Broken links could lead to the Broken business. If you audit your website or client’s website, It is important to check and manage Broken links or Dead links.
You need to check Broken links regularly because getting broken links is uncertain.
There are several disadvantages of getting broken links. however, It is EASY to check and manage the broken links.
What are Broken Links?
Broken link (also known as “dead links”) is the URL link whose page is due to some reason not available on the internet.
While maintaining the website and Blog post often you need to delete or update some posts. So it is normal to face Broken links.
But, It is important to manage Broken links.
When you click a broken link you get the page showing error 404, page not found. It is an HTTP status code.
When you get the 404 error it means the page you are looking for is not available on a server. There are several ways you may get the 404 error. Those are:
“404 not found”, “The requested URL was not found on this server”, “HTTP 404”, “404 File directory not found”,” HTTP 404 not found”, etc.
It should be clear that when you get 404, there are not any issues from the server-side but the webpage is not available on a server.
How Broken Links affect your website?
- Customer loss
Imagine, there was a post about Keto Diet on your website which was driving good conversions. And now it does not exist due to some reason. Now, what would your customers do?
In the majority, the customer would exit from your website and check for another one. And at best, the customer goes for other pages of your site. It depends on the trust you built from your last posts.
- Negative Impact on Search Engine
If your website has limited backlinks, it would not impact on SEO. But, the website having too many broken links would have a negative impact on the search engine. In the worst case, your website or particular page would get the Google penalty. Your website stops ranking and visitors get reduced.
- Loss of Backlinks
Again imagine, your post about “weight loss” has lots of backlinks. And most of them are do-follow backlinks. Due to these backlinks, your website is getting tons of visitors and good “Link juice”.
Now, you have deleted this post or changed the URL. Now you can calculate how much loss you get from an income and also the SEO point of view.
Also, the Blogger or website owner would lose trust who gave you a backlink from their website.
- Benefit to Competitors
Your competitors are waiting for broken links. There are several tools to find broken links. Your competitors can replace your URL with theirs. So, If you don’t care about your broken links, your competitors will do. And it is no more illegal. It is a part of white hat SEO.
- Bounce rate
If you are new in SEO or not aware of the bounce rate. let’s make it easy. Bounce Rate is the number of customers who exit after visiting one page or in a short time. You can check your bounce rate from Google analytics. It is measured on a scale of 1-100. A healthy site should have less than 70 bounce rate.
Types of Broken links
- Internal link
links those are connecting to pages of the same websites. These are the links that take visitors from one post to another. When you change URL or delete a page you need to change accordingly in every page mentioning that optimized page.
- External links
External Links are the links of another website you mention in your posts. These are the links lead your reader from your website to others. You should check regularly for broken external links just to maintain trust in your readers.
- Inbound links/ Lost links
Inbound links are the links that are located at different websites mentioning your particular webpage. You can’t control the inbound Broken links. because it depends on the websites providing backlinks.
What is the difference between Lost Links and Broken Links?
As you know there are three types of links; internal links, external links, and inbound links. the internal and external broken links are generally broken links.
The inbound is also known as a backlink. So when there is a broken inbound link occurs, it is actually, a lost link for you. Because you lost a backlink.
How to check Broken Links?
When your site grows, it becomes harder to manage broken links. so, there must be a tool that can make it easier.
There are several tools available on the internet to check broken links. online Tools just help you find broken links.
But, there is a Plugin named Broken link checker in WordPress. It helps you to find broken links and even you can manage the broken links in bulk.
And there is also a Chrome extension I use to check broken links. it helps to check broken links on other websites to find an opportunity to build backlinks.
The Chrome extension name is Check my link.
What cause broken links on a website?
Many reasons cause broken links. you are responsible for internal Broken links. but in case of external broken links, it is uncertain.
- URL changed
When you change or optimize the URL of any webpages and forget to change the URL every page where the URL is mentioned.
Now, when the old URL gets clicked the search engine will show you a 404 error page not found.
- Deleted Pages
It is important to remove certain pages while optimizing SEO. It is good for crawl budget when you have more than thousands of webpages.
- Site is temporarily offline
When any website is under construction or gets any server issues, it gets offline. There is no solution rather than weighting it to get back online.
- The site does not exist
- URL misspelling
Broken links and SEO
It is a very important question as an SEO enthusiast. Is the broken link effect on ranking?
The short is yes and no both. Because few broken links do not affect ranking. According to Google 404 errors are normal. But, it is important to load a proper 404 page when the error occurs.
If you are concerned about inbound links or backlinks pointing to your website than it is not at all a problem. According to Google Stats,
“Generally you don’t need to worry about ‘broken links’ like this hurting your site. We understand that site owners have little to no control over people who scrape their site, or who link to them in strange ways.”
How to manage Broken Links?
Well, you found every Broken link on your website. now, the second step is to manage / fix those broken links.
It is always a good practice to redirect URL to the original page.
if you change or optimize URL, then don’t forget to redirect OLD URL to NEW URL.
When there is an external broken link you are independent to replace page URL to a new website. It is easy to redirect a new URL to the old URL.
- Custom 404 Page
According to Google webmaster, It is necessary to load the proper 404 error page. But, it would be more impressive if you help your visitors to find them what they are looking for.
Having a custom 404 error page is beneficial regarding engaging the visitors.
- Recreate content or Invite Guest Post
There is always some post available on your website that didn’t perform well and you deleted that post. But, there is always an opportunity to recreate the better content to drive more traffic. Creating content need lots of hard work and time.
If you don’t want to spend time on creating new content, there is a solution. You can invite guest posts from the bloggers having a relevant blog site. But, It only works when your site domain authority is good. It would not work if your site is new.
The new bloggers are always in search of getting backlinks from high authority sites.
The broken link is a very important term while doing an SEO audit. A broken link can harm your business or it can impact SEO.
You can check broken links with the help of plugins and chrome extension.
There are many reasons that cause broken links on the website.
It is necessary to load a custom 404 error page for user-friendliness.