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One of the fundamental truths of the Internet (and in fact all of life) is that everything changes. One of the other fundamental truths about the Internet is that some things change much more quickly than others. For example, it’s trivial to find a link in a Wikipedia ‘references’ section that is pointing at a page that straight-up doesn’t exist anymore. What most people don’t realize is that these commonplace broken links are the foundation of one of the top SEO tricks of 2016.
How it Works
No webmaster wants to have broken links on their page — it makes them look unprofessional, and worst-case scenario can actually cost them business. What they want is something else that they can point their link at that serves the same approximate purpose as the page they used to point at. This is where your opportunity lies.
Step one is finding a relevant, authoritative website that has a broken link that used to point at a webpage like your own. There are a number of tools online that can do this for you.
Step two is to modify your website, if necessary, so it serves the precise purpose that the once-linked site served for the linking site.
Step three is to reach out to the webmaster of the site in question, point out the broken link, and gently suggest your site as a valid replacement. Most webmasters are perfectly willing to skim your site, see that it provides the information they were looking for, and link you up in no time. Presto! You’ve just earned yourself an authoritative, relevant backlink from a site that can do your site a lot of good.
Step four, if you find that the webmaster in question is a cool dude and you want to develop that relationship for your mutual benefit, is to do exactly that — ask him what you can do for him, find out what he can do for you, and generally go about networking exactly like you would if you were looking for a solid guest posting/content marketing/JV partnering opportunity. Who knows? It might become all three!