Link Reclamation – Reaching Out to Sites That Used to Link to You But No Longer Do

Estimated read time 4 min read

Link building is an ongoing process. Sites regularly change or remove pages, causing previous links earned to disappear. When these broken backlinks are removed, it impacts your site’s authority and SEO ranking potential.

Link reclamation is a vital aspect of SEO, involving the identification and restoration of lost or broken backlinks to your website. This process is crucial for regaining link value, enhancing your link profile, and boosting your site’s overall SEO and authority. Here are essential steps and tips for successful link reclamation:

  • Identify Lost Links: Utilize tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console, or SEMrush to identify lost links. Additionally, check your website for broken links and redirect them to the correct pages.
  • Determine the Reason for Lost Links: Investigate why the link was lost, which could be due to a broken link, a removed page, or a change in the URL structure.
  • Reach Out to the Webmaster: Contact the webmaster once you’ve identified the lost link and its reason. Use email outreach or social media to request link restoration.
  • Provide Value: When contacting the webmaster, offer value by suggesting new content or volunteering to fix the broken link. Providing value increases the chances of them fixing the link and potentially linking to your website again in the future.

By following these steps, you can effectively identify lost links, understand the cause of their loss, and engage with webmasters to restore valuable backlinks, thereby enhancing your website’s SEO performance.

Link reclamation refers to the process of identifying and reclaiming links from sites that previously linked to your content but no longer do. Re-establishing these lost links helps regain the SEO value they previously provided.

The Importance of Link Reclamation

There are a few key reasons why reclaiming broken backlinks should be part of your link building approach:

  • Regain lost link equity – Previously earned links passed authority and rankings boosts to your site. Reclaiming these links restores lost SEO value.
  • Improve link health – Broken links damage your site’s backlink profile health and look unnatural to Google. Fixing them cleanses unnatural-looking gaps in your link graph.
  • Increase branded anchor text – Reclaimed links often use your brand name as anchor text, helping brand visibility.
  • Utilize lost opportunities – Rather than starting from scratch, reclaiming links lets you benefit again from previous efforts.

According to recent link building statistics, the average website loses 25% of its backlinks each year. With consistent reclamation, you can minimize this negative SEO impact.

Best Practices for Link Reclamation

Reclaiming broken backlinks takes research and outreach. Here are some tips for making your efforts successful:

Find Lost Links

  • Use link tracking software to identify URLs that previously linked to your site but no longer do. Prioritize domains with the highest authority.
  • Review old outreach emails and guest posts to uncover links earned in the past that have since disappeared.
  • Check the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to see if pages linking to you existed in previous site versions.
  • Monitor 404 errors in analytics to find visitor traffic coming from broken backlinks.

Analyze Link Loss Reasons

  • Review removed pages to understand why the link was deleted. This informs your reclamation outreach.
  • If a site restructured its URLs, you may simply need to request updating the link to the new URL.
  • For deleted pages, propose alternative relevant pages on their site that could host your link.

Craft Reclamation Outreach

  • Remind sites of your previous link, explain its broken status, and make your request for reclamation.
  • Offer to create fresh, updated content if they need new reasons to link to you.
  • For unresponsive sites, follow up periodically. The site contact may have changed.
  • Try to speak with different decision-makers at the company if your initial requests get declined.

Diversify Link Placement

  • When you reclaim a lost link, aim to get it placed on a different page rather than the original.
  • This helps diversify the anchoring of your links across more of the site’s pages.

Update Your Link Tracking

  • After a successful reclamation, be sure to update your link tracking system to note the restored, working link.
  • Check that the link remains active periodically, and repeat reclamation if needed.

Recognize Link Reclamation’s Limits

Not all links can or should be reclaimed. Know when to cut your losses:

  • If a site removed your guest post entirely, they may not want to republish. Avoid badgering sites.
  • Don’t waste efforts on low-value sites like directories or article sites with no SEO worth reclaiming.
  • Accept that some old links will be obsolete or irrelevant to reestablish if content/topic no longer align.

With consistency and persistence, link reclamation can effectively recover SEO equity lost through broken backlinks. Treat it as an ongoing link building maintenance process.