Today I received a friendly e-mail about one of my websites. The writer informed me about an article on this website that contained a broken link. The friendly writer is using a special SEO linkbuilding technique and she wrote the following:
Reminder mail about broken link
I noticed that you have a broken link to a website called [the vanished website name]. That site was first published way back in [year] but unfortunately, it is no longer a working website. You link to [the vanished website name] on this page: [my website page URL]. We recently published an article that explains what happened to the site. I think it’s an interesting story, and it could be useful to your readers. Here’s the article if you want to take a look: [backlink website page URL]. Would you consider swapping out the broken link for our article?
As I said before, a very friendly and helpful mail message that informs me about a possible solution. So I could go to my WordPress website and modify the mentioned article and replace the broken link with the supplied link. But is this wise? Is this good for me?
Is this broken link technique working?
I was wondering if or not this technique for getting backlinks is actually working? I will explain how I experience it. So I get this e-mail and it is a friendly mail so I am not annoyed. The writer points out a certain link is not working anymore. That is very kind of the sender. So I can modify the page if I want to keep the page up to date (which is good for my visitors and for Google / SEO). The fastest way is to just remove the broken link completely. Or I could modify the existing but invalid link to refer to the website mentioned in the mail. But the content of the replacement site is completely different than the original page (which in this case was an online tool and that tool is gone now). So I would also need to change the context of this link, write some kind of explanation. So now I am doing work that is not really beneficial for me but would be very beneficial for the website getting this fresh back-link. Why would I do this? Only because I am thankful for the reminder the link was not working anymore?
Value of backlinks
My concern is also related to the knowledge about the value of backlinks on certain highly rated websites and / or pages. Some businesses are prepared to pay for example $25 or even more for getting a back-link inside and article. So giving away free back-links in return for just a small reminder, that seems not very smart.
I have been wondering what other option would be available? Because I do understand the need for getting links from other sites to your site. And I also think we should help each other if we can. So maybe the writer of the reminder could also offer a backlink as well? Maybe the writer has another website where they could place a backlink to my site? Or maybe they can offer something else that would benefit me? It seems the reminder mail is not beneficial enough for me to spend the time and create a valuable backlink in return.