How to Regain Lost Backlinks Ahrefs: A Comprehensive Guide


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How to Regain Lost Backlinks Ahrefs: Oops! Did your backlinks disappear like a magician’s rabbit? 

Don’t panic, my friend. We’ve got the tricks up our sleeve to bring those links back.

Stick around to uncover the secrets of resurrecting your precious backlinks from the digital abyss!

What is Link Reclamation?

Link reclamation, simply put, is the process of reclaiming lost or broken backlinks to your website. 

When external websites link to your content and those links break or get removed, it can negatively impact your SEO efforts. 

Link reclamation involves identifying these lost backlinks, understanding the reasons behind their loss, and taking appropriate measures to regain them. 

By reclaiming these valuable links, you can reinstate your website’s authority, improve its search engine rankings, and attract more organic traffic.

Link Reclamation Examples

To illustrate the concept of link reclamation, let’s consider a couple of real-life examples. 

Imagine you run a popular blog in the fitness niche, and a renowned fitness magazine published an article featuring your blog post with a link to your website. 

However, due to a website redesign, the link got removed, leading to a lost backlink. 

In another scenario, your website was mentioned as a resource in an industry report, but the report was updated, and your link was unintentionally removed. 

These are instances where link reclamation can come into play to regain those valuable backlinks.

Benefits of Reclaiming Links

Regaining lost backlinks through link reclamation offers several compelling benefits for your website’s SEO efforts. Let’s explore a few key advantages:

  1. Restoring Link Authority: Backlinks are like votes of confidence from other websites, and they contribute to your website’s authority in the eyes of search engines. By reclaiming lost backlinks, you reinstate the authority that might have diminished due to link loss.
  2. Improving Search Engine Rankings: As you regain lost backlinks, your website’s link profile strengthens, signaling search engines that your content is valuable and relevant. This can lead to improved rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  3. Increasing Organic Traffic: More backlinks from reputable sources mean more avenues for users to discover your website. Reclaiming lost backlinks opens up new opportunities for organic traffic to flow to your web pages.
  4. Enhancing Brand Visibility: When websites link to your content, it not only improves your SEO but also exposes your brand to a wider audience. By reclaiming lost backlinks, you can extend your brand’s reach and establish stronger brand visibility.

Now that we have a good understanding of link reclamation and its benefits, let’s explore the two primary approaches: internal link reclamation and external link reclamation.

Internal Link Reclamation

Internal link reclamation involves identifying and fixing broken internal links within your website. 

These links are important because they facilitate navigation, distribute link authority, and help search engine crawlers discover and index your content effectively. 

By ensuring a solid internal linking structure, you enhance the overall user experience and strengthen your website’s SEO foundation.

Looking for Broken Internal Links

To begin the process of internal link reclamation, it’s essential to identify broken internal links within your website. 

Ahrefs offers a user-friendly interface that allows you to crawl your website and pinpoint these broken links accurately. Once identified, you can proceed with fixing them.

Fix The Links

To fix broken internal links, start by locating the pages where the broken links are present. 

Update the URLs or anchor texts to point to the correct destination. Additionally, ensure that your internal links are contextually relevant and provide value to users. 

By addressing broken internal links promptly, you create a seamless user experience and consolidate your website’s link structure.

External Link Reclamation

External link reclamation focuses on identifying and rectifying lost or broken backlinks from external websites. 

These backlinks are crucial for your website’s SEO, as they validate your content and contribute to its authority. 

By reclaiming these lost backlinks, you can regain valuable referral traffic, enhance your link profile, and boost your website’s visibility.

Looking for Broken and Lost Backlinks

Ahrefs proves to be an indispensable tool when it comes to identifying broken and lost backlinks. 

By utilizing its comprehensive backlink analysis features, you can pinpoint the referring domains and specific URLs that have removed or broken backlinks to your website. 

This insight arms you with valuable information to reclaim those lost links effectively.

Fixing Lost and Broken Backlinks

Once you have identified the lost or broken backlinks, it’s time to take action and reclaim them. 

Begin by reaching out to the website owners or webmasters responsible for the linking pages. 

Politely explain the situation, highlight the value your content provides, and request them to reinstate or fix the backlinks. 

