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What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

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what is link reclamation how to regain lost link value via juliaemccoy

Link reclamation is an integral part of an effective SEO strategy, but it can seem intimidating if you don’t understand what it is, or why it’s important.

Building links isn’t an easy task, so when your hard-earned links suddenly vanish or when you find a broken backlink, it can be frustrating, it devalues your SEO efforts, and it’s damaging to your site’s overall credibility.

Learning how to reclaim lost links will help to:

  • Regain link value.
  • Build your link profile.
  • Improve your site’s SEO and overall authority.

What makes link reclamation even better is that it’s a process you can start right away, at little-to-no cost.

Claiming Unlinked Mentions vs. Link Reclamation

Unlinked mentions and broken links – while similar – are not the same.

Claiming unlinked mentions is generating new backlinks from online mentions, citations, images, or other references to your brand or company that aren’t already linked back to your site.

Link reclamation is finding, fixing, and replacing online content where your brand or company has been improperly linked.

Lost or broken links – also known as “dead links” – typically occur when a website removes pages, or when URLs change during a site redesign or rebranding.

In even simpler terms:

Unlinked mentions are online references to your brand or company that are not linked to your site. They present an opportunity to claim new links.

Broken links are previously existing links or backlinks which are now lost (broken). These links need to be found and reclaimed.

For this article, we’ll focus on reclaiming lost or broken links.

How to Reclaim Lost Links

Finding Broken Internal Links

Fixing internal links is a crucial step to optimizing your site’s usability and is the first step in the link reclamation process.

To find broken links on your own site, you have the option to use paid tools like the Ahrefs Site Explorer and DeepCrawl, or to take advantage of free tools like Google Analytics and Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider. The SEO Spider will crawl up to 500 URLs with the free version, but you can pay to upgrade if you have a more significant site to crawl.

This example shows Screaming Frog’s free SEO Spider in action on a sample site:

What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

Follow these steps for your own website:

  • Click on the Response Codes tab from the top menu
  • Filter by Client Error (4xx)
  • Sort the Status Code column in descending order
  • Click to highlight a web address with a 4xx code
  • Click on the Inlinks tab the bottom to locate internal links leading to that page

If you have a long list of URLs with 4xx codes, you have the option to export the list as a CSV file.

Fixing Broken Internal Links

The next step is to fix your broken links!

Go to each page on your site with broken links, and update or replace the URLs.

Keep in mind that if you find an old link that can’t be fixed – or if you find a link that was forgotten during a web redesign – you may need to remove the link entirely.

Finding Lost External Backlinks

After you’ve cleaned up the broken links on your own site, finding lost or broken backlinks is your next step.

Reclaiming backlinks can be more challenging than fixing internal links because you don’t have control over external links – whether you can reclaim lost backlinks is up to the other site owner.

To find broken backlinks to your site, you can use paid tools like Majestic or the Ahrefs Site Explorer, or you can use the Free Backlink Checker from SEO Review Tools.

You’re able to see up to 100 broken backlinks to your site on this report from SEO Review Tools. The trick is that after you reclaim those first 100 backlinks, you can rerun the report for another 100 backlinks, and again, and again!

What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

Reclaiming Lost External Backlinks

Now that you have your list of broken backlinks, reach out to the site owners to give them the correct links to your website.

They’ll most likely appreciate hearing from you and will be glad to update their page with the correct URL. After all, this is helpful to them, too!

Reclaiming backlinks this way is an excellent opportunity to improve SEO and build your backlink profile without having to build brand new links.

Reclaim Lost Links (& Claim Unlinked Mentions) with a Reverse Image Search

Images are common sources for backlinks.

Unfortunately, images are often another cause for broken backlinks and unclaimed mentions.

Find images to claim using reverse image search tools like TinEye or Google Images.

What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

When you upload an image – or search by the image’s URL – a list of matching images appears from sites all over the web:

What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

What Is Link Reclamation & How to Regain Lost Link Value

You can then check each page in the results to see if the image correctly links back to your site.

If it does, then no further action is needed – that’s a quality backlink!

If the image doesn’t link back to your website or has a broken link, contact the site owner and provide them with a link to attach to your image.

Develop a Strategy

If you’ve never used link reclamation as a method to improve your backlink profile and boost your SEO, start now.

As it turns out, it isn’t too complicated!

