Reclaiming Links From Sites That Have Shut Down

Often when I’m doing competitive analysis, researching niche directories or reviewing industry related “round-up” articles, I’ll come across a few dead links. If you come across a domain that no longer exists that tightly matches the content of your own site, you can try to reclaim their incoming links to point to your own site.

First, visit Yahoo Site Explorer and enter the URL of the abandoned domain into the field labeled Explore URL.

Click the “Inlinks” button near the top of the page then change the “Show Inlinks” drop-down menu to say “Except from this domain” and to “Entire Site.” Right below the drop-downs you’ll be able to export the first 1000 results to TSV. This is the maximum amount you can export. Once downloaded, change the file extension from TSV to .xls so that you can view it in Excel.

Next, check the Page Rank of all of the pages in your spreadsheet using these Page Rank checkers:

If you know of any others that work well, please leave me a comment because I’ve been looking for other options. I prefer the first PR checker that I’ve linked to, but it’s not completely reliable. Sometimes it will check thousands of pages at once and sometimes I can only get it to do 200 at a time, so you may have to mess with it a bit. I’ve even noticed that it sometimes times out in Firefox and then works completely fine in Opera or Safari.

Not all of the data returned from these bulk PR checkers is accurate but it is for the most part. Also keep in mind that these are only checking PR from the main domain and not for the specific pages you enter. You can copy directly from the page once the scan is complete and paste it into Excel. You may have to right-click in Excel and choose Paste Special > Unicode Text for it to paste appropriately.

Once you have all data in your spreadsheet, sort by Page Rank and start trying to reclaim links from the domains with the highest PR, since they are most likely to have the most trust and authority.