Building a persuasive case and maintaining a professional tone can significantly increase your chances of successful link reclamation.

In some cases, where contacting the website owners is not possible or practical, you can explore alternative strategies. 

For instance, if the lost backlinks were pointing to outdated or unavailable content, you can consider redirecting those URLs to relevant, existing pages on your website. 

This ensures that the link juice flows seamlessly and preserves the SEO value.

How to Regain Lost Backlinks Ahrefs

Find Lost Links with Site Explorer

When it comes to regaining lost backlinks, Ahrefs’ Site Explorer feature proves to be an invaluable tool. 

It enables you to analyze your website’s backlink profile and identify various types of lost links. 

Here are some common scenarios you may encounter:

1. Link removed

In this case, the backlink to your website has been intentionally removed by the linking website. 

This could be due to various reasons, such as website updates, content changes, or the linking website’s decision to remove the link altogether. 

To regain such lost links, it is essential to reach out to the website owner or webmaster and request them to reinstate the link if it still aligns with their content strategy.

2. Broken redirect

Sometimes, a backlink might be present, but the redirect associated with it is broken. 

This means that when users or search engine crawlers follow the backlink, they encounter an error or reach a dead end. 

To regain these lost links, you need to fix the redirect and ensure that it leads to the intended destination page on your website. 

This way, the backlink becomes functional again, benefiting both your website’s SEO and the user experience.

3. 404 not found

A 404 error occurs when a page that a backlink points to is no longer available on your website.

This could be due to content removal, website restructuring, or URL changes. 

To reclaim these lost links, you have two options. 

First, you can reinstate the original content or recreate it under a new URL. Second, you can set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to a relevant, existing page on your website. 

Both approaches ensure that the link juice is preserved, and the backlink retains its SEO value.

4. Noindex

If a page on your website has a “noindex” tag, it instructs search engines not to index that page. 

This can result in lost backlinks since search engines may ignore or devalue such pages. 

To regain these lost links, review the pages with the “noindex” tag and determine if they should be indexed. 

If they contain valuable content and deserve search engine visibility, remove the “noindex” tag to allow search engines to index and crawl those pages once again.

5. Not canonical

Canonical tags are used to indicate the preferred version of a page with identical or similar content. 

If a page on your website has a canonical tag pointing to a different URL, it can cause the original URL to lose backlinks. 

To reclaim these lost links, review the pages with canonical tags and ensure that they are correctly set up. 

If necessary, update the canonical tags to point to the appropriate URLs, ensuring that the original pages regain their backlinks and search engine visibility.

6. 301/302 redirected

When a backlink is redirected using a 301 or 302 redirect, it means that the link points to a different URL than before. 

This can result in lost backlinks if the redirect is not properly set up or if the new URL does not adequately represent the original content. 

To regain these lost links, review the redirects and ensure they are correctly implemented. 

If necessary, modify the redirects to point directly to the relevant pages, preserving the backlinks and SEO value.

By utilizing Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and addressing these different scenarios of lost links, you can take proactive steps to regain valuable backlinks for your website. 

Remember to conduct thorough research, analyze the reasons behind the link loss, and employ effective outreach strategies to increase your chances of successful link reclamation.

Finding Links Pointing to 404 Pages

The first step in the process of regaining lost backlinks is to identify the links that are currently pointing to 404 error pages on your website.

A 404 error page occurs when a visitor tries to access a page that no longer exists or has been moved without appropriate redirection.

Such broken links not only provide a poor user experience but also contribute to the loss of valuable backlinks.

To find these links using Ahrefs, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Ahrefs and navigate to the “Site Explorer” tool.
  2. Enter your website’s URL in the search bar and hit Enter.
  3. Once the results appear, click on the “Backlinks” tab.
  4. In the “Filters” section, locate and select the “404 not found” filter.
  5. Ahrefs will now display all the backlinks pointing to 404 error pages on your website.

Reclaiming Lost Backlinks from 404 Pages

Once you have identified the backlinks pointing to 404 pages, it’s time to reclaim them. Here are a few strategies to help you regain these lost backlinks effectively:

1. Contact the Linking Websites

Reach out to the webmasters or website owners of the linking websites and inform them about the broken links pointing to your site.

