Link profile of a website is always dynamic where new links emerge and old ones fade away. That’s just how SEO works too.
Knowing in advance which links are dead provides an opportunity to get them back and improving the overall backlink profile. Unfortunately, there have not very many solutions that provide the ability to collect this historical look at backlink data. However, they do exist and Ahrefs.com, a very popular SEO tool, is one of them and has just released this functionality last week.
Ahrefs.com begin collecting historical data on August 13, and now offers two indexes: “fresh” and “live”. The “live” index contains links that were live on the last re-crawl, while the “fresh” index contains the links that the solution has seen as “live” starting on that date (including those that were dead on the last re-crawl).
There are many reasons why link counts go up or down (like hosting server downtime, DNS issues, etc.) but simply because a page/link was “down” does not guarantee that it is in the current moment (as they may be back online.
For that reason, Ahrefs.com also introduced a new column in its Site Explorer tool called “Backlink Status” which provides more details on the status of dead backlinks: “not found” (because of one of the reasons listed above), “removed” (where the page was OK but the backlink was not found), and “dropped” (where the page and link exist, but the quality is low and Ahrefs won’t include it in its report).