Technical SEO

Link Reclamation

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Apr 26, 2023

Link Reclamation

What Is Link Reclamation?

Link Reclamation is a process where you identify and recover lost or broken backlinks to your website.

Why Does Link Reclamation Matter?

Link Reclamation matters because it can positively impact your website's SEO performance and overall online visibility.

Here are some reasons why it is important:

  1. Recovering lost link equity: When you reclaim broken or lost backlinks, you are essentially recovering lost "link equity." Link equity is the value passed from one website to another through a backlink. High-quality backlinks can boost your site's authority, making it more likely to rank higher in search engine results.

  2. Maintaining domain authority: High-quality backlinks from reputable websites contribute to your site's domain authority. By reclaiming lost backlinks, you help maintain or improve your website's DA.

  3. Improving organic search visibility: Reclaiming lost links can lead to better rankings in search engine results, which in turn can drive more organic traffic to your website. organic traffic is valuable because it is usually more targeted and has a higher likelihood of converting into leads or customers.

  4. Strengthening your website's reputation: Reclaiming links from authoritative websites can help strengthen your website's reputation and credibility in your niche. It sends a signal to both search engines and users that your content is valuable and worth linking to.

  5. Cost-effective SEO strategy: Compared to other link-building methods, link reclamation can be a relatively low-cost and efficient way to improve your site's SEO. Since you are recovering links that once existed, you don't need to create new content or spend a lot of time building new relationships with website owners.

  6. Better user experience: Broken or lost links can lead to a poor user experience. By fixing these issues, you improve the user experience on both your site and the referring site, creating a better impression of your brand and content.

Reclaiming Links vs Building New Ones

Reclaiming links and building new ones are two different approaches to link building for a website.

The first approach is reclaiming lost links, which means trying to get backlinks that your website used to have but lost for some reason.

The second approach is building new links, which means approaching new websites to link to your website.

The effectiveness of these approaches depends on the quality of the links you are trying to reclaim or build.

If the links you are trying to reclaim are low-quality, such as links from spammy websites or de-indexed websites, then it's not worth your time to try to get those links back because they could actually harm your website's search rankings.

However, if you are trying to reclaim links from high-quality websites within your niche or with a trusted backlink profile, then it's worth your effort because these links will improve your website's authority and search rankings.

Building new links is also a valuable tactic because it allows you to control which websites are linking to you.

This means you can ensure that you are getting high-quality links that will improve your website's authority and search rankings.

So the decision between reclaiming lost links versus building new ones depends on the quality of the links you are trying to get.

It's important to focus on getting high-quality links that will improve your website's authority and search rankings.

Claiming Unlinked Mentions vs. Link Reclamation

Unlinked mentions are online mentions, citations, images, or other references to your brand or company that are not currently linked back to your website.

In simple terms, they mention your brand without inserting a link to your website. Claiming unlinked mentions means generating new backlinks by approaching these references to link back to your site.

This presents an opportunity to build new links and increase your website's authority and search rankings.

Link reclamation involves finding, fixing, and replacing lost or broken external links to your website, restoring their link value, and improving your website's authority and search rankings.

In simpler terms, unlinked mentions are opportunities to claim new links, while links reclamation are previously existing links that need to be found and reclaimed to maintain or improve your website's authority and search rankings.

Both approaches can be valuable for link-building strategies, but they require different tactics and methods to be effective.

But here we will only discuss reclaiming the lost or broken external links to your website.

How to Reclaim Lost Links?

Reclaiming lost links is an important part of search engine optimization, as it helps you recover lost link equity and improve your website's authority.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to reclaim lost links:

Identifying lost or broken backlinks

Your first step should be to identify lost or broken backlinks to your website. Use SEO tools such as Ahrefs to find broken backlinks to your site that are no longer working.

Finding Lost/Broken Backlinks using ahrefs

Ahrefs is a powerful SEO tool that helps you monitor your website's backlinks, among other things.

To check for broken backlinks to your website using Ahrefs, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your Ahrefs account.

  • Add your website to your Ahrefs account by clicking the "Add new project" button and following the prompts to enter your website's URL.

  • Once your website is added, click on "Site Explorer" in the top menu bar.

  • In the Site Explorer search bar, type in your website's URL and click the search icon or hit Enter.

  • After your website's data is loaded, click on the "Backlinks" tab on the left-hand side of the screen.

  • To see the broken backlinks, click on the "Link Type" dropdown menu and select "Broken." This will show you a list of broken backlinks pointing to your website.

Analyze the lost links

You can now view detailed information about the broken backlinks, such as the quality of the lost backlinks, including the domain rating of the referring sites, the relevance of the content, the anchor text used for the link and more.

This information can help you identify potential issues and decide how to handle each broken backlink.

Prioritize reclamation efforts

Based on your analysis, prioritize the most valuable backlinks that will significantly impact your website's SEO performance.

Focus on links from high-authority websites, relevant content, and those with appropriate anchor text.

Prepare your outreach

Draft a friendly and professional email template to use when reaching out to website owners.

Personalize the email for each recipient, including specific details about the broken link and the correct URL to replace it.

Contact website owners

Reach out to the webmasters of the sites with broken or lost backlinks and request that they update their links to your website.

Be polite and provide the correct URL and any other necessary information to make it easier for them to make the update.

Follow-up

If you don't receive a response within a week or two, send a follow-up email to remind the website owner about your request.

Be patient and respectful, as they may be busy or receive numerous requests.

Keep track of your outreach efforts, the responses you receive, and the links that get updated.

Update your records accordingly, and use this information to guide future link reclamation campaigns.

Broken internal links and link reclamation

Link reclamation focuses on fixing broken external links pointing to your website, but it's also important to identify and repair your site's internal broken links to prevent issues with backlinks.

Regularly examining your website for broken internal links allows you to quickly identify and update them.

This ensures that external websites pointing to your pages will be directed to the correct page, rather than a broken one.

Screaming Frog is an excellent tool for examining broken internal links. Its free version allows up to 500 URLs, but if you have a larger website, you can opt for the paid version.

Screaming Frog for broken internal links

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you identify broken internal links using Screaming Frog:

  • Open the Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool on your computer.

  • In the top bar of the tool, enter your website's URL and press the 'Start' button.

  • The tool will begin crawling your website, analyzing all the pages and links. This process may take some time, depending on the size of your website.

  • Once the crawl is complete, click on the 'Response Codes' tab. From the filter dropdown, select 'Client Error (4xx)' to display a list of broken internal links with 4xx HTTP status codes.

  • Examine the list of broken internal links, paying attention to the 'Status Code' column. Common status codes include 404 (Not Found) and 410 (Gone), indicating broken links.

  • To save the list of broken links, click on 'Export' in the top-right corner of the tool. Choose the desired file format (e.g., CSV, Excel) and save it to your computer.

  • Use the exported list to identify and update the broken internal links on your website. Replace them with working links or redirect them if they are no longer relevant.

By following these steps, you can use Screaming Frog to effectively identify and fix broken internal links on your website, improve the overall user experience, and maintain the integrity of your backlinks.

Takeaway

Link reclamation is a process of identifying and recovering lost or broken backlinks to your website to improve your site's authority, reputation, and visibility in search engine results.

It positively impacts your website's SEO performance and overall online visibility.

Recovering lost link equity, maintaining domain authority, improving organic search visibility, and better user experience are some of the reasons why link reclamation is important.

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