Politely request them to update the links with the correct URLs or suggest alternative relevant pages they can link to.

Provide the necessary information and make it easy for them to rectify the issue.

Personalized outreach can significantly increase your chances of successfully reclaiming lost backlinks.

2. Create Relevant Redirects

If the broken links are a result of content or page updates, consider implementing 301 redirects.

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect that automatically forwards visitors from the old URL to the new URL.

By creating relevant redirects, you ensure that visitors and search engines are directed to the updated content or the most appropriate alternative page.

This way, you can maintain the link equity and traffic associated with the original backlinks.

3. Recreate and Restore Missing Content

In cases where the lost backlinks are due to the removal of specific content, consider recreating the content or restoring it from an archived version.

This approach allows you to maintain the relevance of the linking pages and preserve the SEO value associated with those backlinks.

By investing time and effort into recreating valuable content, you not only regain lost backlinks but also improve the overall user experience on your website.

Find Stolen Content (Without an Attribution Link)

Another situation that can lead to the loss of backlinks is when your content is used without proper attribution or when someone plagiarizes your content. 

It’s important to identify instances of stolen content and take action to reclaim the lost backlinks. 

Here’s how you can find stolen content without an attribution link using Ahrefs:

  1. Use Ahrefs’ Content Explorer: Access the Content Explorer tool in Ahrefs and enter a unique phrase or sentence from your content in the search bar. Select the appropriate filters to narrow down the results, such as the language, date range, and minimum referring domains.
  2. Analyze the Results: Review the search results to identify instances of content that closely resemble your original content but lack proper attribution or backlinks to your website. Pay attention to the domains, authors, and publication dates to determine if your content has been stolen.
  3. Contact Website Owners: Reach out to the website owners or webmasters responsible for using your content without proper attribution. Politely inform them about the situation and provide evidence of your original content, such as timestamps or archived versions. Request them to add an attribution link back to your website or remove the stolen content if necessary.
  4. Consider Legal Action: In cases where the website owners refuse to comply with your requests or if the infringement is severe, you may need to consider legal action. Consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and options in such situations.

By utilizing Ahrefs’ tools and following these steps, you can identify and reclaim links pointing to 404 pages as well as take action against stolen content without attribution. 

Vigilance in monitoring your backlinks and protecting your content will help ensure that your website maintains a strong link profile and preserves its authority.

FAQs About How to Regain Lost Backlinks Ahrefs

Why did I lose backlinks?

Backlinks can be lost for various reasons, such as website redesigns, content removal, broken redirects, or changes in linking websites’ content strategies. 

It’s essential to monitor your backlinks regularly and address any issues promptly to minimize link loss.

How do I get backlinks from Ahref?

Ahrefs is an SEO tool that provides backlink data and analysis, but it does not directly offer backlinks. 

To acquire backlinks, focus on creating high-quality content, engaging with industry influencers, guest posting, participating in relevant forums, and networking with other website owners in your niche.

How long does it take for backlinks to show up on Ahrefs?

The time it takes for backlinks to appear in Ahrefs’ backlink index can vary. It depends on when the backlinks are discovered by Ahrefs’ crawler and when the data is updated. 

Generally, it may take a few days to a couple of weeks for new backlinks to show up in Ahrefs’ backlink index.

How do I find my competitor’s broken backlinks?

To find your competitor’s broken backlinks, you can use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer feature. 

Enter your competitor’s domain in the search bar, go to the “Backlink profile” section, and look for any backlinks labeled with a 404 or broken status. 

These are potential broken backlinks that you can explore for link reclamation opportunities.

How do I remove lost backlinks?

If you have lost backlinks that you want to remove, the first step is to reach out to the website owners or webmasters responsible for those links. 

Politely explain the situation and request them to remove the backlinks. 

If unsuccessful, you can disavow the backlinks using Google’s Disavow Tool to indicate to search engines that you do not want them to consider those links when assessing your website’s SEO.

Should I disavow lost backlinks?

Disavowing lost backlinks is not always necessary. If the lost backlinks were of low quality or if you believe they may have contributed to a penalty or SEO issue, disavowing them can be a proactive measure. 

