WHAT ARE BROKEN LINKS IN SEO?
Broken links are the ones that can’t fulfill the purpose of bringing user to a new location. They are usually colored differently and underlined to indicate the clickable element, and once the clicked will take a reader to a new location, whether that’s the new page on your site, will connected with the website like an e-Commerce store, or an external website. But when the webpage can’t be accessed or found by the user, the link is officially broken and will often take the reader to an error message instead of a page that they are trying to access. Sometimes the broken link is referred to as a dead link.
TYPES OF BROKEN LINKS
There are few different types of broken links that you can have on your website and pages.
BROKEN INTERNAL LINKS
A broken internal link is meant to take users to the different page on your website. Also, if you’ve changed the website URL, removed a page from your website, or the pages dropped during a page migration, you might have a broken internal links on your site
BROKEN EXTERNAL LINKS
An external link takes the reader to a website that will be outside of your control, usually another site that will supports the content you have on your own pages. When these links broken, it could indicate that external site will no longer exists, has moved the locations, or doesn’t have a right redirects implemented.
Backlinks are links on other web pages that will link to your content. Essentially they are the external links for your content from other companies. When you will change your content or have any of other errors like changed URLs or deleted pages, then your backlinks won’t be able to support your website and the build authority, which can be once again damage your standing with the Google and other search engines.
EXAMPLE OF BROKEN LINKS
404 PAGE NOT FOUND
This will indicates that the page doesn’t exist anymore on server, but can serve a purpose for the pages that have been deleted.
400 BAD REQUEST
This type of the error indicates that the server doesn’t understand the URL when the user is trying to reach.
The HTTP request from link has been timed out during the link check.
The URL itself was put together wrong and is missing the bracket, has extra slashes or has other wrong protocols that will breaking the link.
This indicates that server views the request as empty and also returning the response with no content and no response code.
WHEN WILL BROKEN LINK OCCURS?
TYPICAL ERROR IN URL
A type is the common human error that will occur when words within the link URL are misspelled. When the link isn’t clearly spelled, the server can’t be tell where your link is trying to direct to and will display error page.
PAGE HAS BEEN DELETED
If you have the valid link going to page but then the linking page is deleted, the link doesn’t have been anywhere to direct to and an error message will be display. This is one of the most common reasons behind the broken links, so make sure that you have a clear linking structure and the redirect strategy when you delete a page.
PAGE HAS BEEN RENAMED
When the pages are renamed the URL changes and without a new URL being updated in all links, the server doesn’t know that how to process those requests and will display error page.
DOMAIN NAME CHANGE
When the brand domain changes, which will happen during the rebrands or merges, the domain changes and sometimes the internal links are forgotten about during the switch. Having the plan in place for the domain name changes is essential to successful linking structure
Code itself can been also become the broken, whether it is HTML, CSS, Java script, or the other plugins. When a code is broken and needs to be fixed the links won’t work and will been instead show errors, so keeping an eye on the code is essential.
HOW TO IDENTIFY THE BROKEN LINKS IN GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE?
Step 1: Log in to the Google Search Console account.
Step 2: Click a site you want to monitor. The Search Console page will appears.
Step 3: Click Crawl, and then click the Fetch as Google. Here you will request Google to crawl the specific pages on your website. Also this will take time to crawl the page up to one week.
Step 4: After the Google crawls the site, to access the results click Crawl, and then the click Crawl Errors. Then the Crawl Errors page appears.
Step 5: Under the URL Errors, you can see any of the broken links that the Google discovered during the crawl process.
HOW TO FIX BROKEN LINKS?
Redirecting your pages using a 301 redirect will tells the Google and other search engines that the link in question isn’t broken. You can also redirect to a page with similar relevant content, like the page in a similar category or that has a similar tag.
REQUEST TO FIX FOR EXTERNAL LINKS
If the broken link in question is external link, you can also send request to the domain holder to see if they are willing to go in on their end and then fix the link. This is a good strategy for when you believe link in question is relevant and also important to have on your site and don’t want to just remove it.
If you have the several broken links for missing content page, you might want to consider the remaking or replacing the page that was deleted or removed. That way you don’t have to remove all of links and will provide the quality content to your audience.
DELETE BROKEN LINKS
Finally, you can just delete broken link in question. This is a quick fix for the broken link that doesn’t require you to come up with a redirect, then reach out to another site, or remake the page that was previously deleted.