Link reclamation is the act of locating, repairing, or reclaiming lost links and replacing lost and broken links pointing to your website, as well as replacing old links that are not passing as much value as they might. The broken link might be in internal connections on your own site or external links on other people’s websites.

It can be disheartening to look at google analytics and see your hard-earned links disappear, but every website owner will encounter this at some point. Keeping your website’s SEO at its best is a constant process, and digital marketing never ends.

When discussing links in SEO, a lot of emphases is placed on creating new links. Although generating new connections is crucial, managing your link profile to reclaim lost backlinks and avoid losing the link juice your site now has is as critical as building links yourself.

You may preserve the quality and SEO value of your site’s credibility and backlinks by discovering and mending broken connections using link reclamation.

What Is Link Reclamation?

Link reclamation is the process of locating broken or lost links or missing backlinks and repairing and reclaiming them. A lost links report in google analytics might show a lot of lost or broken links but do not panic.

While link reclamation is not as flashy as link development, it is an important factor in preserving your rankings, restoring your own lost link value and worth, and making the most of your link profile.

Link reclamation provides marketers with a wonderful opportunity to protect link juice, maintain a high-quality user experience, and create new backlinks.

The webmaster deleting the link or removing the page that connects to your blog post or website might result in lost or broken links. This is the most common cause of broken or lost connections from site A to site B. It can, however, also be caused by the webmaster simply forwarding the connecting page to another website.

Why is Link Reclamation Important?

As previously said, the link reclamation process ensures that your website does not develop any problems owing to broken links, lost backlinks, relocated pages, or incorrect URL canonicalization. Going through the link reclamation process also helps you uncover faulty pages, duplicate content concerns, and difficulties with internal linking and site navigation. It is not too hard to reclaim links, and the benefits are huge.

In the realm of link building, reclaimed links are considered low-hanging fruit. Broken links on a website are terrible for SEO and usability, and so updating or fixing broken links or replacing them is in the best interests of the website and site owner. You should not overlook this part of link building.

Internal connections are the simplest to manage since they are directly within your supervision. Fixing your internal linking is critical to ensuring that your pages with a lot of connections are passing link juice to your other sites and not creating a broken redirect chain.

If you have been conducting search engine optimization for any length of time, you have most likely engaged in a link building effort. Many SEOs focus their link building campaign almost entirely on acquiring new inbound links in order to develop a solid backlink profile. However, there is an efficient approach to boost your link juice: link reclamation.

Reclaiming links is a fantastic opportunity. Not only do you get to fully use existing links that already exist or are in your control, but it may also help to reclaim lost links and relieve the burden of building new ties. It is easier to restore a lost link than it is to build a new one.

Fixing Broken Internal links

Start with your own internal linking when reclaiming links. Because you have full control over these links, fixing internal links can be quite straightforward. Use a reputable web crawler like Screaming Frog or DeepCrawl to find broken or dead internal links.

Filter your crawl results by Client Error if you are using the Screaming Frog SEO Spider to locate pages that return 404 error pages. To locate all of your internal links leading to that page, go to the bottom panel and click on URLs, then Inlinks.

Although 301 redirects can be used to reclaim lost links or remedy broken internal links, they are not always the ideal solution. To make sure you’re keeping important link juice, you’re better off repairing the page or link. When you find a broken URL, simply edit it to replace it with the correct URL on the hosting page to restore your link value.

You’ve probably heard that since 302 redirect links don’t pass link juice, you should also think about regaining those links. This is no longer the case: When it comes to transmitting and passing link equity, Google will treat a 302 redirect like a 301.

Fixing Problems with Your Backlink Profile

Broken links to your site

It’s a little trickier to find broken backlinks and repair them than it is to just fix broken internal links or external ones. You don’t actually have any control over lost backlinks, which is a problem. Depending on how many pages and links you have, you may also need to be familiar with a few slightly complex Excel functions as part of your SEO efforts.

To locate websites that connect to any pages you may have moved or deleted, use a tool like Majestic or Ahrefs Site Explorer. Export your backlinks to an Excel document, then arrange new links in the list according to importance. The target URL list should be copied into another Excel file and saved.

