Link Reclamation: How to Regain Lost Backlinks (2024 Guide)? - WebyLinks

Link Reclamation: How to Regain Lost Backlinks (2024 Guide)?

Link Reclamation: How to Regain Lost Backlinks (2024 Guide)?
Posted by Ashlie May 31, 2024

So, let me share something intriguing with you. SEO is the hottest topic on Google trends, and you know why. Here are the results.

SEO result

And, when we talk about SEO, how can we overlook links? Links are crucial for the ranking of your website. However, in this blog/guide, I will not give the normal link building advice, but rather, share with you how you may reclaim your broken links in order to keep your authority on Google. Let’s understand the concept of link reclamation, and how it works?

What is Link Reclamation?

Link reclamation is like SEO gold mining. It’s the process of identifying and restoring lost or broken backlinks that once pointed to your website. Now, these lost links can occur due to various reasons, such as site migrations, page deletions, or changes in URL structures. So, if you want to maintain your site’s authority and search engine ranking, reclaiming links is an essential step in this process. But before I’ll guide you in details, let me share with you why it is important to retrieve lost links.

Why Link Reclamation is Important?

Losing backlinks can significantly impact your website’s SEO performance. Here’s why link reclamation is essential:

1 – Preserve Link Value: Every backlink contributes to your site’s authority. Losing them can decrease your domain’s credibility in the eyes of search engines.

2 – Recover Referral Traffic: Backlinks often bring valuable traffic from other websites. Lost links mean lost visitors.

3 – Restore the Ranking: Reclaiming links is a crucial part of SEO recovery, helping to restore lost ranking positions and traffic.

But, it’s not the same as claiming unlinked mentions.  You don’t need to confuse link reclamation with claiming unlinked mentions. Mentions are where your brand is mentioned online without a link back to your site. While valuable, link reclamation focuses on fixing existing links that aren’t working properly.

Why are Links Lost?

One of the most common queries I receive daily is, “What is the reason for these links being lost?” Here are a few reasons:

  • A lost link occurs when the web page owner, who had linked to your site, removes the link to your site intentionally.
  • They located a more recent source.
  • They updated their content.
  • Due to your competitors’ activities, they have attempted to reach out.
  • Issues with the connecting page.

    3 Common Errors in Link Reclamation.

    Let’s talk about the few most common errors people face when it comes to link reclamation.

    1 – 404 Error.

    301 Redirects

    A 404 error is an HTTP status code that shows up when a server can’t find the page you’re looking for. It’s like when you ask for a book at the library, and they tell you it doesn’t exist. This often happens when websites are redesigned or URLs are changed without setting up proper forwarding. As a result, any backlinks pointing to the old URL become useless.

    2 – 301 Redirects

    301 Redirects

    A 301 redirect is a way to tell browsers and search engines that a page has permanently moved to a new URL. Let’s say, you’ve moved your online shop from to A 301 redirect will ensure visitors and search engines automatically go to the new location. But if these redirects aren’t set up correctly, users might land on dead-end pages, and the SEO value (link juice) won’t pass to the new page, hurting your search rankings.

    3 – Overlooking “Noindex” tags.

    Another mistake that people make while conducting link reclamation is ignoring the ‘noindex’ tags in the pages that link to a specific page. Noindex tells search engines not to index any of the web pages, this means that backlinks from such web pages will not help to improve the SEO of your site. For better search engine optimization, make sure that all the relevant link-age pages to your site are Indexed. Plus, check your backlinks and reach out to webmasters to request the removal of “no index” tags on pages relevant to your SEO agenda.

    Link Reclamation vs Unlinked Brand Mentions.

    You are probably familiar with unlinked mentions, which are mentions containing your brand or website name but no clickable link to your site. It could be in the form of an article, a blog post, a post in a forum, etc. Here’s how you can find unlinked brand mentions;

    The first step is to perform basic Brand Tracking using Google Alerts. By entering your company, product and/or brand names as keywords in your Google Alerts, you will be informed the moment someone says something about you on the internet. Not only are you apt to run across cases where a person has not linked to you before, you are also able to check out the new links and identify those that contain broken or outdated URLs.

    Now, ensure that you have subscribed to the feeds using certain related terms- if you use too broad a search string then you are likely to have your inbox pounding with notifications. You should not have a tough time persuading webmasters to remove links pointing to your site because it is good for their visitors, which is good for them as well.

    How to Regain Lost Links?

