The SEO Project

The Moving Man Method

Joshua HardwickJoshua Hardwick

Businesses are constantly shutting down, rebranding, changing domains, removing webpages, and discontinuing products or services.

It happens thousands – if not millions – of times every single day.

When these changes occur, webpages will often get moved to new URLs, or even disappear altogether.

Here’s an example of a page that seems to have disappeared:

page-no-longer-exists

For anyone linking to these pages, this is a problem, as they’ll often find themselves linking out to websites and resources that are no longer there.

Without constantly checking every external link on their website(s), webmasters are unlikely to ever find and fix these incorrect links.

This is where the “Moving Man Method” comes in.

Here’s how to do it:

First, use these Google search operators to find pages that have moved:

moving-man-search-1

And…

moving-man-search-2

When you find a page that fits the bill, use Ahrefs (or any other backlink checker) to find all links pointing to the outdated page.

It’s then a case of contacting the webmaster(s) and letting them know about the outdated link, while also suggesting your content on your own site as a replacement for the link.

Here’s an email script you can use:

“Hey [NAME],

I was just reading your post about [TOPIC] and noticed one of your links was dead.

Here’s a screenshot of the dead link: [INSERT LINK SCREENSHOT]

As you can see, it just links to a “this page no longer exists” page.

Just thought I’d give you a heads-up, as you might want to fix it.

[YOUR NAME]

PS. This might page make a good replacement for the link? [INSERT PAGE LINK]”

Note: While this tactic is similar to broken link building, it differs due to the fact that none of the links to the outdated content are actually broken (i.e. give a 404); often, they’ll just redirect to the location of the new content or show a “page no longer available” holding page.

Comments 3
  • Harry H
    Posted on

    Harry H Harry H

    Reply Author

    I just can’t get this one to work. Either the backlink checker won’t show me the page links (Open site/SEOsitecheckup).


    • Joshua Hardwick
      Posted on

      Joshua Hardwick Joshua Hardwick

      Reply Author

      Harry, can you explain further? I’m not too sure what you mean here.


  • Harry H
    Posted on

    Harry H Harry H

    Reply Author

    Or the SERPs are cluttered with irrelevant nonsense.