A Complete Guide About Broken Link And How Do You Locate And Fix Them
When internet users try to access websites, they may see a message like ERROR or destination page does not exist.
This happens because of a broken link when a search query returns with an error message from the server. It is also called dead links and link rots.
An example of a dead link is a 404-error message when a web page is searched for. There are a few other messages denoting errors or broken links. Such irregularities in a website’s link structure can affect its online ranking and overall performance in garnering attention.
It is important to understand how broken links get created on a website and the ways to remove them permanently.
Here are some of the reasons that lead to a broken link.
- Errors in spelling and typing of the website URL link as entered by the website owner.
- If the website URL structure is altered without proper redirecting links, it will display an error.
- The error message will also show if the website is permanently deactivated or removed.
- Ineffective and downloadable content links are deleted or removed.
- Geolocation and network security prevent access to a site.
When a search engine optimization process is initiated, search engine web crawlers navigate through websites and verify links. The structure of the links and their destination locations are also important.
A broken link will affect website rankings and the results show a weak flow of online traffic.
Rankings are also affected when algorithms find a website is suspicious or incomplete due to broken links.
User engagement is important for a regular flow of visitors to a website. lack of navigation convenience and display of error messages will deter visitors from browsing.
How To Find
The location of a broken link is important. Sooner the better. A website can be manually searched for broken links but there are time-saving methods to locate them.
- Website owners can access Google Search Console reports. The Bots used by Google to gather relevant information have the data. It may be noted here that this data will have information for website URL links only and not external links.
Information about the algorithm can be found here and if the Google search engine has found anything like broken links on the website.
- A wide range of SEO tools is available for constant monitoring and analysis of a website’s performance. There are features in these such as site audit. This is created to analyze the links on a website. The same feature can be used to detect the presence of a broken link.
- Quality Assurance tests should be carried out for a website after any restructuring or changes are initiated. It is also important after web pages are deleted or added and any change is brought to the domain name. the same test is used to find broken links on the website.
How To Fix
Once detected it is important to fix the problem of a broken link. This may cause problems in the website’s performance and search engine ranks.
Here are some of the ways used to fix broken links.
- If the broken link is an external link the website owner can send a notification of the same to the domain holder along with the request to fix it.
- If the broken links of a website are detected, these pages can be redirected. Using 301 redirect search engines like Google are informed that a link is not broken but still in service. The page to which the redirect is initiated should not be the Home Page of the website; it should be a page with similar content and structure as the original.
- In case several links appear broken, it is advisable to recreate or reconstruct the page with the rectification of the links. The web page with the broken links can be thereafter deleted or removed. It will be a positive effort to showcase good content for visitors.
- It is better to delete pages with too many broken links even if you are unable to reconstruct the page. These links will affect the link structure of the entire website.
The presence of a broken link can adversely affect the search engine optimization of a website. Consequently, the results will affect the website rankings on SERP and affect the inflow of online traffic.
For eCommerce websites and online stores, this will directly impact the sales and targets of the website. Business reputation will be damaged if potential customers are unable to access product pages and information.
The detection of broken links should be rectified by reconstruction and remedial steps in web pages. A single page with disrupted links can affect the performance of the entire website. This also affects the link structure of the site.
The best part of repairing and deleting broken links is that it automatically regenerates the website performance. SEO results are enhanced as a result of the disappearance of broken links. The issue may seem small but has an impact on the business of a company.