And some of these features used to be REALLY popular back in their heyday…
…which means they accumulated a lot of backlinks from authority sites.
But instead of deleting the page that hosted the service…businesses tend to set up a “service no longer available” page like this:
Which means you can search for them
Here are some search strings that you can use:
“service not available”
“page no longer exists”
“this website is no longer updated”
“this page is no longer updated”
“no longer available”
“service no longer available”
To show you how easy and powerful this technique is, I just did a 2-minute Google search for “this page no longer exists”:
And found this PA47 page from Michigan State University:
This page — and the other pages that used to be on this subdomain — have authority backlinks from:
And a handful of authoritative .edu and .gov sites.
Again, when you use a broken link checker on links to that page, they show up as working…
…even though, as you saw, the resource is long gone.
How can you squeeze the most SEO value from these outdated resources?
Step #2: Find Sites Linking to the Old Resource
This step is important:
Now that you’ve found a site that recently re-branded or a site feature that’s no longer there, it’s time to find the links pointing to that page.
Just grab the URL of the outdated resource and put it into your backlink checking tool of choice (I’m using ahrefs in this example):
And export all of the backlinks pointing to that page or site to an Excel spreadsheet or Google Doc:
When you do, you’ll have a spreadsheet with fistfuls of link opportunities:
Once you have your link opportunities in hand, it’s time to be a Moving Man
Step #3: Reach Out and Get Your Links
Your last step is to reach out to all of the people that still link to the outdated resource.
You want to give them a quick heads up about their outdated link…and gently suggest that they add your link to their site.
I tested a few different outreach email scripts for my Moz/BlueGlass campaign. Here’s the one that worked best:
And because I added value to their site twice — once from the heads up about their outdated link and again by showing them my valuable resource — people were more than happy to add my link to their page: