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Let’s be honest. Broken links are one of the most annoying and stressful things for achieving a good customer experience on a website. You do not like to put your customers off and damage your SEO rankings. That’s why checking for broken links needs to become a part of your regular routine website maintenance.
In case you didn’t know yet, a broken link is either a link you have included that goes out to content on another website or a link to a page within your website. When the link is broken, and a visitor clicks on it, they will most likely notice an error page telling them that the page no longer exists.
That can take place for different reasons such as:
Unluckily with links to external websites, you have no control over what happens to the content. That can cause huge problems for your business reputation, as customers do not like being delivered to broken links, and they are not likely to return to your website when that happens to them.
Yes. Keep in mind that any links that go out to other websites are referred to as outbound links. It can be quite challenging to keep track of those, as you do not have any control over the pages. You may also not realize the page you’re linking to has been deleted or removed.
Nevertheless, it is essential that you check. If your website has many broken outbound links, then it could have a bad effect on your SEO. That’s because Google bots or web crawlers crawl your website to gather data for your ranking. The last thing they wish to do is send online users to websites with broken links. Always keep that in mind.
Online visitors who follow links (that either lead from or to your website) clicked on the link for a reason. They’re expecting to see the content behind that link and are interested to read it. However, what if it turns out to be an error page because of a broken link? They will be left dissatisfied and possibly less trusting you as your website lets them down.
That’s why it’s vital to prevent linking to broken content and stop having broken pages on your website. On top of that, it is inappropriate to send customers (as well as Google bots) to broken links as both will harm your overall site experience.
Just imagine when a customer cannot find what they are searching for on your site. They are more likely to leave without return again. They may also opt to the nearest competitor for the information as an alternative. In short, having broken links can harm your business’s reputation and your site.
Broken links will impact your Google search results, but they will not influence your entire SEO. Too many broken links on a single page might suggest that a website is either abandoned or neglected.
The Search Quality Rating Guidelines of Google also utilize broken links to identify the site’s quality. But as long as you are continuously checking for broken links or fixing them when Google alerts you of a new problem detected on your website, you must be able to keep a quality website.
Bounce rate – Irrespective of whether you have one or too many broken links, every visitor on your page will identify their decision based on content, load time, experience, and usability. If broken links exist on your website and visitors can’t access the info, they’ll just move on to another site that can give them the information they need.
The less time they spend on your website, the higher the bounce rate.
User experience – Do not neglect the effect of a dead link. User experience is a vital factor that impacts SEO. When search engines’ algorithms change, their main goal is to offer a better search and experience for online users.
Further, search engines will know there will be some broken links. However, they might not be as forgiving when an actual user goes to your website. That will unavoidably decrease your reputation.
Fortunately, yes. You can check your website for any potential broken links yourself. One of the tools you can use is our Broken Links Finder.
IN SEO Tools’ Broken Link Finder is a free tool helping you validate your website and tells which web references on your pages are dead. It will also present where precisely those stale hyperlinks are in your HTML code.
An external link is any link from your site to another site. Many webmasters make the mistake of believing that broken external links do not matter because they will not harm their bounce rate or time on site metrics.
Nonetheless, broken external links are still devastating for your site. It tells online users that you are not reliable. Too many broken links also send signals to Google that your website is out-of-date, which could be harmful to rankings.
Fortunately, fixing these broken links is somewhat simple. You have two methods to consider:
Change the link with a valid link
Remove the link totally
Take note that you do not have control over broken links do not excuse you from having them. You still have full control over your website’s maintenance, and it’s your job to fix those broken links pronto.
Compared to external links, you have full control over internal links. You can stop broken links on your site by initiating good web practices. It’s big trouble if you find a broken link on your site. It will hurt your SEO, minimize your trustworthiness, and your conversion rates will suffer too.
Here are simple ways to fix that:
Misspelling – One typical cause of a broken internal link is a typo. Check if the 404 Error is due to a misspelling and fix it immediately.
Make the page real again – It’s the ideal answer for fixing broken links when it comes to SEO, particularly if the missing page has backlinks pointing to it.
Redirects – Utilizing 301 redirects is the way Google suggests for resolving fixing broken internal links. You redirect a page along with relevant content. Redirect only to the home page as your last resort. This method takes a huge amount of time, but it will keep the juice flowing and get you more page views.
Remove the broken link – It’s the most straightforward solution to dealing with broken internal links. The only disadvantage is you lose a chance to boost page views, time on the website, and pass the link juice. Delete the broken link only if it is not important to your website.
Fighting with invalid and dead hyperlinks is a continuous process. If you’ve fixed all of them now, that does not mean you will not get more of those tomorrow. Renaming, moving, site maintenance, deleting web pages, and more can cause that easily. What’s more, external sources you’re linking to may change anytime, too.
All that implies is that you need to check your website’s health frequently with our good Broken Links Finder tool.