Crawl the target URLs into Screaming Frog’s list mode to find lost links and broken links. Filter the results by Client Error (4XX). If there is anything appearing in the results, then you are going to have to move on to the next step. If not, then there is nothing to worry about.

Export your list of 404 error URLs back into Excel, and then paste the URLs and status code into the list of broken backlinks your backlink tool has provided (or, if you prefer, paste them into a new sheet).

Map the URLs to the status code using the VLOOKUP function. You may now locate all of your broken backlinks by simply sorting or filtering your list according to the status code. For tracking purposes, you can add a few columns for “date email sent” and “date link fixed.”

When using Crawl Error data acquired from Google Search Console, you can use the same procedure because some SEOs like to use various data sources from search engines.

The link reclamation procedure at this step is typically as easy as sending the connecting or linking site or the site owner a brief email with the revised URL now that you have the lost backlink on your list of broken backlinks.

When you do this, emphasize how repairing lost link value from a broken link is a win-win situation for everyone since it enhances the user experience and SEO of the website. These emails ought to have a high conversion rate, and the linking page should be fixed fast.

Fixing Issues with Site Canonicalization

Another unnoticed method that pages and sites lose out on link juice is through canonicalization and duplicating content.

If you do not fix these URL problems, all the many permutations will dilute your incoming organic traffic and link juice. Use Google Search Console HTML Improvements to detect situations where this can be happening by looking for duplicate title tags and meta descriptions. Look to see whether the same URL has any variations.

Implementing 301 redirects on your non-canonical URL variations, i.e., directing users to URLs in all lowercase or URLs with a terminating slash, may be all that is necessary to resolve this issue. As was already discussed, 301s consolidate your equity on a single URL by passing practically the entire value of the link on.

Unfortunately, due to CMS restrictions or a lack of web development resources, 301 redirects are not always an option. Use the rel=”canonical” tag in this situation. This HTML code informs web bots that the current page is really a duplicate of your site owners main canonical URL. This tag has the advantage of sending indexing properties to your canonical page, such as trust and link juice.

Each page should include a canonical tag with a different version of your canonical URL. By specifying a preferred URL in Google Search Console, you can give Google and Bing more information about your page title and canonical URL.

This provides you the choice of whether you want Google to recognize your website as having www. at the beginning or not. Additionally, this feature instructs Googlebot on how to follow links it comes across when web crawling.

Fixing Unlinked mentions

Even after you have mended all of your broken internal and external links, you still have not taken advantage of all of your other lost link value possibilities. There is a considerable probability that someone has referenced your website, brand, or business someplace else but, for some reason, did not include a link.

Since you’re pursuing links that don’t yet exist, this isn’t exactly regaining lost links, but it’s still a simpler process than your typical link-building approach. Let’s take a look at how to claim unlinked mentions as part of your SEO strategy.

Utilizing Google Alerts to keep an eye on your brand is the first step. Use the names of your business, products, or brands as keywords in Google Alerts to find out anytime someone is mentioning you online.

You’ll not only be able to discover opportunities when someone hasn’t connected to you, but you’ll also be able to check out new links and update any that have outdated or broken URLs.

Make sure you’ve configured alerts with precise terms; otherwise, you risk flooding your own email with notifications. Since it’s beneficial for their visitors (which is good for them), convincing webmasters to connect to your site should not be too difficult – everyone wins!

Additionally, you may keep track of mentions of non-branded, privately held elements of your company, such as original writing, logos, and taglines.

To detect instances of others using your exclusive text content, use Google Alerts. Use Google Images to perform a reverse image search to discover where your graphics or pictures have been used without attribution.

This option is quick and simple to use, yet it is amazing how few people are aware of it. Click the camera icon in the search box on the Google Images page. You can then search for pages that use your image by its URL or by uploading it from your PC.

Final Thoughts

Link reclamation can be time-consuming, but if you get a solid link reclamation strategy in place as early as possible, you can keep it ticking over in the background. Fixing the odd broken backlink when it arises is much easier than having to crawl all your linking pages at once!