Trik to fix Broken Link Error
Bad Experience with Broken Links
We all are accustomed to the situation where we visit a site for getting the content there but ended up on having a 404 error page. In technical terms, we tag such webpage links as broken links and these situations are one the most frustrating situations that happen to internet users.
Poor user experiences and ranking
Broken links not only disrupt user experience but also hurt admin’s SEO efforts on his/her webpage. When a visitor clicks on your page link, they genuinely expect the quality content present over there. But if “404 error” message pops up for your page repeatedly, a user might not want to continue with your website anymore because they are helpless!
This can ultimately affect your site rankings on Google’s result pages badly. It’s not an easy job to fix broken links on your site unless you know the proper algorithm to follow. There are numerous processes to check on a broken link on your site. We’ll discuss them here in this article but initially let’s start with what is a broken link and why it happens.
What is a broken link Error?
A broken link is actually a link that no longer available on the website with useful information. In more detail, a “hyperlink transfer protocol” link which has no connection or is not active categorize as a broken link. There are several reasons for a web server to return a broken link message like “404 page not found”, some of them include:
- The website admin has entered an incorrect or misspelled URL.
- The external link is not available anymore or has been removed.
- Links for images, videos or Google documents have been deleted.
- The page is having broken elements inside.
- Page admin is using some firewall that restricts external access.
Types of broken links:
There are two types of broken links:
- Internal links
- External links
Internal links Broken Link Error:
Links that connect one page on a domain to different pages on that same domain. Webpage designers use these links to navigate internally on the same webpage. These links are perfect elements for developing a user-friendly webpage because they let users navigate within the webpage easily. Internal links are also lovable by search engines, so they enhance ranking power on the results page. Raw form or sample code to add internal links is:
Internal links are very useful in SEO-friendly practice to build site architecture and spreading ranking power around websites, so owner of the page should remind his/her website designer to index the webpage with rightful internal links with a crawlable link architecture–a structure to allow Google web spiders to crawl or browse each link and pathways of the website.
We advise not to use too many internal links as it could get an ugly look full of blue links everywhere. This will decrease the readability and eventually will end up disrupting the SEO and marketing efforts by you.
Relevant internal links effectively encourage visitors to explore different topics on your page.
External links Broken Link Error:
External links or outbound links are hyperlinks that connect any other domain with the domain the link exists on. In simple terms, an external link targets an external domain across the internet. These are also essential to get a decent ranking power on search engine result pages but in a different way than internal links because search engines count them as third-party votes. Raw form or code sample for external links is:
We can use external Links:
- Verifying facts mentioned in the content,
- Backing up sources and pointing the visitors towards relevant resources.
- External links are important for getting “popularity” and “relevancy” on search engines for your website. These hyperlinks follow some certain algorithm that helps search engines to determine the popularity of your website.
Detecting and Fixing Broken Links?
A. Manual Check and fix Broken Link Error:
While you can manually check on broken links on your website by going through each page and links but, this might not be helpful in a long run especially when your website is large and have many tiny links attached. This is because checking broken links in such a manner will take a lot of time and you have to do it repeatedly.
B. Automate via tools:
Thus, to approach this task effectively, there are certain tools available online which will check on every broken link on your site and will remove or replace them for you.
1. Check my links:
There is an extension named “check my links” built basically for web developers and content editors. Using this tool, you can manually review each page of your website to check both inbound and outbound broken links. Point out each broken links found in the process and fix them immediately so that a visitor might not see 404 error page on your website page.
2. Google Search Console (Earlier Webmaster)
As mentioned earlier, if your page is large then you should use some available tools like “Google Webmaster Tools” to detect broken inbound links. This tool will help you with crawl error report by showing you the places which links are returning “404 page not found” error message.
- Internal Links Problem: Ask your web-developer to fix it either via 301 redirect or removing the linking
- External Link Problem: Remove the link pointing to the obsolete link
Premium backlink checking tool “Ahrefs” helps you to find and fix broken external links on your website.
Other tools such as “broken link checker” and “W3C Link Checker” can detect broken links. These tools are very user-friendly as you have to just enter the URL of your website and click on “find broken link” button to generate a report that will display your broken links in a minute.
Broken link, What’s the harm!
Repeated broken link messages can increase the bounce rate of your website because visitors will abandon your page if they do not find the content they are looking for. Eventually, “Google Bots” or Google’s web crawlers that collects information about every page will not get the data on your website which may result in de-ranking your website. Hence, your web developer should keep in mind to audit your external links to ensure it does not point visitors towards broken pages.
How Broken links impacts website rankings:
1. Poor Ranking:
The presence of broken links can cause high bounce rates which affect rankings for your website negatively. When people will abandon your page for not finding any data, Google will understand your website as being less informative and less reliable, which will lead to lower rankings of your page on search result pages.
2. Crawl Errors:
Google uses its web spiders that crawl from link to link on your website to get the data about your page content, but if it comes across a broken link, it will stop indexing your page and thus your page gets a lower ranking on search result pages. This is painful for the owner when his/her website can’t get higher ranks despite greater SEO efforts given.
How to find and fix broken links:
Apart from the tools mentioned like “Google webmaster tools” and “broken link checker” to find 404 pages, you can use one more tool named “Screamingfrog” that uses Google’s technique of site crawling to find broken links. Now after creating a report and tracking the required changes, it’s time to analyze and fix broken links on your website.
Broken Link Error Checker:
For user-friendly process, you can use a plugin that would do the talking for you. Here “broken link checker” is a right customizable plugin to fix your site’s broken links.
A. To begin with, first, install and activate the plugin on your site.
B. Now click on tools > broken links and let the tools scan and display the list of broken links along with their URL and location.
C. Simply go to “edit” link or you can select “unlink” option to remove the broken URL at once, otherwise, you can edit the URL and anchor text from the suggestions given.
D. After doing all these, click on “update” button to make changes.
E. Another useful factor for using “broken link checker” is that it provides options to continue scanning your site.
F. You can click on dashboard “settings” > “link checker” to set how the plugin might work.
Alternate to plugins:
If you’re not willing to use plugins to fix your site, you can use extensions or external website to fetch broken links. Google search “Broken Link Checker” and get the list of websites providing free services.
Difference between “dead link” and “broken link”
A dead link and a broken link both are inactive links harmful to the SEO and site rankings. As conventional thoughts may emphasize on both being the same but it is actually not. Here are the basic differences:
Any clickable text that redirects us to a document, image or web page which shows error messages like “404 page not found” or a time out message.
A hyperlink on a website that redirects us to a web page that has been deleted or removed from the source page. They do not pop out any error message
This can happen due to a missing image or webpage that needs to be fixed or removed by the owner.
It is possible that the website is temporarily down due to server issues.
Broken link checker tools such as “W3C link checker” or “aherfs” can check and fix on such issues
We use Dead link checker tools to detect and fix dead links.
For example, you can use http://www.deadlinkchecker.com for checking it.
Broken links are definitely frustrating for user experience on your website. Adding a greater number of related links is a good idea but for that, you need to ensure that all the links are active. There are many tools to deal with the 404 error messages both online and offline. I highly recommend plugin-based tools for easy and automatic functioning but non-plugin alternatives are also good to work with. So make notes on all the factors mentioned and fix your broken links immediately.
Next Article: How to manage online reputation