Let’s say you want to find a particular information about scuba diving. You see something that seems to fit what you’re looking for. So you click on the link—only to be led to a page that says “Error 404.”
What causes broken links?
That’s what’s called a broken link. It simply means the page is not available. What causes links to break? Also called link rot and dead link, a broken link is the result when you do any of these things:
- When you rename a page without changing the internal link
- When you move a page without adding a redirect
- When you link to an external site or page and then that site or page has either gone offline, moved the page or changed the URL
What a broken link is really costing you
It’s frustrating for users to be led to a 404 error when they thought they could find what they need from your website. If they have bookmarked the page and find they can’t access the information anymore, or if they have shared it to their social media but the link doesn’t work, it makes you less reliable.
They will look at your company in a negative light and will stop sharing your content. When they see another link on your site, they’d think it’s another bad link that doesn’t go anywhere and won’t click on it at all. Broken links make for a bad user experience.
Having broken links on your website can also hurt your SEO results. Google doesn’t like sending visitors to a website where there are too many broken links. So if your site does have a bunch of them, you decrease your chances of ranking.
Also, search engine crawlers will stop crawling the page once they encounter a broken link—they will move on to the next. A page that has not been crawled won’t get indexed. And if it’s not indexed, then it won’t rank.
What should you do?
Make sure you regularly check your website specifically to look for broken links. Once you find them, either remove them or redirect it to the correct link. If the page has been moved, simply update the address. If it’s an external link that’s no longer available, remove the link or find something else that’s relevant to link it to.
We use a broken link checker to comb through the webpage of all the clients we take care of. This is part of our monthly security maintenance and website checks. When we do find broken links, we look for an appropriate link to replace it with. Otherwise, we get in touch with our client and ask what they want us to do with them.
If you need some help in fixing the broken links on your website, just reach out to our team, [email protected].