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:
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:
- Find sites that have shut down, changed names, moved domains, or discontinued a product/service
- Find sites linking to the old domain or webpage
- Reach out and help them to fix their outdated link
First, use these Google search operators to find pages that have moved:
When you find a page that fits the bill, use Ahrefs (or any other backlink checker) to find all links pointing to the outdated page.
It’s then a case of contacting the webmaster(s) and letting them know about the outdated link, while also suggesting your content on your own site as a replacement for the link.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:
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.
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Note: While this tactic is similar to broken link building, it differs due to the fact that none of the links to the outdated content are actually broken (i.e. give a 404); often, they’ll just redirect to the location of the new content or show a “page no longer available” holding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.