How to Create Backlinks with the Broken Link Building Technique [OSEO-10]
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How to Create Backlinks with the Broken Link Building Technique [OSEO-10]

Hello guys! This is Tim Soulo from Ahrefs, and today I want to answer the question: “how to get a backlink from a website.” You’re watching episode number ten, of the oversimplified SEO. [Music] In previous episodes, I showed you how to
identify sites that help your competitors rank well. But now that you know the websites, how do you make them link to you? Don’t stop watching. Ok, let’s say I want a backlink from, which is a pretty famous blog about copywriting. As you can see from Ahrefs’ toolbar, it has a Domain Rating of 70, which
is a pretty solid number. Since Copyblogger is actually a blog, the first thing that comes to my mind is to
write a guest post for them and have a link to my website from this guest post. But that’s not very efficient because this way, I’ll have to write a solid piece of content and I won’t even keep it for myself because it will be published on Copyblogger. And I actually know a better way I can
write a piece of content and have a link from Copyblogger, while keeping the
content to myself. And as usual I’m going to need
some help from Ahrefs tools. So I’ll open Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, and put the domain name there. Site Explorer tool allows me to find out if’s website is linking to
some content that no longer exists. And as you know from my previous episode, I can check it with the broken
links report of Site Explorer. As you can see, there are 2,210 broken
links on copyblogger’s website. But I’m interested in dofollow links because these probably link to some quality
pieces of content that no longer exist. So this is their list of do follow broken links. And actually as you can see, the very first
broken link looks interesting. It seems to be an article with ‘top 10 blogs for writers.’ Let’s open it and see if it actually exists or not. Nope! This article returns a
404 not found error. By looking at the URL of this article, I can tell that this was a list of the top 10 blogs for writers. And there’s actually a way to restore this article and check what was there when it was live. We can use the amazing service called and check for previous snapshots of this page. For example, a snapshot from 2010. Let’s see if the article was live at the time. Yes, this is the original piece of content that the guys from Copyblogger were linking to. So what I could do is write a “top 10 blogs for writers”article on my own blog and then reach out to Copy Blogger and tell them that
they have a broken link and they can change it to a live link with pretty
much the same article, but maybe even a better one on my own website. This technique is known as broken link building
and it’s pretty popular among SEOs. And what I personally like about it is that you’re keeping a piece of
content to yourself, while getting a backlink from a powerful website. But here’s another great thing that
I love about broken link building. I’m sure that Copyblogger’s website is not the only one who is linking to this dead article. So what I’m going to do, is check for other
sites that might link to this page. I’ll take the URL of this page, open
another instance of Site Explorer, and search for backlinks to this URL. As you can see, there are 27 sites that link
to this piece of content that is no longer there. And to see them, I just go to the ‘referring
domains’ report of Site Explorer. So once I recreate this piece of content on my own blog, I can reach out to all 27 sites and let them
know that they have a broken link, and that they can update it with a link to a
similar resource on my own site. To be honest, I don’t believe that I will be
able to make all 27 sites update their dead link with the link to my
article, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to make at least five of them link to me; which is a pretty good result from
a single piece of content. And then I would go back to
the broken links of Copyblogger, find another cool piece of content that
no longer exists, but has many other websites still linking to it, and again, I
would recreate it on my blog and reach out to all the guys and have them link to me. As you can see there are 740 potential opportunities for broken link building on Copyblogger alone. And I’m sure even in your niche,
there are tons of sites that have broken links, which is a great opportunity for you
to create awesome content on your site and have them update their broken links and link to you. [Music] That’s it! I hope you enjoyed this little
broken link building trick and I encourage you to go and try it on your
own site right now. And if you have any questions about SEO that you want me to
answer in one of the next episodes of oversimplified SEO, please send them to
my mailbox at: See you in the next episode!


  • Michael Ellsworth

    Being that it is a 404 and likely already de-indexed by Google could your blog still potentially be hurt by duplicate content? I suppose if it doesn't show up in CopyScape then it should be fine to copy verbatim?

  • Ilya S

    My question is, writing an article and then the blog says "we are not going back 4 years to fix a url in the article". What then? How many of those can you write?

  • philip rogers

    Hi, this may be a dumb question but doesn't the level of traffic to a site, influence its page ranking? For example if a site gets loads of traffic through Adwords – won't this help it's organic Google page rank?

  • Patrick Artounian

    Could you write up something or make a video on the preferred method of telling the guys with broken links about your link?

  • Demetrius Palacios

    Thanks for sharing this video, my site ( I won't spam you with a sleazy link ) needs some link juice. I will try this tip. Hopefully it works.

  • DaleMusic

    Thanks for this very useful information, Do check my Blog for Tech news and Blogging tips

  • Musab Kara

    I knew the broken link tactic but with a tool like ahrefs I realise it can be very easy to build backlinks to my website. I will also look to other videos. and I like to buy the tool but I hope it is cheap so I can afford it.

  • Clear Skin Minerals | Organic Makeup | Powder Makeup

    What is your process for reaching out to these sites? How do you reach them? Email???

  • William Suen

    Dear Tim,

    I understand your procedure as explained in this video. However, I have a slightly different situation.

    Assuming that I already have a piece of content, e.g., with keyword "leaking tap" and the content is already created. Which tool and what step do I use in ahrefs to find websites with a broken link of this keyword "leaking tap"?


  • Prime Captain

    Excellent Video clip! Excuse me for butting in, I am interested in your thoughts. Have you thought about – Trentvorty Generate Links Theorem (do a search on google)? It is a smashing exclusive product for boosting your ranking with powerful backlinking without the headache. Ive heard some super things about it and my m8 got amazing success with it.

  • paul flores

    Excellent video content! Excuse me for chiming in, I would love your thoughts. Have you researched – Trentvorty Generate Links Theorem (should be on google have a look)? It is a great one of a kind product for boosting your ranking with powerful backlinking without the headache. Ive heard some great things about it and my m8 after many years got astronomical success with it.

  • Awe Projects

    So the point of this broken building strategy is we have to make similar(probably better quality one) contents and connect to site owners with broken links to somewhere else right..? So it must create similar contents for them to replace.. if I understand right.
    if right, that must be another hard work too to create articles for them even though this idea is awesome!

  • popothebright

    "hey I saw you have a broken link on your site… can you change that URL to point to my blog for no reason?" lol

  • Papp Sebastian Georgian

    So if that site deleted that page and u copy paste that article on your own site. U are good, right?!??

  • Blogging BIG

    tim , Q1 >>how to find if that same content which you found by is published in someother palace or not ?

    Q2>>if its not published we can copy paste same content also right in case the content is damn awesome … can we copy paste or not ?

    some concept something like query deserve freshness is coming in my mind ; feeling like it penalize to copy paste ; whats it is in real please

    reply both part of the question ; thanks

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