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Link Reclamation - Restoring Lost Backlinks

Link Reclamation

Losing backlinks can negatively impact your site's search engine rankings. However, with some effort, you may be able to reclaim or replace those lost links through link reclamation. This involves contacting webmasters, restoring relationships, and convincing sites to link back to you again.

Why Link Reclamation Matters

Backlinks signal trust and authority to search engines. Losing links means losing those signals. Link reclamation helps restore your site's power. Specifically, reclaiming backlinks can:

  • Regain lost link equity: Backlinks pass authority and rankings power. Reclaiming lost links passes that equity again.

  • Repair damaged relationships: Contacting webmasters to request re-links helps mend fences if connections were previously severed.

  • Demonstrate site value: When sites are willing to link to you again, it shows search engines that your content offers worthwhile value.

Ignoring lost backlinks leaves that power and trust on the table. Doing link reclamation properly snatches it back.

Link Signals Influence Rankings

To understand why reclamation matters, it helps to review how backlinks influence rankings specifically:

  • More backlinks signaltrust/authority: The more sites linking in reflects overall trustworthiness. Lost links lower totals reducing authority signs.

  • Domain authority passes through links: Links pass the trust level of the domains they come from. Reclaiming lost powerful domain links restores that authority flow.

  • Anchor text matters: Words used around reclaimed links provides searcher hints about site topics just like original anchors did.

  • Ranking fluctuations from losses: Google's algorithm notices when many links suddenly disappear. Dramatic loss spikes risk rankings declines without reclamation.

With clear insight into exactly how much power goes missing when backlinks dissolve, dedicating effort towards reclamation pays dividends long term.

Identify Sites for Outreach

The first step is generating a list of sites that previously linked to you but no longer do. To find these sites:

  • Check your backlink tracking data: If you use backlink tracking software, look for sites that haven't linked to you recently. Sort by last link date.

  • Review old outreach lists: Check records of sites you previously pitched for links. Even old contacts may agree to re-link.

  • Search for lost anchor text links: Use Google searches with lost anchor text strings to uncover pages that removed links.

  • Check site directories: If listed on directories like Yahoo Directory or niche-specific ones, confirm all links still work.

  • Leverage advanced link research tools: Software like Ahrefs and Majestic can filter backlink lists by recently lost links.

As you review possibilities, make a list of sites to contact about restoring links. Prioritize opportunities that offered the most equity originally considering domain authority level and exact placements lost.

Understand Why Links Were Lost

Before reaching out to request putting backlinks, it helps to understand why they were removed originally. Some common reasons sites drop links include:

  • Broken pages or 404 errors: Your site or webpage was deleted or restructured leading links to break. Review server logs for crawling errors.

  • Thin or irrelevant content: The other site felt your content quality dropped and no longer warranted links. Check alignments between their content and yours.

  • Policy changes: The external site updated internal linking policies and removed links deemed violations. Study their site for policy pages.

  • Over-optimization: Too much on-pageoptimization triggered a site to eliminate affiliate links. Check your pages for spam flags.

  • Manual removal requests: Previously you or a competitor asked for link removal. Note any recent removal actions you've taken.

Spend time investigating the cause on a site-by-site basis instead of guessing. Identifying why links dissolved will strengthen your reclamation outreach messages and avoid repeating link loss scenarios.

Craft Personalized Outreach Messages

With your target site list created and reasons for removal researched, directly contact each website about re-establishing links.

Make messages personal for each site with details like:

  • References to previous communication history showing you took time understanding their site specifically

  • Comments on their content and offerings demonstrating genuine interest

  • Shared connections through industry events or contacts highlighting your commitment to spaces important to them

  • Compliments on recent news or successes reading beyond just link reclamation motivations

Also explain clearly in messages:

  • Why you are requesting re-linking spelling out equity impacts

  • Issues that led to initial link removal taking ownership for your side

  • Actions taken on your end already to address concerns

  • Added value you now offer to reciprocate links

Custom personal and professional outreach prevents sites from dismissing re-link requests as spam or template link building attempts. Demonstrating real interest in sites also strengthens relationships for future link building and networking too.

Follow Up Persistently But Patiently

Not all sites will agree to reinstate links on the first try. Some may insist links remain removed out of standard policy. Others could place linking as low priority and indefinitely delay responses.

  • Allow adequate time for sites to research requests and deliberate internally.

  • Then follow up if no definitive responses surface within 2 weeks at first.

Use email follow up sequence strategies like:

  • Send initial customized outreach

  • Follow up at 2 week mark checking if received

  • Attempt contact via alternate methods like phone at 4 week mark

  • Try personalized messages through social media after 6 weeks

  • Make final contact attempts at 8 week mark

  • Consider small goodwill gestures to re-open communication channels

  • Retire non-responsive outreach after 10 weeks maximum

Continued yet infrequent follow up shows commitment to restoring lost linking equity. At the same time, respect site owners by avoiding overly aggressive hounding that could damage already strained relationships.

Have backups lined up as not every reclamation attempt will reconnect. Yet putting in diligent time does yield positive results more often than not if messaging balances persistence with patience.

Offer Reciprocal Value

Where appropriate, provide reciprocal value in exchange for re-established link power. What sites want in return depends on their needs. Avoid assumptions. Ask then offer tailored value boosting propositions accordingly.

Potential reciprocal offerings include:

  • Link backs to their site from yours creating mini-network value exchanges

  • Featured guest posts to share expertise between sites

  • Cross promotions through social media channels expanding reach

  • Co-marketing campaign collaborations towards common goals

  • Access to gated premium content assets like special reports, videos or tools

  • Entry into contests or giveaways further engaging audiences

Getting creative with value exchange ideas beyond just placing a basic link demonstrates genuine willingness to rebuild damaged relationships. Sher quality resources in return motivates external parties to reciprocate in kind.

Monitor New Links Going Forward

Reclaiming backlinks requires considerable effort per opportunity. Avoid repeating full campaigns constantly by better monitoring links on an ongoing basis.

Regular link auditing best practices:

  • Enable backlink tracking notifications through preferred software

  • Schedule monthly lost link scans to catch drops faster

  • Review lowest traffic referral sources for potential issues

  • Verify site directory listings don't show dead links creating penalties

  • Manually test sampling of latest backlinks ensuring still active

  • Check server logs that show crawling errors indicating broken links

Consistency reviewing backlink data allows catching and addressing new losses faster before impressions fade. That makes future link reclamation simpler with issues caught early and not left lingering. It also lets you double check reclaimed links remain intact.

Proactive monitoring gives you forward control limiting need for repeat reactive efforts reclaiming backlinks endlessly. Automate audits where possible, but also budget time regularly connecting hands-on checking in on equity sources.

Through dedicated yet respectful outreach coupled with providing reciprocal value, reclaiming lost backlinks is very achievable. Consistent auditing also assures your hard-won recovered links persist benefiting sites for good. Invest in link reclamation and maintenance for sustained search performance stability.


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