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What is a Broken Link?

A broken link is a hyperlink on a web page that no longer works because it's encountering one or more of issues at that time. It is also known as a "dead link".

404 file not found broken link representation

Broken links affect the general health of the website because when users visit a webpage with broken link, they are met with an error.

Fixing the broken link should be the main aim when they are detected since they can cause unreliability for your visitors.

Besides, when broken links exist and increase at the same time, the maintenance of your website is affected in a bad way.

Reasons for Broken Links

When you take a look at why broken links exist, we can count different reasons:

  • An incorrect URL can be entered by the website owner for the link.
  • The website has removed the linked web page.
  • The web page is permanently moved; therefore, the page no longer exists.
  • The user is behind a firewall that blocks access to the desired website.
  • The website owner linked to a site behind a firewall that does not allow outside access.
  • The website structure can be changed.
  • The website owner can use outdated links that lead no address.
  • The change of domain name can be problematic.
  • The external platforms and plugins may need new code to run and old code can cause link failures.

How Do Broken Links Affect?

Broken links can be harmful for different reasons and we can clearly witness how they affect website.

  • Broken links affect search rankings because of a badly-organized user experience; making users unable to access the desired resource or information.
  • Google and its bots will mark your website as outdated and your visibility score will decrease.
  • User experience can fall along with the website's organic traffic due to the frustration.
  • The overall bounce rate decreases for no reason because visitors will find no page to stay.
  • Your reputation will fall because the website is perceived as not updated and full of broken links.
  • Your internal link building effort will become pointless because your URL structure will also be affected.
broken link representation with chains on a website

Tips to Fix Your Broken Links

Before starting resolving your broken links, prioritize them according to their importance.

That’s how you can easily order broken links one by one.

Wondering how to resolve your broken link problem? Here are some tips:

→ Check your internal links within your website so that you can change the URLs with the new versions.

→ Control the most visible element on your website, like navigation bar, menus, buttons to make sure their links don’t respond 404. If they do, you should also change them.

→ Regularly use free SEO audit tools, like Ahrefs, Semrush, or Moz to run a site audit and check the status of your broken links with your domain name.

→ Control your links with Google Search Console. This is the direct and easiest way to check all your links and their status.

→ Try plugins. Though it’s not the first choice to add a plugin because it can affect website performance, you can see how plugins help you optimize your site.

→ Automate checking broken links and catching them to resolve by getting notifications and act for resolving right away.

→ Try online broken link checkers to get the direct result.

→ Redirect your broken webpage to a new location to prevent broken links.

→ Avoid using deep links unless you absolutely have to.

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