How You Can Redirect Old URLs To Reclaim Your Damaged Links

Reclaim Broken Links

My client and that i could build 1,120 quality backlinks pointing to 700+ of his websites having a single type of code in under one hour.

How? We found and made the decision to reclaim broken links which were already pointing to his site. We used a regex expression to redirect virtually every single damaged connect to the right, existing page on his site.

Doing this kind of work is the best type of &#8220low hanging fruit&#8221 in internet search engine optimization for any couple of reasons &#8211

  1. You’re taking advantage of work you&#8217ve already done.
  2. Unlike other work (like content promotion) &#8211 you control the implementation.
  3. Your projects has side benefits like better consumer experience additionally to higher search rank in the links.

However the process could be counter-intuitive and challenging right, particularly with the regex expression and redirects.

Here&#8217s the steps we experienced to obtain each one of these backlinks got going in the right direction.

Step One. Identify Damaged Backlinks

Remember, you’re searching for links pointing to damaged pages in your site. This is the inverse more typical damaged backlink building which i&#8217ve covered both here and here.

Should you don&#8217t possess a compensated tool, you should use your Search Console Crawl Error report.

Visit the Crawl Errors report underneath the Crawl section in the search engines Search Console.

This report shows where Googlebot has experienced a 404 code during its crawl. It&#8217s frequently from bad internal links.

Aside &#8211 you need to fix your internal links too.

However, you&#8217ll also find links from exterior sites. Click the crawl error and checked out the &#8220Linked From&#8221 section.

HTML Reclaim Search Console

You&#8217re also searching for any URL pattern that will help you to redirect plenty of links rapidly. Within my client&#8217s situation, he’d migrated CMS&#8217 years back that altered his blog&#8217s URL pattern from &#8211 /year/month/publish-name.html to /publish-name/

Aside &#8211 should you don&#8217t possess a URL pattern, you need to still fix the hyperlinks&#8230you&#8217ll simply need to budget additional time to by hand redirect each URL with .htaccess and/or even the WordPress Redirection wordpress plugin.

For those who have a compensated tool like Ahrefs, then you definitely&#8217ll get far better, clearer data than Search Console will give you. I authored a huge help guide to Ahrefs, also it&#8217s my tool of preference, but you may also use other backlink tools like Moz or Regal.

Load your website in Site Explorer and navigate to Damaged Backlinks.

Broken Inbound Links

Again &#8211 you&#8217re searching for any URL pattern&#8230or prepping for several manual work.

Step Two. Break Lower Your Redirect Pattern

The URL pattern that people identified was the following.

  • Old URL Pattern &#8211 [domain]/year/month/publish-name.html
  • New URL Pattern &#8211 [domain]/publish-name/

We wanted to create a redirect that will tell Googlebot (and then any browser) that &#8211

&#8220Hey! That publish which was at /year/month/publish-name.html has become permanently at /publish-name/&#8221

In web jargon &#8211 this instruction is known as a 301 Redirect.

For consumer experience and general web guidelines, we would have liked to possess a single redirect. We didn’t wish to redirect the dates after which redirect the .html &#8211 we would have liked to complete everything all at one time.

Step Three. Write Your Redirect with Regex

Regex is brief for &#8220regular expression&#8221 &#8211 it&#8217s just like a shorthand for computers. It enables software to pattern match instead of clearly telling the program how to handle each and every instance.

Most marketers encounter Regex when utilizing Google Analytics.

Actually, LunaMetrics&#8217 Help guide to Regex in the search engines Analytics is really a useful source of writing an Regex.

Now, altering dates in permalinks is a reasonably prevalent problem for WordPress users.

To shortcut a few of the Regex writing, I made use of Yoast&#8217s Permalink Helper (exactly the same guy who produced the Yoast Search engine optimization wordpress plugin). It&#8217ll provide a beginning Regex to utilize.

Here&#8217s the code it gave initially &#8211

RedirectMatch 301 ^/([-9])/([-9])/(?!page/)(.+)$ http://world wide$3

That&#8217s great and all sorts of &#8211 but don’t forget which i wanted just one redirect for everything, such as the .html

To repair which i amended the redirect to &#8211

RedirectMatch 301 ^/([-9])/([-9])/(?!page/)(.+).html$ http://world wide$3

Prior to going and blindly copy the code &#8211 have a second to know what’s going on.

RedirectMatch 301

This informs anybody being able to access your server to permanently redirect the next pattern.


The origin URL pattern ought to be URLs around the domain that &#8211

  • begin with the domain
  • adopted with 4 figures
  • adopted having a slash
  • adopted with 2 figures
  • adopted having a slash
  • adopted using the page variable from WordPress
  • ending with .html &#8211 note the that &#8220escapes&#8221 the time

The prospective URL pattern is &#8211

http://world wide$3/

The prospective URL pattern simply states to visit the domain adopted through the 3rd variable within the source URL (i.e., whatever !page is). The variable should start and finish having a slash.

Step Four. Implement &amp Test Out Your Redirect

To apply the code, you can just add some code for your .htaccess file through FTP link with your server.

Warning &#8211 the .htaccess governs access aimed at your website. When you get the code slightly wrong, you can crash your website.

If you are using WordPress, you should use the Redirection wordpress plugin.

You still need have your code right, but it’s kind of easier to use.

Break your redirect lower into &#8220Source&#8221 and &#8220Target&#8221 and appearance the Regex box.


Adding Redirection &#8211 and you’re done!

The Next and final step would be to test out your redirects.

Have a couple of from the old URLs and drop them right into a crawler tool like Screaming Frog or perhaps a web application like

It’s also wise to load an incognito browser and by hand test a couple of.

When your tests work well, and also you visit a effective single redirect &#8211 congratulations you&#8217ve reclaimed your damaged backlinks.

Aside &#8211 you are able to (and really should) do that process for damaged internal links if it’s not achievable to repair internal links by hand. Ideally, your internal links wouldn’t undergo any redirects. But that’s not necessarily achievable. A redirect is preferable to a 404 though.

Next Steps

See your Search Console report and/or perhaps your Ahrefs damaged links guide &#8211 identify damaged backlinks and reclaim them!

The publish How You Can Redirect Old URLs To Reclaim Your Damaged Links made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.