In the ever-changing digital marketing landscape, search engine optimisation (SEO) remains a crucial part of your strategy for online success. One often overlooked method within SEO efforts is link reclamation – finding and fixing broken or lost links to your site.

Link building is a long-term part of your strategy which requires time and consistency, so losing these links can be frustrating for marketers. By identifying and reclaiming these lost opportunities, you’re working to continually build up your link profile, boosting your SEO efforts and your site’s performance. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the fundamentals of link reclamation and how you can utilise this powerful technique to enhance your website’s online presence.

How to get started with link reclamation

Link reclamation is all about uncovering and returning broken or lost links from across the internet that lead back to your site. You can find them in several ways – broken links (a link that doesn’t work, for example, it’s going to a page that’s no longer live), lost external backlinks or outdated content. Take a look at how to regain these links and strengthen your site’s E-E-A-T.

Audit your link profile – To start link reclamation, you first need to find them. You’ll want to conduct a comprehensive audit of your website’s backlink profile. To do this, you can use external tools like the ones from Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush, which will identify existing backlinks and potential opportunities for reclamation.

Find broken links – Broken links are harming your site’s SEO value. Most often, dead links that show a 404 error are there because the page has been deleted or moved to a new URL without updating the link. Once you’ve identified these (use a tool such as Google Search Console), you can reach out to the owner of the site where the external link sits and request an update, either to the new URL or a new page that’s relevant to the content.

Update old content – Keep an eye on any external content with outdated links that point to old or irrelevant content on your site. To fix this, you can either update your content to ensure it’s a better match for the linking text, suggest an update to the owner, or ask them to change the link to an up-to-date page, ensuring you’re only presenting accurate information.

Utilise redirects – If your website has undergone structural changes, pages may have been moved or removed, which can wreak havoc with search rankings. Using 301 redirects means that links will always send the user from the old URL to the new URL. This means that your site users and search engines are directed to the most relevant content, maintaining the link’s value associated with the old URLs.

Creating a long-term link reclamation strategy

For link reclamation to be effective, it must remain part of your continual SEO and link-building strategy, and can even be a part of your regular outreach. Be sure to craft polite emails to site owners, journalists or bloggers that you’re contacting about your links, explaining the issue and making it as simple as possible for them to update for you.

You should also keep track of the impact of your link reclamation efforts. Monitoring your backlink profile, domain authority, and search engine rankings using external tools will help you maintain an overarching view of the effectiveness of your strategy.

Side note: While this isn’t technically link reclamation, be sure to track unlinked brand mentions in your link-building strategy too, as they provide great opportunities for links back to your site. When they appear, request that a link be added in its place.

Link reclamation is a valuable and often underutilised SEO strategy that can be incredibly beneficial for your website. Learn about other effective SEO processes by reading another of It Works’ blog posts. Or, get in touch today to hear about how our search marketing experts can help you.