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Thread: Broken Link Method

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    Hi everyone

    I'm sure almost all of you are familiar with broken link method. I want to know if it really worked for you, exactly how you do or did it.
    Please share your experience/opinions. I've tried it a few times but was never successful. So hoping to get some leads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvin View Post
    Hi everyone

    I'm sure almost all of you are familiar with broken link method. I want to know if it really worked for you, exactly how you do or did it.
    Please share your experience/opinions. I've tried it a few times but was never successful. So hoping to get some leads.
    Anytime anyone emails me anything about one of my sites I completely ignore it as spam and I'm certainly not linking back to anyone just because they pointed out a broken link and asked. Actually, it's kind of creepy when people approach me with too much information.

    I'm sure others feel the same way. No one likes being approached and asked for links and almost everyone I know puts those emails in the junk/block sender folder.

    So maybe hearing it from the other end will tell you how effective it is.

    On the front end, the for the person doing the process, it seems like more work than actually just writing good content and learning how to promote it.


    For those who don't know, the "broken link method" is an SEO trick of finding related sites with broken links, creating content on your site that matches the content on the site you are approaching, and then emailing the webmaster about the error and then asking them to replace the broken link with a link to your website.

    So for instance, you have a mortgage blog.
    You go out on the web with link checking tools and find a mortgage related site with a broken link to an old page or article.
    You then create content that matches what was probably on that page using the same keywords blah, blah, blah.
    You then email the webmaster alerting them to the broken link and suggesting that they link to your content about the same thing.
    Supposedly they are so grateful that you've told them about the 404 Error and so conscious of not having that dead link there for their visitors to find, and are so interested in providing that content, that they gratefully link to your awesome article instead of just removing the link, or replacing the content themselves on their own website.

    It's basically the same approach as asking for a link exchange except you're asking for a one way link from total strangers and doing a whole lot of work to avoid just learning how to market and getting the links naturally.

    That's my take on it. Personally I'm just not putting that much time into an SEO trick, nor do I have that kind of time. Maybe 7 years ago when link building and page rank were the most important things in the world, but I'm definitely not doing that today. Besides, I don't blog that much and when I do I try to write articles that people want to link to naturally as a reference. I try to be the source, not the one looking for sources.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 10-03-2014 at 12:49 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    Anytime anyone emails me anything about one of my sites I completely ignore it as spam and I'm certainly not linking back to anyone just because they pointed out a broken link and asked. Actually, it's kind of creepy when people approach me with too much information.

    I'm sure others feel the same way. No one likes being approached and asked for links and almost everyone I know puts those emails in the junk/block sender folder.
    It's really good to have your insight on this matter Harold, appreciate it!

    So you don't respond to such mails, but do you remove/replace the broken link then?
    I don't know I feel if someone has done me a favour (regardless of how small/big it is) then I should return it. Or atleast say thank you to that person for doing it.

    On the other hand I feel that nowadays webmasters can check their broken link easily so doing them this favour isn't really favour but a disturbance.

    But Harold I have seen many people who are doing really well with this broken link method. Heard about Brian Dean? He's a master in this. I just feel like if other people are doing so great with it then maybe I should think about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvin View Post
    It's really good to have your insight on this matter Harold, appreciate it!

    So you don't respond to such mails, but do you remove/replace the broken link then?
    I don't know I feel if someone has done me a favour (regardless of how small/big it is) then I should return it. Or atleast say thank you to that person for doing it.

    On the other hand I feel that nowadays webmasters can check their broken link easily so doing them this favour isn't really favour but a disturbance.
    That's admirable. But you will find that every web services solicitation starts with someone proposing that they are doing you a favor. After a while it just gets old. It's not a new approach. Rarely does anyone alert you of an issue about your website without wanting something in return. If it's a genuine email, yes I'll return it with a thank you, but many times that's when they reply with a pitch.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alvin View Post
    But Harold I have seen many people who are doing really well with this broken link method. Heard about Brian Dean? He's a master in this. I just feel like if other people are doing so great with it then maybe I should think about it.
    I take what others do (or say they are doing) with a grain of salt. Brian Dean sells SEO and Marketing products and systems. I get his emails everyday. So of course he's going to praise whatever method he's promoting. Not saying his stuff doesn't work, but understand that he's in the business of selling it to you.

