Blogging Outreach With Broken Links: Why It Can Damage Your Business
by Jo Shaer, on August 16, 2016
Nick C is a pain in the bum! His blogging outreach strategy involves telling me that I have a broken link on one of my sites and offering his own link as a substitute.
It was very kind of him to draw the broken link to my attention so that I can repair it - which is one of the main problems with this type of outreach. The chances of success are limited.
Blogging outreach about broken links
This particular strategy has been doing the rounds for a couple of years now and, as usually happens, has been taken up by people with English as a second language who get paid a pittance by a larger 1st world company to acquire links on relevant sites.
I made the mistake of responding to Nick's first email thanking him for pointing out the broken one. But his replacement link goes to an article that is not terribly good so I don't really want to send my readers to that website or associate my own website with it in Google's eyes.
Therefore, I will repair the link - if possible. In many cases, the content has just been moved to another place on the same website so it's just a matter of locating it again and changing the link on my site accordingly. If it's not possible and I cannot find a suitable replacement, I just removed the link.
However, Nick doesn't like to be ignored. He has emailed me 5x and is now sending me messages through my contact form as well. His persistence means that he has become a nuisance. And so it is even more unlikely that his blogging outreach overtures will fall on fertile ground. That's the bit that these thick-skinned interlopers just don't get. Perseverance doesn't always equate to success.
Using blogging outreach to gain complementary links
A far better strategy is to reach out to complementary companies. Local businesses in the same area or businesses that offer a service that is naturally associated with yours. It is better if your company already has some form of relationship with the owners of these businesses because it just makes it easier to make contact. They are more likely to read your email request or take your telephone call suggesting a link between your two websites.
This strategy needs to be done with care. It's no good making it look as if you will link to any one - the ancient strategy of having a 'links' page and telling people they can ask for one may result in a Google penalty.
And it doesn't mean haranguing other local business owners to let you do a guest post and then putting a rehashed version of the same idea on a whole bunch of sites. Your content should be relevant to the other site and add value. It needs to be an interesting read! Yes, you want Google to index your link but the optimal outcome is for visitors to the other site to click on your link and come and visit your website! Ker-ching!
If you're using a company to build links by reaching out to the webmasters of other websites and blogs, you need to be sure that your provider bears in mind natural etiquette.
And think about how you would behave if someone kept on nagging you to do something which has very little benefit for them.
Get Better Search Results Without Relying On Other People
While link building in this way can be effective, there are things that you are in control of that you can do to improve the positioning of your website in Google searches. This means not relying on other people to get your website ranking.