Broken links are not only negative for the user, they are also negative from an SEO perspective. But how do you find and fix them?
Broken links on a site lead the visitor to pages that no longer exist. It can be internal or external links. Usually, instead, the user is met with 404 errors, which annoys the visitor and also search engines. So why do they occur and how do you fix them easily?
In this article we go through:
Finally, you get a summary that summarizes the article.
Broken links are links on your page that no longer work. The most common is that the visitor is met with the oh-so-annoying 404 error. Or it just says that the link is not available. It can be both internal and external links.
It is very frustrating for the visitor who is looking for a solution to his problem. The three most common reasons why links stop working are:
Broken links drag down the user experience for the visitor. This means you may get fewer conversions and customers lose trust. After all, they have come to your site to get help with their needs.
It’s not just people who have a negative experience, search engines sense them too. When search engines like Google measure and rank your site, the rating may be lowered. This means that links that are broken are also negative from an SEO point of view. The search engines can also interpret them as a sign that the site is of lower quality.
Going through broken links manually takes forever. The easiest way to find them on your site is to use link checking tools.
Three different options are:
Google Search Console certainly requires you to verify your site with them, but then you get access to many great features. Among other things, you can do a scan and find broken links. You also get access to crawl error reports that include 404 errors. Google has a lot of great features in its reports and is well worth getting to know.
Finding links that are broken on a site is quick with, for example, web-based SEO tools such as Ahrefs. Your site is automatically scanned and there are several different methods to identify and fix them. By working with Ahrefs, it is possible to gain many good insights about your site when it comes to SEO.
There are computer programs you can install to identify broken links. Some are compatible with Windows as well as macOS and Linux. As a rule, they are combined SEO tools, after scanning the page, you can filter on 404 pages and fix them.
One of the best free tools is Google’s Search Console which not only helps you with broken links. There are also lots of functions that allow you to analyze the content of your site. In this way, you can find and fix other problems that drag down the user-friendliness and your SEO. You can also see the indexing status which allows you to increase your organic traffic.
There are also free online tools like BrokenLinkCheck.com. The free version allows you to search up to 3,000 pages for free. It’s a user-friendly option that enumerates links that are broken so you can fix them.
There are also plugins for WordPress, including Rank Math and Broken Link Checker. The downside is that it can affect the performance of the site and is not always suitable if you are responsible for several sites.
Depending on which tool you use, broken links can be fixed in slightly different ways. If you use Google’s search console, for example, you can see a compilation of 404 errors. Since it is possible to bring up a list, it is possible to either remove the links or replace them with working links.
The Broken Link Check online tool enumerates internal and external links that are broken. In addition, you can see where the link is on your site. Once you have the list, you can easily fix the errors.
Tools like Ahrefs have several different ways you can fix these. You can choose either audit tool where you will find the links under Reports. Another option is to choose Website Explorer where you can find both broken outbound links and backlinks.
Broken links are both internal and external links that no longer lead anywhere. Often the visitor gets 404 errors instead.
Links that are broken are annoying for the visitor and also risk lowering the ranking of the page. Search engines like Google can identify pages that have many and rank them higher.
There are various tools like Google Search Console and free tools like BrokenLinkCheck.com that make it easier to find links that are broken. Even Ahrefs has tools that make it easy to find and fix them.
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