The SEO Trick That Will Get Your Business Noticed

Broken Link Building – 29.9% New Users, A Higher DR, and a Revenue Boost of 42.3%

Find out which webmasters to contact and witness a game changing boost

proxy success case

Go on, Replace Those 404 Links

Tired of spending cash and endless hours just to acquire a valuable backlink? 

Are worthy websites just as hard to find as your car keys?

Wouldn’t you like to use your time more effectively and be able to present results that you’ll be proud to show off?

We know the drill – it’s extremely hard and expensive for small and medium businesses to acquire links from high authority websites. However, there is a practice of building backlinks that is simple yet missed by most: Broken Link Building. All you have to do is replace links to 404 pages with a working link to your target website. Why does this work? Because it’s a win-win for both you and the webmaster. The latter gets his issue fixed, while you enjoy your new high quality backlink – and a much better ranking in Google Search. Simple!

Scrape the Web and Choose your Target

Let’s look at how a small vitamin supplement business did it. The company’s monthly revenue was around 36k at the time, which wasn’t bad if not for unstable and slow growth. Their in-house SEO expert was searching for ways to improve the company’s visibility – and throughout the years his broken link building strategy became his dark horse.

The goal: This business wanted – no, it needed – a niche link to their site like, yesterday. 

The strategy: The expert started searching for broken links. He used these tools:

  1. Ahrefs
  2. Screaming Frog (the customer extraction tool is worth mentioning)
  3. Smartproxy proxies 

These were essential to find links in websites that were related to the health topic. His main focus was Healthline – this website has a great SERP ranking that could bring many potential customers right in. 

The details are kept confidential, but basically this is what the SEO expert did:

  • Ahrefs:

He opened Content Explorer and put in the chosen keyword. He chose the option Only broken:

Ahrefs Content Explorer

To choose the URL addresses with the most backlinks, he chose the Sort by: Referring domains filter: 

Ahrefs Configuration

He chose a page that wasn’t working and opened Site Explorer. He clicked on Backlinks:

Ahrefs Site Explorer
Ahrefs Site Explorer

Voilà!

  • Screaming Frog and proxies:

In order to avoid bans and scrape any website freely, the expert paired Screaming Frog with proxies.

Why was this step crucial? Let’s look at the numbers:

An Ahrefs trial is only 7$. If you want to scrape hundreds of websites – up to 500 – Screaming Frog will not cost you anything. BUT your scraping will encounter block after block if you don’t use proxies. They will guarantee you more efficiency, more success, and will make the process way easier. Makes sense? It sure does.  Don’t worry, the set up is easy too. To do this, open Screaming Frog and go to Configuration -> System -> Proxy:

Screaming Frog Configuration

Fill in the proxy server address and port:

Screaming Frog proxy Configuration

Don’t forget to reload Screaming Frog after doing this!

He also recommended changing the User Agent parameters – many websites block the standard User Agent. Just go to Configuration -> User Agent:

Screaming Frog User Agent Configuration

His personal recommendation is to choose Googlebot (Smartphone). Why? Google will start using mobile-first indexation this September, and the Googlebot crawler will be the main tool for that.

Ethical web scraping is also important – just click Configuration -> robots.txt and choose Respect robots.txt. This step will lessen the number of pages to crawl, including the landing pages that you will not need.

So, once the expert set up Screaming Frog, all he had to do was put in the domain address into this field and click Start:

Screaming Frog

After he finished scanning the website, he pushed Bulk Export -> External Links and filtered all URLs with the Status Code 404:

Screaming Frog  External Links

Extra tip: the 404 page will probably have more links from other sites – it’s a good idea to put it into Site Explorer and select Backlinks to see them:

Site Explorer
Site Explorer

Send Some Smart Emails

When the company found the websites by scraping relevant keywords (“nutrition”, “supplements” and so on), the next step was to send out some badass emails to their target webmasters. The goal was to praise the article – and then mention that a link led to a dead end:

Hey {!name},

I found your article about {!topic} very useful and engaging – great stuff! 

I noticed that you have a bad link. I have an article on the same topic that would add even more insight – this would also be a quick solution to the 404 link.

Much appreciated, keep us informed about {!industry} on {!website}.

Sincerely

John Bananas

If you can offer a unique angle to the issue that’s discussed in the article, that would be ideal. However, that might not even be necessary to get that link – showing the broken (or irrelevant) link to a webmaster is already a commendable favor.

29.9% New User Traffic Boost

Did it pay off? Oh you bet. Here’s the tea:

  • The website’s DR increased by 3 points in 2 weeks – the number went from 49 to 52! 
  • Their organic traffic got a monthly boost of 29.9% new users
  • Gross revenue shot up by 42.3%

Did Healthline help with this? Actually, yes – they agreed with a link, and this created the momentum that the business was looking for.

This is only one of our cases that used proxies for 404 links. This has become a no-brainer – start this practice now and expect inevitable growth!