Develop a marketing strategy that includes link reclamation to regain lost link value, and improve your site’s credibility and authority.

Summary

Timeframe: Implement right away and run quarterly

Results detected: 4-12 months after implementation

Average links sent per month: 5-10

Tools needed:

  • Ahrefs Site Explorer
  • DeepCrawl
  • Google Analytics
  • Screaming Frog
  • Majestic
  • SEO Review Tools
  • Tineye
  • Google Image Search

Benefits of link reclamation:

  • Regain lost link value, which can increase rankings and improve your link profile.
  • Improve SEO and overall site authority.
  • cleaning up and reclaiming old links is a cost-effective link building method.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita
All screenshots taken by author

Searchenginejournal.com

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MARKETING

Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

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Boost Your Traffic in Google Discover

2. Understand topical authority: Keywords vs. entities

Google has been talking about topical authority for a long time, and in Discover, it is completely relevant. Traditional SEO includes the use of keywords to position your web pages for a specific search, but the content strategy in Discover should be based on entities, i.e., concepts, characters, places, topics… everything that a Knowledge Panel can have. It is necessary to know in which topics Google considers we have more authority and relevance in order to talk about them.

3. Avoid clickbait in titles

“Use page titles that capture the essence of the content, but in a non-clickbait fashion.” This is the opening sentence that describes how headlines should be in Google’s documentation. I always say that it is not about using clickbait but a bit of creativity from the journalist. Generating a good H1 is also part of the job of content creation.

Google also adds:

“Avoid tactics to artificially inflate engagement by using misleading or exaggerated details in preview content (title, snippets, or images) to increase appeal, or by withholding crucial information required to understand what the content is about.”

“Avoid tactics that manipulate appeal by catering to morbid curiosity, titillation, or outrage.

Provide content that’s timely for current interests, tells a story well, or provides unique insights.”

Do you think this information fits with what you see every day on Google Discover? I would reckon there were many sites that did not comply with this and received a lot of traffic from Discover.

With the last core updates in 2023, Google was extremely hard on news sites and some niches with content focused on Discover, directly affecting E-E-A-T. The impact was so severe that many publishers shared drastic drops in Search Console with expert Lily Ray, who wrote an article with data from more than 150 publishers.

4. Images are important

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If you look at your Discover feed, you’ll see most of the images catch your attention. They are detailed shots of delicious food, close-ups of a person’s face showing emotions, or even images where the character in question does not appear, such as “the new manicure that will be a trend in 2024,” persuading you to click.

Google’s documentation recommends adding “high-quality images in your content, especially large images that are more likely to generate visits from Discover” and notes important technical requirements such as images needing to be “at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting.” You may also have found that media outlets create their own collages in order to have images that stand out from competitors.

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

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Everything You Need to Know About Google Search Essentials (formerly Google Webmaster Guidelines)

One of the most important parts of having a website is making sure your audience can find your site (and find what they’re looking for).

The good news is that Google Search Essentials, formerly called Google Webmaster Guidelines, simplifies the process of optimizing your site for search performance.

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Salesforce rolls out new edition of Marketing Cloud for small businesses

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Salesforce summer 2023 release: The business executive's guide

Today Salesforce announced Marketing Cloud Growth, an edition of Marketing Cloud designed specifically for small businesses.

With help from AI, this edition makes it easy for marketers to segment audiences, create and execute email campaigns from text to image, optimize campaign performance and create unified customer profiles. It also has a prompt builder that can store and manage known reliable prompts for organizations.

Dig deeper: 70% of SMB marketers willing to pay more for tools with AI or automation

Salesforce developed the new edition by looking at the most common use cases for which small businesses frequenty don’t have the people or resources. This includes things like personalizing campaigns and advanced testing.

The company is also letting small businesses (those with fewer than 200 employees) that have Sales or Service Enterprise Edition “get started with Data Cloud at no cost.” Marketing Cloud Growth will initially be available in the U.S. and Canada and is expected to roll out to Europe, the Middle East and Asia by the end of the year.

Why we care. First of all, small businesses need all the help they can get. This creates an opportunity to start using AI within a centralized marketing workflow rather than importing content from independent generative AI tools. Perhaps it’s also a sign of Salesforce moving to compete with platforms (can we say HubSpot?) that more overtly court SMB clients.

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