However, it is recommended to first try to reclaim lost backlinks before resorting to disavowal.

Are broken backlinks bad?

Broken backlinks can have a negative impact on user experience and SEO. When users encounter broken links, it can result in frustration and hinder their navigation on your website. 

Additionally, broken backlinks can disrupt the flow of link authority and potentially affect your website’s search engine rankings. 

It’s important to regularly monitor and fix broken backlinks to maintain a seamless user experience and strong SEO performance.

How many backlinks are too many?

The number of backlinks needed for optimal SEO varies depending on various factors, such as the quality of the backlinks, the competitiveness of the industry, and the overall link profile of your website. 

It’s more important to focus on acquiring high-quality, relevant backlinks rather than obsessing over a specific number. 

Aim for a natural and diverse backlink profile rather than a specific quantity.

How do I get .gov and .edu backlinks?

Acquiring .gov and .edu backlinks can be challenging, as these domains are typically reserved for government and educational institutions. 

To get such backlinks, you can reach out to relevant government agencies, universities, or educational institutions and offer valuable content or resources that they may find useful. 

Building relationships, providing expertise, and showcasing the value you can offer can increase your chances of obtaining .gov and .edu backlinks.

What is the fastest way to get backlinks for a website?

While there is no “fastest” way to get backlinks, some effective strategies include creating exceptional content that naturally attracts links, guest blogging on reputable websites, participating in industry events or conferences, leveraging social media platforms, and building relationships with influencers or authoritative figures in your niche.

Which backlinks are the best for SEO?

The best backlinks for SEO are high-quality backlinks that come from authoritative and relevant websites. 

These backlinks should have relevant anchor text, come from websites with strong domain authority, and be from sources related to your industry or niche. 

Quality matters more than quantity when it comes to backlinks and their impact on SEO.

How many backlinks per month are safe?

The number of backlinks acquired per month should be a natural and organic progression. 

There is no specific “safe” number, as it depends on various factors such as the age of your website, its authority, and the industry’s competitiveness. 

Focus on building high-quality backlinks consistently over time rather than fixating on a specific monthly quota.

How many backlinks per day are safe?

Similar to the monthly acquisition, the number of backlinks per day should be natural and organic. 

It’s generally recommended to avoid sudden spikes or manipulative tactics that may raise suspicion. 

The focus should be on acquiring quality backlinks over time, with a gradual and steady growth rate.

Can backlinks hurt SEO?

Backlinks can potentially hurt SEO if they come from low-quality or spammy sources. 

Google’s algorithm considers the quality and relevance of backlinks, and if your website has an excessive number of low-quality backlinks, it may result in a penalty or a drop in rankings. 

It’s important to monitor your backlink profile and disavow any toxic or spammy backlinks that could harm your SEO efforts.

Are broken links bad for SEO?

Yes, broken links can have a negative impact on SEO. 

When search engines crawl your website and encounter broken links, it can result in a poor user experience and hinder the indexing process. 

Broken links disrupt the flow of link authority and can affect the overall visibility and rankings of your website. 

Regularly checking and fixing broken links is essential for maintaining a healthy website and positive SEO performance.

How do I fix a broken link in SEO?

To fix a broken link in SEO, you should first identify the broken link using tools like Google Search Console or website crawlers. 

Once identified, you have two options: either update the link to point to the correct destination or remove the broken link altogether. 

Ensure that the updated or removed link is reflected across your website to maintain a seamless user experience and improve SEO performance.

Final Thoughts About How to Regain Lost Backlinks Ahrefs

In conclusion, regaining lost backlinks is an essential aspect of maintaining a strong backlink profile and maximizing the SEO potential of your website. 

Ahrefs provides valuable tools and features, such as Site Explorer, that enable you to identify and address different types of lost backlinks. 

By actively monitoring your backlink profile, reaching out to website owners, fixing broken links, and employing effective link reclamation strategies, you can regain lost backlinks and strengthen your website’s SEO performance. 

Remember to focus on quality over quantity, prioritize relevant and authoritative sources, and consistently work towards building a diverse and natural backlink profile. 

With Ahrefs as your ally, you can navigate the process of regaining lost backlinks with confidence.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

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