orgs, and there tend to be significantly fewer broken pages on them.
Finding broken link building opportunities can be a hit-or-miss game, which is why I don’t recommend that it be the only way you come up with topics/link building ideas. Sometimes you are going to find them, and other times you will not. Instead, use the aforementioned tactics to determine what has done well in your vertical, and figure out a way to capitalize on it. That does not always mean broken link building.