# 10 Common Questions About Link Reclamation Answered [2024]

March 16, 2024
Posted by
Andrew Pottruff
# 10 Common Questions About Link Reclamation Answered [2024]

Link reclamation is the process of regaining backlinks that have been lost due to various reasons like site redesigns, mergers and acquisitions, domain expirations, etc. It involves identifying and reaching out to webmasters of sites where you previously had backlinks to request reinstatement of those links. The goal is to restore your site's lost link equity and rankings.

Backlinks are a key ranking factor for SEO. When you lose backlinks, it can negatively impact your search visibility and authority. Link reclamation helps recoup that lost equity and shore up weaknesses in your backlink profile. It's an opportunity to strengthen your overall link building efforts.

There are a few methods to uncover old/lost backlinks:

  • Check previous link reports or your link tracking spreadsheet if you have them.
  • Use a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs to view your site's backlink history.
  • Look for 404 errors in your server logs to identify dead links.
  • Search for your brand name on Google to find mentions without links.

Some good times to work on link reclamation include:

  • After moving to a new domain or redesigning your site.
  • When you notice a drop in organic traffic or rankings.
  • As part of an ongoing link building strategy to continually strengthen your profile.
  • After a site merger or acquisition when links may change or break.

The outreach process for link reclamation is similar to standard link building outreach. Here are some tips:

  • Search for updated contact info if you don't already have it.
  • Briefly explain who you are and the purpose for your outreach.
  • Politely request reinstatement of the broken link along with some context (URL, anchor text, page it was on).
  • Offer to help by providing new assets or content if needed.
  • Follow up if you don't receive a response. Offer help and added value.

If a webmaster doesn't respond after 3-4 outreach attempts, consider these options:

  • Note it and follow up again later (things change).
  • Look for other contacts at the website to reach out to.
  • Consider if it's worth republishing the same content on your site afresh.
  • As a last resort, explore legal options if you have strong ownership claim over the links.

According to one survey, the link reclamation success rate averages around 30-40%. But it also depends on factors like your outreach skills, website quality, and industry. With persistence and effective outreach, you can expect to recover at least some percentage of lost links.

There are some tools that can help automate parts of link reclamation, like initial discovery of dead links. But outreach is a manual process. Hiring an agency like Oake Marketing to handle outreach can be effective but expensive. Try managing it in-house first, then consider outsourcing if you need additional bandwidth.

Yes, link reclamation is generally considered a legitimate, white hat SEO tactic as long as your outreach is transparent and doesn't employ manipulative tactics. Avoid making spammy template outreach emails. Personalize each request instead.

Some tips to keep your backlink profile stable over time:

  • Cultivate relationships with quality sites likely to link to you long-term.
  • Create evergreen, useful content that stands test of time.
  • Keep CMS systems and permalinks updated to avoid dead links from site changes.
  • Do periodic backlink audits to identify any issues to address.
  • Follow up with existing linkers to ensure links remain intact.

Reclaiming lost backlinks through smart link reclamation is a valuable ongoing process for maintaining your SEO strength. Just be sure to follow ethical practices. With time and persistence, you can recover many of those lost ranking opportunities.