How broken links affect your SEO

Few things are more irritating than clicking on a Google search result and being directed to a 404 page. Broken links commonly happen when a webpage is renamed or moved. When web developers delete a linked page, place an incorrect URL in a text link, or change a URL address without correctly updating the URL, a broken link is created.

Why you should be concerned

It might not seem like the end of the world, but a broken link can do serious damage. Each broken link impacts your search engine rankings and your site’s user experience, resulting in a loss of customers and revenue.

Broken links won’t just frustrate your site visitors, they’ll also get you a bad reputation with search engines. Google’s web crawlers, or “Googlebots” comb through each page, collecting data and traveling link to link.  Avoid sending people or bots to broken links by regularly assessing your content to ensure all the links work and direct to the right pages. There are two types of links on a site, internal and external.

Internal links

The internal links refer to links that go from one page on your website to another. These links are the ones that you have the most control over. For example, a button that takes the user back to the main page would be considered an internal link.

External (or outbound) links

The external or outbound links refer to the links that are pointing to another website, frequently used to cite where information was found. When visitors follow links to or from your site they are expecting certain content to be available to them once they get to that page, so you can imagine how frustrating it is when broken links happen.

How to fix broken links

If your site is smaller without external links, you can get away with only checking your site each time you update or make. However, if there are a few external links on the site, they should be checked at least once a month.

If you run a large site, the entire site should be checked at least once a week. With a bigger site, there is a higher probability that your site will create a larger amount of broken links, especially if you neglect it.

The best way to keep an eye on these problems is to consistently monitor your website. Whenever you notice changes in the conversion rates, traffic, or bounce rates, it might indicate an issue. These problems are probably related to broken links on your site. It can be overwhelming to check every single link on your website manually, but there are also many online tools as well as companies like Abstrakt that can do the work for you!