    I'm not telling you not to do it, I'm just giving you my opinion of it.

    More than anything it seems like an awful lot of time and energy for a low return. I guess if you have that kind of time to do nothing but build links then you'll work any and every method. I prefer to just write articles that other people want to link to or that come up well in searches and move on to other promotion methods. But understand, article marketing and blogging is not at the top of my list anymore. It doesn't attract customers, it attracts do it yourself'ers. That's not to say that links aren't important, but what kind of articles you write will determine if you are attracting paying customers, or just proving free information to people who will never hire you.

    It also depends on what your goals are. I'm selling services so I'm going to use many methods to promote myself. There are some I'd rather spend more time on than others because of the quality of the return of my time or money investment. This isn't one of them. When I compare my time vs. the return... between this method and advertising. I'd rather just advertise.

    If your goals are different...like say trying to build traffic on a blog with ads, then SEO and link building is a huge part of getting your website frequented.

    This is just my opinion based on what's right for me. But I think my feedback about how I view solicitation emails is really important to understand what you're up against.

    If there is any gain to this method, it's that you are creating fresh, quality, related content for your site. Whether or not anyone agrees to link back to it, that's still a good thing.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 10-03-2014 at 12:50 PM.

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    I agree with Harold on this. I wouldn't say you shouldn't do this. Some people will, no doubt, add your link and you'll have another link pointing at your site. That doesn't automatically mean it will help your site. It probably will to some degree, but I can also think of scenarios where done poorly it could hurt your site.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alvin
    I feel if someone has done me a favour (regardless of how small/big it is) then I should return it.
    Perhaps, but the person emailing you isn't doing you a favor. They're doing you a small favor specifically so you will return it. The difference in motivation is a big deal to me. Also if I'm returning a favor I get to decide what the favor is. You don't get to tell me what the favor is unless I ask. Given the motivation I would probably return the favor only of there was something I wanted from you in return. It only seems fair to play the same game.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alvin
    Heard about Brian Dean? He's a master in this
    How do you know he's a master? Is it because he told you of all the success he's had with it? Did he then ask you to buy something or sign up for something? Maybe he is a master at building links, but if your source is the person telling you you have to question its validity. Same if the source is a friend of the person or profits in some way by recommending the person.

    I still say if you want to try to get people to point their broken links at your site go ahead. I would think the worst case scenario will be some wasted time. I'd rather see you put the time to better use, though. Put it into making your site better or improving your copy. Put the time into doing your work more productively. I think there are better ways you could spend the time.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield View Post
    That's admirable. But you will find that every web services solicitation starts with someone proposing that they are doing you a favor. After a while it just gets old. It's not a new approach. Rarely does anyone alert you of an issue about your website without wanting something in return. If it's a genuine email, yes I'll return it with a thank you, but many times that's when they reply with a pitch.




    I take what others do (or say they are doing) with a grain of salt. Brian Dean sells SEO and Marketing products and systems. I get his emails everyday. So of course he's going to praise whatever method he's promoting. Not saying his stuff doesn't work, but understand that he's in the business of selling it to you.

    I'm not telling you not to do it, I'm just giving you my opinion of it.

    More than anything it seems like an awful lot of time and energy for a low return. I guess if you have that kind of time to do nothing but build links then you'll work any and every method. I prefer to just write articles that other people want to link to or that come up well in searches and move on to other promotion methods. But understand, article marketing and blogging is not at the top of my list anymore. It doesn't attract customers, it attracts do it yourself'ers. That's not to say that links aren't important, but what kind of articles you write will determine if you are attracting paying customers, or just proving free information to people who will never hire you.

    It also depends on what your goals are. I'm selling services so I'm going to use many methods to promote myself. There are some I'd rather spend more time on than others because of the quality of the return of my time or money investment. This isn't one of them. When I compare my time vs. the return... between this method and advertising. I'd rather just advertise.

