Which Link Reclamation Techniques Are Most Effective for SEO Specialists?


    Which Link Reclamation Techniques Are Most Effective for SEO Specialists?

    In the dynamic world of SEO, link reclamation remains a vital strategy for maintaining a healthy link profile. We've gathered seven effective techniques from CEOs and marketing experts, ranging from monitoring brand mentions to leveraging broken-link building, to guide you through the process of reclaiming your valuable links.

    • Monitor Brand Mentions for Link Reclamation
    • Understand Causes of Broken Links
    • Utilize the 404 Error Method
    • Disavow Low-Quality Links
    • Use Check My Links for Reclamation
    • Position Outreach for Lost Link Recovery
    • Leverage Broken-Link Building

    Monitor Brand Mentions for Link Reclamation

    As the founder of a successful SEO and reputation management firm, I've found that one highly effective link-reclamation technique is to diligently monitor brand and keyword mentions across the web. All too often, companies get cited or covered in news articles, blog posts, or other online content without receiving a clickable backlink. These unlinked brand mentions represent missed opportunities for valuable inbound links that can boost your site's authority and rankings.

    One example that comes to mind is a client in the hospitality industry. We set up comprehensive monitoring for their brand name, key product/service terms, executive names, and related phrases. Within the first month, we uncovered dozens of unlinked mentions scattered across travel sites, local publications, event recaps, and more. We then pursued a strategic outreach campaign, politely requesting that the authors or site owners add a functional link back to our client's website. The rationale we provided was that it adds credibility and helps readers easily learn more about the company being referenced. More often than not, the webmasters were happy to oblige.

    Beyond finding unlinked mentions, we've also successfully reclaimed links that were previously in place but broke due to site redesigns, content moves, or other technical issues on either side. By using specialized crawler software, we can detect instances where links to our clients' sites are returning 404 errors. We document these broken links and systematically contact webmasters with the updated URL we need them to replace the outdated link with.

    Proper link reclamation takes some investment of time and effort, but it tends to yield very valuable wins in the form of authoritative new backlinks from trusted, relevant domains. And those inbound links remain one of the most impactful Google ranking factors. By diligently auditing your off-site footprint and politely prompting webmasters to fix unlinked or broken brand mentions, you can take advantage of missed opportunities and recapture hard-earned link equity.

    Making this a consistent part of your off-site SEO efforts, in conjunction with quality content creation and audience-building initiatives, is a smart way to progressively strengthen your site's online authority and visibility in organic search. Let me know if you need any other tips for developing a comprehensive link-reclamation process.

    Alex Adekola
    Alex AdekolaCEO, Founder, Remove My Mugshot

    Understand Causes of Broken Links

    One thing I'd recommend is to look for root causes rather than just immediately going to fix the broken links. Ultimately, the goal is the same, but a better understanding of how those links were broken in the first place is something that I don't see too many businesses paying attention to. Look for common patterns or reasons such as technical errors, changes to the content structure, actions from your competitors, or even overall algorithm changes. This can help you head off future broken links, so you don't have to spend weeks on Moz or Ahrefs looking for more broken links and spending time contacting site admins to fix them.

    Kate Kandefer
    Kate KandeferCEO, SEOwind

    Utilize the 404 Error Method

    I'm a big fan of the 404 method. It's not the simplest strategy, but when executed correctly, it's incredibly effective.

    Here's how it works: I use Ahrefs to find 404 errors. Often, there are articles with many backlinks that have been deleted or are on websites that no longer exist. Once I've identified such an article, I head over to Archive.org to check out what the old article looked like and then create content that's similar.

    The final step is to reach out to all the websites linking to the now-nonexistent article. I let them know about the 404 error on their site and suggest my link as an alternative, covering the same topic.

