What are Broken Links?
Broken links are links that do not work. Some of the reasons links may not work:
- A website not available now
- Webpage added without redirect
- The URL structure of the website has changed
If you click on the broken link, you will see a 404-page error or a similar message explaining that the webpage is not available.
A link that leads to a 404 not found. Typically, a link becomes broken when:
- A website goes offline.
- A webpage is removed without implementing a redirect.
- The destination URL is changed without implementing a redirect.
Broken links and SEO
Search engines view links as a vote on website quality. Links to your website can affect your website rank in search results. Because of this, it is best to remove or update broken links.
Cleaning up broken links can add context to your website, improve the user experience, and make it easier for visitors and search engines to find content on your website. On the other hand, websites with very broken links are a sign of low quality for search engines.
Many websites have broken clean links. In early 2013 and between 2015, Raven’s SEO site auditor found at least 23 broken links to each website crawl.
Examples of broken link error codes
Here are some examples of error codes displayed by a web server for a broken link:
- 404 Page not found: Page/resource not found on the server
- 400 Incorrect request: The host server did not understand the URL of your page
- Bad Host: Invalid hostname: The server with that name does not exist or is not available
- Bad URL: Formatted URL (eg missing bracket, extra slash, wrong protocol, etc.)
- Bad code: Invalid HTTP response code: Server response violates HTTP specification
- Empty: The host server provides a “blank” response without content and response code
- Timeout: Expired: HTTP request continuously expired during the link verification
- Reset: Reduces host server connection. It is incorrectly configured or is too busy.
Why the Link is broken?
A broken link can have many causes:
- Website owner entered incorrect URL (misspelled, misspelled, etc.).
- The URL structure of your site has recently been changed without any redirects (permalinks) and is causing a 404 error.
- The external site is now unavailable, offline, or permanently moved.
- Links to moved or removed content (PDFs, Google Docs, videos, etc.)
- Firewall or geolocation restrictions do not allow external access.
Why are broken links important for SEO?
Broken links affect your Google search results, however, they do not affect your overall SEO. We also checked the Apple site and scanned 2000 URLs with 9 failed responses. This does not mean that Apple will start losing its ranking, however, if too many links on the same page are broken, it could indicate that the site has been ignored or abandoned. Learn about SERPs
Google Search Quality Rating Guides also use broken links to determine site quality, but as long as you are constantly checking for broken links or correcting broken links, Google will give you access to your site. (As in the example below), you must be able to maintain a high-quality site:
How to find broken links on your website?
The easiest and fastest way to see if you have a broken link is to check a report on any website which provides data on broken links. and see if there are any broken links on that page:
If you have hundreds of pages or posts on your site, you can use a tool like SEOptimer’s DIY SEO to crawl all your pages to find broken links – or download the plugin for your CMS platform. Who can examine them? Checkout ahrefs free broken link checker
In the Google search console:
After their bots crawl your site, the Google search console will help identify any issues with your site. If any page on your website breaks, they will notify you. Note that they only show URLs on your website, not external links.
You can find these errors in your Google search console> Crawl> Crawl errors:
Keep in mind that crawl errors are a priority; If the URLs are not significant, you can guarantee that the errors will not affect your search results.
Below is a list of actual pages not found. This report shows how important it is to fix broken links; Without it, these pages would be affected by their current search results.
Best practices: How to fix broken links
Depending on how much content you generate each week, you may need to set aside time each month to check for any broken links. Whether it’s once a month, once every quarter, or any other time frame you choose, you should follow these best practices:
Check Google Crawl Errors:
1. The 404 Error Search Console makes it easy for you by prioritizing crawl errors. If all of the top errors in the report are irrelevant, you can be sure that there is nothing next in the list of 404 crawl errors. Learn about redirect errors.
2. Avoid deep links on websites unless absolutely necessary (or otherwise). Deep-link is the link to the original page, not the homepage; Other synonyms for deep linking are internal linking or anchor text.
Whether you think the site is a reliable source of information, whether internal or external, you will definitely want to use deeper links. For example, if you run an e-commerce store and you link to your own product pages, if you have no inventory, you should schedule monthly checks to make sure none of your links are broken.
3. If the link is an external link, contact the linking website and request a solution: If the linking website made a mistake while linking to you, it is worth pointing out the problem and letting them know. They may fix it or you may even have the opportunity to link with them. If the URL source or website does not exist, you can try replacing it with a different source or removing it altogether.
4. Using a redirect mechanism that redirects users to a new information location in case of broken links. To redirect a broken page to a new location (301) go here:
<Meta http-equiv = “refresh” content = “0; URL = ‘http: //new-website.com'” />
5. Rebuild and replace content in broken URLs. Find what a broken page is and replace or rebuild it.
6. Redirect a broken page to another relevant page on your website (301). Find similar content on your site and redirect the broken one to that page. For example, if you have a broken page titled “How to do a broken link building”, it is a good idea to redirect it to a working page called “The Complete Guide to Broken Link Building”. Learn about clickbait.
7. Leave as 404: This is a perfectly viable option; You need to show the “hard” 404 and not the “soft” 404. Need information on how to create a 404 page?
Hope you find this information helpful. If so, don’t forget to share and leave comments. Thank you.