Finding Link Lists on the Vintage Web
6 votes, 5.00 avg. tacos (95% full)

Update: Although PBNs still work, they recently have started to be targeted by Google and likely are no longer the safest option. This is why we now focus on creating businesses that don’t only rely on SEO traffic.

Why would anyone like looking at old pages full of links? Well, for starters, I collect retro video games and am a huge fan of 90’s cars. Because I grew up with it, I guess I just feel at home on the vintage web. Tabled HTML pages, Comic Sans, or sparkling GIFs… I am not sure what my favorite part is. Browsing these almost antique pages is not only hilarious, there are some great lists of old links and you may strike gold. This is one of my favorite methods for finding dead links or expired domains. There are several uses for these long forgotten links. Broken link building or the now more risky PBN sites are probably the most popular.

I found there are several guides available for how to use link checking software, but not too many for where to start finding these awesome lists to begin with. Coming up with different search terms to find these pages is where you really need to think outside of the box. I have a few ideas to share to assist you in brainstorming and beginning your journey.

Retro Browsers

Use [intext:] or “quotations” around names and versions of retro browsers. Add the category of the site you are looking to promote to narrow the results. You can also test out different versions of the old browsers for more variation.


Netscape Navigator version 3 was released in 1996

Last Update: Forever Ago

Similar to searching for mentions old browsers, search keywords that have to do with a site that has been collecting dust for quite some time. There is a ton of sites that have been sitting untouched for over a decade.

space-jam in all its 2003 glory

Set the Date Range

Definitely one of the most common, set some old dates and try obvious search terms like [directory] or [favorite links]. Remember “webrings”? Sometimes these are useful resources too when looking for a specific niche.


For Google, click Search Tools, under the time menu

Look for Heavy Hitting TLD’s

Use the [] or even .gov if you are feeling lucky. Combine this with any of the 3 previous methods and you can find some solid lists. Also look for personal pages with link lists on these domains.

Try Different Search Engines

You may be surprised at some results you get. Here is a list of links for the lazy:

Keywords for Finding Lists

I will scan a page even if there is only a small number of links going out, but this can be VERY time consuming, especially if those links end up being internal. You can quickly mouse over the links on the page to check, but this also takes time. Most of the pages you come across are going to be worthless anyways.

To find pages that consist mostly of links, you can get pretty creative. Looking for “links” or “directory” keywords is not always the best method, but it still does work.

  • Events with specific dates: Most event pages will list accommodations, nearby restaurants, etc. Great for finding links in varied service industries. Often times with business events there will be a page full of links to the sponsors.
  • Lists of suppliers or partners: Retail sites will sometimes list their providers, many who have gone out of business.
  • Local clubs: Sports teams and other local meet-ups have out of date websites with outbound links to a variety of sites.  These can work wonders if you are trying to promote local lead gen sites.

Check Every Link Possible

Found a good expired domain or 404 page with a solid link profile?  Click through to every link going to the URL you just found using your favorite link profile tool.  If a high value page has one dead outbound link, odds are there will be more.

There is limitless other keywords and search parameters to go from here.

If you find any examples of laughable vintage websites or want to swap ideas for search terms leave a comment below.

Finding Link Lists on the Vintage Web
6 votes, 5.00 avg. tacos (95% full)
  1. This guide is exactly what people are looking for. It’s pretty much impossible to find domains on expired domains and domcop and many more similar sites. Thank you for the content.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>