Reclaiming Forgotten Backlinks Can Help To Build Your Brand Image

By Vincent Jackson on February 7, 2013

Salvaging misplaced and forgotten backlinks is one of the most efficient and easiest methods of link building. By digging into the catacombs of well-established websites, you might find useful links that might help you to build your brand name. Garret French in his famous essay Link Equity Salvage: 7 Steps for Finding Your Long-Lost Links deconstructs this process into several gradations which must be followed for link reclamation.

  • Compile a list of old-page opportunities.
  • Check statutes, as well as the links on the pages.
  • Redirecting pages.

1) Refurbish Links from pages that are broken or have multiple redirects

Conduct an extensive survey. You can do this by using the IIS SEO Toolkit, or Screaming Frog, or Xenu Link-Sleuth to do this. Try to crawl through the entire website, or as many pages as possible.

You might come across some interesting cases:

  • Some crawlers like Xenu can identify orphan pages of a site to which you have access, as mentioned by French in his article.
  • If your site is heavy and large, then run it on a server so that resources can easily crawl your site without crashing the computer.

Utilize all 300 level-redirects, and 400 to 500 level-server-response-errors. You can create two separate lists under which you can clearly chalk down the peculiarities of both categories.
For those pages which show a server error, investigate the backlink data to identify the problem. This is an easy task as the problem can be easily identified by running a bulk backlink-checker like the Use Fresh Index Setting provided by Majestic SEO.

In case of redirected links, a checker tool is available for checking header tags that have been re-channeled. You might just discover tons of trusted backlinks that have been collected over the years. While conducting this search, you might have to re-run the data to work your way through the nested links to reach the original page. Once you have identified all the redirected links to their original page, check them through the backlink checker.

2) Utilize the encrypted links on your page for better results
This method necessarily entails that you survey your site for orphaned pages and ancient content like:

  • Old blogs that were started, run for a short period and then abandoned and removed.
  • Ancient press releases that are of no use any longer, or were published before you purchased the domain.
  • “About” sections of web pages with old backlinks, or newer versions with no re-directed backlinks.
  • Outdated article sections.
  • Old sub-domains that have fallen out of use.

Once you have enlisted these domains, directories and pages, check them for relevant backlinks. If you find any, then redirect the links to the latest version of pages providing information about your company and business.

Sidebar: To access the quality of a link, it is necessary to access to the concerned site. But for security purposes, arbitrary accesses to the backend are not allowed. In such cases, the best option is to conduct a basic crawl and carefully study the indications made by the search engine for making a basic assessment of the website from which you have gained a backlink.

3) Re-channel the Linkrot Backlinks
Other than the above mentioned issues, backlink profiles undergo a natural rotting process. Pages with redirections to your website will naturally be obliterated, and reclaiming these lost links are an easy way to build an effective canvass.
This process can be undertaken occasionally, or re-iterated frequently if you have a large site to manage.
Two methods of doing this are:
Link-tracking Script: Create a customized script for tracking relevant backlinks, especially if you have paid for it.
Excel: Maintain a sheet which records all your InBound Links as this will facilitate you in keeping a record of the sites from where you are earning your backlinks.

Tools such as Buzzstream, Linkscape and Majestic SEO will help link builders to keep a record of the links they have built. The common practice is to avoid loss rather than drain energy in recovering from those losses. Therefore careful planning and overview can help SEO experts to keep a tab on the relevant backlinks that have been gained over the years.


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Vincent Jackson

Vincent Jackson

Vincent Jackson is the Vice-President of Search Optimal, the Internet Marketing wing of B3NET Inc. During the day, he is helping clients with Internet marketing, mobile and video marketing solutions. By sunset, Vince makes a point to be in the gym. On weekends, Vince loves to go golfing or take some salsa steps.

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