    Marco Genaro Palma
    Marco Genaro PalmaChief Marketing Officer, PRLab

    Disavow Low-Quality Links

    When it comes to link reclamation, one effective technique is disavowing low-quality links. This involves identifying and removing any spammy or irrelevant links that may be pointing to your website. These links can harm your website's ranking and reputation, so it's important to regularly check for them and disavow them using Google's Disavow Tool. Disavowing low-quality links can improve your website's overall link profile and prevent any potential penalties from search engines. To do this, you can use tools like Moz's Link Explorer or Ahrefs to analyze your backlinks and identify any low-quality ones. Once identified, you can submit a disavow file to Google through their Disavow Tool, indicating which links you want to disavow. This will signal to Google that you no longer want those links to be considered when evaluating your website.

    Ryan Nelson
    Ryan NelsonFounder, RentalRealEstate

    Use Check My Links for Reclamation

    One effective link-reclamation technique I have found to be successful involves utilizing Check My Links to identify websites with broken links pointing to relevant content. Once identified, I reach out to these website owners, informing them and suggesting they replace it with a link to my website’s relevant content or homepage. This proactive approach not only reclaims lost opportunities for valuable backlinks but also provides website owners with a solution to enhance their content's relevancy and usefulness to their audience. Furthermore, this technique demonstrates a commitment to improving web experiences for users by ensuring they have access to accurate and helpful resources. By offering a mutually beneficial solution, it builds goodwill between website owners and promotes a culture of collaboration within the online community. It's like tidying up the digital world, making it easier for everyone to navigate and find what they need.

    Swayam Doshi
    Swayam DoshiFounder, Suspire

    Position Outreach for Lost Link Recovery

    The best technique for link reclamation is all about how you position your outreach sequence. If you've lost a link, it's likely because your page goes to a 404 error, the content is out of date, or it no longer answers the relevant question that it was originally used for. If any of those reasons are true, you've bitten the hand that fed you (the site that gave you the link in the first place), so you've got some work to do to earn that trust back.

    To reclaim a lost link, you must go above and beyond to provide fresh content that is hyper-relevant to the topic and provides even more value than the original content. This message must be reflected in your outreach email, as you're on the back foot now.

    I've had the most success with link reclamation outreach by positioning my outreach to say:

    1. Thanks so much for the original link; we were so happy you found our content useful.

    2. We've been proactively working to ensure that our content continues to be fresh, useful, and in accordance with ever-changing search algorithms.

    3. We have an even better guide here that we'd love for you to use instead of the current, broken URL.

    I've also added helpful comments like:

    We know you're busy and making these fixes adds to your to-do list, but we think you'll be pleased with the new content.

    It's good for your site's SEO to update your content to keep it fresh. While you're changing that URL, you may also want to consider adding [point out any other parts of the page that contain out-of-date content].

    I had a look at the page and saw that the SEO settings could be updated as it's [missing meta description/alt image text/multiple H1s, or other SEO issues].

    The key is to offer as much help as possible so that the content manager sees it and doesn't just groan that you've added something to their never-ending to-do list. Provide value, and people will be much more receptive!

    One final tip from my experience: Write a sequence of three emails: one to introduce yourself and the problem; the second to follow up on why they should change it, and the third to chase. Don't get discouraged—I see the most replies and results from the final email.

    Amie Sparrow
    Amie SparrowFounder, Enough Digital Ltd.

    Leverage Broken-Link Building

    One highly effective link-reclamation technique I've honed over years of experience involves leveraging broken-link building. Essentially, it involves identifying broken links on reputable websites within your niche and reaching out to the site owner with a well-crafted pitch suggesting your relevant content as a replacement. This technique not only reclaims lost links but also provides value to the website owner by offering them a solution to their broken-link issue.

    To execute this strategy successfully, I utilize advanced tools to identify broken links and meticulously analyze the context in which they were originally used. Crafting a personalized outreach email highlighting the relevance and quality of my content has been key to securing link replacements. This technique not only helps to reclaim lost links but also strengthens relationships within the industry, positioning my content as a valuable resource.

    Khunshan Ahmad
    Khunshan AhmadCEO, InsideTechWorld