    Losing valuable backlinks can hurt your site’s SEO performance, but you can reclaim these lost links with the right strategies. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you regain those precious backlinks, complete with facts and examples.

    1 – Identify Lost Backlinks.

    The first step in link reclamation is identifying which backlinks you’ve lost. Use tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush to track your backlink profile. Ahrefs found that on average, websites lose 5-10% of their backlinks each year due to various reasons.

    Example: Suppose you notice a significant drop in your site’s traffic. Using Ahrefs, you identify that 15% of your backlinks are lost due to 404 errors. This discovery is your starting point for reclaiming those links.

    2 – Analyze the Reason/Cause.

    Once you’ve identified the lost links, it’s crucial to understand why they were lost. Common causes include:

    404 Errors: The linked pages have been deleted or moved without proper redirects.

    Site Migrations: URLs changed during site migrations without updating the links.

    Content Changes: Significant changes in content leading to link removal by the linking site.

    Example: During a site migration, you changed your blog’s URL structure. This caused several backlinks to lead to 404 error pages because you forgot to set up 301 redirects.

    3 – Reclaim 404 Links.

    A significant number of lost backlinks result from 404 errors. Here’s how to reclaim them:

    Set Up 301 Redirects: Redirect the old URLs to the new ones. This ensures any link juice from the old URLs is passed to the new ones. A study by Moz found that 301 redirects retain about 90-99% of the original page’s link equity.

    Example: You had a popular blog post at After redesigning your site, the new URL is Setting up a 301 redirect ensures anyone clicking the old link is automatically taken to the new URL.

    4 – Reaching Out to Webmasters.

    You can contact the webmasters of sites that are linked to your lost pages. Request them to update their links to point to the correct URLs. Personalized emails have a higher response rate. According to a study by Backlinko, personalized emails get a 32.5% response rate compared to 16.8% for generic emails.

    Send a personalized email to the webmaster like this:

    Subject: Update Needed: Broken Link on [Their Website]

    Hi [Webmaster’s Name],

    I hope you are well. I recently noticed that a link on your page [URL of the linking page] to our site [Your Site URL] is broken. The link points to a page that no longer exists, causing a 404 error.

    To provide a better user experience for your visitors, could you please update the link to point to our new page: [New URL]?

    Thank you for your assistance in advance.

    Best regards,

    [Your Name]

    5 – Use Advanced Link Reclamation Techniques.

    For more complex scenarios, you can use advanced link reclamation strategies:

    • Link Reclamation Tools: Use tools like Screaming Frog to crawl your site and identify broken links efficiently.
    • Content Updates: Sometimes, updating the content to make it relevant again can encourage site owners to restore the link.

    And remember, you need to conduct regular link audits to identify and fix broken links promptly. By following these steps, you can effectively reclaim lost backlinks and maintain the SEO strength of your website.


    It is possible to keep on improving your website and sometimes you may remove a specific page which has many backlinks. At other times, it might be another site linking to your site having typed the URL wrong. Whether the backlink is lost because a website was hacked, had its links deleted due to spam violations, or for any other reason, link reclamation is the process of identifying these problems and repairing them so the website continues to enjoy the SEO benefits of the backlinks.

    And, if you find it difficult to track lost backlinks or need that extra edge to improve site performance, you can drop a message here at Webylinks. We will also make sure that your website not only maintains its current Search engine optimisation value, but will progress to achieve greater rankings and more traffic.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Link reclamation is about finding and fixing broken or lost backlinks to ensure your website retains its SEO value. It involves identifying lost links, analyzing the causes, and implementing solutions like 301 redirects or reaching out to webmasters.

    To reclaim backlinks, identify lost links using tools like Ahrefs or Moz, analyze why they were lost, and fix issues by setting up 301 redirects or contacting webmasters to update the links.

    A link back, or backlink, is when another website links to your site. For example, a blog post on marketing strategies might include a link to your SEO services page, driving traffic and boosting your site’s authority.

    To retrieve lost URLs, set up 301 redirects from the old URLs to new ones. This ensures any traffic and SEO value from the original link is preserved and directed to the correct page.

    Link reclamation in SEO involves identifying and fixing lost or broken backlinks to maintain and enhance your website’s authority and search engine rankings, ensuring you don’t lose valuable link equity.

    Lost links are backlinks that no longer point to your site, often due to deleted pages, site redesigns, or incorrect URLs. Recovering these links is crucial for maintaining your site’s SEO health.