    If your goals are different...like say trying to build traffic on a blog with ads, then SEO and link building is a huge part of getting your website frequented.

    This is just my opinion based on what's right for me. But I think my feedback about how I view solicitation emails is really important to understand what you're up against.

    If there is any gain to this method, it's that you are creating fresh, quality, related content for your site. Whether or not anyone agrees to link back to it, that's still a good thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by vangogh View Post
    I agree with Harold on this. I wouldn't say you shouldn't do this. Some people will, no doubt, add your link and you'll have another link pointing at your site. That doesn't automatically mean it will help your site. It probably will to some degree, but I can also think of scenarios where done poorly it could hurt your site.



    Perhaps, but the person emailing you isn't doing you a favor. They're doing you a small favor specifically so you will return it. The difference in motivation is a big deal to me. Also if I'm returning a favor I get to decide what the favor is. You don't get to tell me what the favor is unless I ask. Given the motivation I would probably return the favor only of there was something I wanted from you in return. It only seems fair to play the same game.




    How do you know he's a master? Is it because he told you of all the success he's had with it? Did he then ask you to buy something or sign up for something? Maybe he is a master at building links, but if your source is the person telling you you have to question its validity. Same if the source is a friend of the person or profits in some way by recommending the person.

    I still say if you want to try to get people to point their broken links at your site go ahead. I would think the worst case scenario will be some wasted time. I'd rather see you put the time to better use, though. Put it into making your site better or improving your copy. Put the time into doing your work more productively. I think there are better ways you could spend the time.
    Couldn't help but agree with both of your wise opinions. Many thanks to both of you.

    Actually my sites aren't content-based, and nowadays it seems Google is giving more priority to fresh, quality content-based sites.
    Which is why I have to look for more ways to get backlinks. To say it frankly I'm appointed to get links, of course high quality links.
    What do you guys have to say about that? How do you earn links to your sites?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alvin View Post
    To say it frankly I'm appointed to get links, of course high quality links.
    What do you guys have to say about that? How do you earn links to your sites?
    There's only so many "high quality" links to go around, and everyone is not going to get them. Link building is not part of my marketing strategy at all. But to answer your question, you earn links by writing the kind of content that people in your industry want to share on social media and link to. Period. There are no shortcuts to that.

    The sites that do well are those that others want to link to, not the ones chasing links. No one rockets to the top of the SERP's by chasing other people to link to them. Try being a source of information.

    As far as the whole "high quality" links thing. I'd focus on related content links.
    Last edited by Harold Mansfield; 10-05-2014 at 10:24 AM.

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    I have nothing to add to this conversation since I'd never even heard of the "broken link method" until I read this post - but I find it fascinating how many things I learn by just being part of this board!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blessed
    I find it fascinating how many things I learn by just being part of this board!
    You learn something knew every day, I guess. This method to build links has been around awhile. A few years at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold Mansfield
    The sites that do well are those that others want to link to
    That's the not so secret, secret. I don't want to say you can't help your site by actively building links and asking for them, but when you look at the top sites in any industry what they generally have is either a well known brand or content that people want to consume and come back for. Some of those sites will talk about building links and I'm sure many do, but a lot of why their methods work is because they're already well-known sites.

    The links you earn will likely help your site as long as they last. The links you build might easily be changed or even more likely Google will change something in an algorithm and they won't count anymore. Google ideally wants all links to be earned because someone genuinely wanted to share a web page. That means they're going to work to better determine when a link is genuinely given and when it's not. Google would prefer to discount all built links. They don't know enough to do that now, but always keep in mind they're working on it. Any link you build now may not help a year from now. Links earned will.

    That's why I say there are better ways to spend your time. Put the effort into creating better content and let it earn links for you.
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  10. #10

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    I to do not think that this is a good method for approaching unless you do not worry about the success rate as the success rate for these kind of requests will be very less and one need to work more just to get a link out of hundreds or thousands of emails after working so hard in finding the link and preparing the content for the same.

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