Dead Link

Dead Link featured image
2 Jan 2023
Nirlep Patel

How to Detect and Fix the Dead links To Prevent Hurting SEO

A Dead link is a broken link that refers to a webpage that a user can neither fin nor access on the internet. There are different reasons why web services will send an error message when a user tries to access a broken link. These are thus called link rots.

⮚ Common examples of broken links

If you see any of the following messages on a webpage, you know that it is link rot.

  • Bad URL: The URL is malformed. For instance, there is a missing bracket, a wrong protocol, and an extra slash or similar other issues.
  • 404 Page Not Found: the web page does not exist anymore on the server.
  • Reset: In such cases, the host server drops the connections. There is either a misconfiguration or it’s too busy.
  • Timeout: HTTP requests face timeouts often during the link check.
  • Bad Code: invalid GTTP response code where the server’s response somehow violates the HTP specifications.
  • Bad Host: invalid hostname where the server name either does not exist or is unreachable.
  • Empty: when the webpage contains no content or response code.

The Dead links show such error messages and you will know henceforward what the implication of each message is.

⮚ Causes of broken links

Several reasons contribute to the occurrence of broken links. The common instances include

  • There is a recent change in the URL structure of the site without redirecting the page, it causes the 404 error.
  • The owner of the website entered an incorrect URL that has some typos or misspellings.
  • There is a firewall or geolocation restriction that limits outside access.
  • You have deleted or moved the links to the contents like Google Docs, PDFs, or videos.
  • The Dead link can be the result of broken elements on the page(JavaScript, CSS, HTML, or CMS Plugins)
  • Non-availability of the external site as it is offline, deleted or moved.
  • It is essential to know the causes for repair or solution.

⮚ Broken links hurt SEO

When online users follow a link to reach your site, they are expecting certain content that will be available to them once they land on the web page. The Dead link is the most disappointing factor for user experience.

  • Users will have a negative impression of your website, thinking that the site is corrupted someway.
  • Broken links hurt SEO. The crawlers of the Google algorithm will no longer find the elements necessary to get the ranking on the SERP. So there is no scope for optimization either.

If your website is not providing the right content through the right links, it clearly indicates poor maintenance or poor website management. Therefore, removing the Dead link from the website is the prime important factor. Broken outbound links affect business When you share links to other websites on your site, the links are called outbound links. It can be tricky to keep track of the external contents when after you link to them. Elimination of all the broken links is impossible as you may not be able to track the external pages regularly.

  • Outbound broken links make a bad impression on your site to the users.
  • It negatively affects the SEO.

As Google bots will travel across the links to collect data about each page, regular audits are necessary. The audits will ensure that you are not misleading the users or the bits to the broken pages. A Dead link is the last thing that you want on your site to mislead the target audience.

⮚ Tips to check the outbound dead links

Do you have a small website? Then manual checking is probably possible using certain extensions available online. There should be individual checks on each link present on the site to detect broken links.

  • It’s necessary to determine both the internal links that link to your website and the external links that link to other websites.
  • Maintain records of the broken links so that you can get back and fix the Dead link or remove them entirely from the site.

But the manual check is impossible for large websites. In such cases, you need to invest in paid backlink checkers that can help in finding broken links in bulk. The process will become incredibly easy. It will take hardly a few minutes to export all the sites with broken links from your site.

⮚ Fix the outbound broken links

Detection of the outbound Dead links is just the beginning of the task. It’s time to know how to fix these links. And it will be a time-consuming process. You need to evaluate the broken links with the following things in mind:

  • If the context of the content present on your web page is strong enough to engage an audience without the link, then you should remove the link immediately.
  • If the ink is essential, check the linking anchor text. It can successfully provide contextual clues to find out what lives on the page.
  • When the anchor text is vague, you can use certain tools to learn what used to be on that page.
  • Perform a search on the site to learn the new location of the new site.
  • Search for the most updated version of the content that you can use to replace the Dead link. You can even refresh the content for accommodating the new source for the visitors.

Take care of the broken links to make sure that you don’t enrage the audience.

⮚ Maintain the Website

Broken links can cause much trouble to the ranking of the page on the SERP. So, if you are planning to achieve a higher rank on the SERP, you have to get rid of the broken link or at least, fix them.

  • Frequent manual or technical audits of the links are essential.
  • Immediate removal of the Dead link will help to minimize the damage to your site.
  • Refreshing outbound links frequently will provide fresh content to the users.

If user engagement is your priority, then you have to concentrate on the removal of broken links. Detect the dead links and fix them for a functional website.