What is Broken Link-Building?

You have probably heard that link-building is an important SEO strategy for building your website’s overall authority. With authority known as a pillar of SEO, it is imperative to develop and attack on a long-term link-building strategy. There are multiple different methods to build backlinks. Today we will be discussing one of our favorites - broken link-building. So how does it work?

Broken link-building can be broken down into three steps:

  1. Crawl a competitor’s website and make a list of all 4XX errors or broken pages.
  2. Find a broken page with a large number of backlinks pointing to it. Make a list of websites linking to the broken page. 
  3. Contact websites linking to your competitor's page and ask them to link to yours instead.

Let’s take a look at how to do all three of these steps seamlessly.


Find a Competitor's Broken Pages

This step sounds pretty difficult. But don’t worry. As long as you have the right tools to assist, this step is actually simple. We will look at SEMRush as our tool of choice for this process. 

Open up SEMRush and click on “Backlinks Analytics.” This will bring up an option to input a competitor’s domain.

Backlinks Analytics - Semrush

Put your competitor’s home page URL in the bar and click “Analyze.” When results pull up, click on the “Indexed Pages” tab to open all pages on the competitor’s website.

Indexed Pages - Semrush

On the next screen, click on the “Broken Pages” checkbox at the top to filter to only show broken pages with backlinks. Next, click on the number of backlinks to see all websites linking to each broken page.


Make a List of Websites Pointing to the Broken Pages

Find the pages here with a large number of backlinks and make a list of all high-authority websites linking to them. This list will serve as our prospect list and we will next be getting in contact with these websites. 


Contact Websites Linking to the Broken Pages

Lastly, visit the websites linking to the broken pages and recommend they link to one of your pages instead. It is crucial to highlight the benefits of them linking to your website instead. I would mention these benefits:

  • Improved user experience
  • Improved trust
  • Potentially a boost in rankings

When recommending one of your pages instead, ensure it is of a similar topic to your competitor’s broken page. This will make it even easier for your prospects to say yes.



Use this process to steal your competitors’ backlinks and start increasing your authority today. If you would like help with link-building, get in touch!


Christian Cabney


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