Websites are constantly changing – links that were once active may now be broken. This can be damaging to your website because it can cause visitors to leave your site and never come back. But why are broken links so damaging? And how do you fix a problem that can plague websites that have been active for many years?
What are Broken Links in SEO?
As any good local SEO agency in Portland will tell you, a broken link is simply a link that no longer works. This can be due to a number of reasons:
- The page it was linking to no longer exists
- The page has been moved or renamed
- The URL structure of the website has changed
- There is a typo in the URL
- The server is down or the website is otherwise inaccessible
These are just a few of the most common reasons why a link may no longer work. Whatever the reason, when a user clicks on a broken link, they will be taken to a page that doesn’t exist, which can be extremely frustrating.
Why are Broken Links So Problematic?
As we’ve just seen, it impacts the user experience when a link is broken. If somebody clicks on a link and it’s broken, they’re going to have a negative experience with your website. Suddenly, your website seems outdated and people may question whether the information is reliable or correct. Even if the page is new, a broken link can give the impression that the site isn’t well-maintained.
On a more technical level, broken links can also negatively impact your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). Why? Because search engines use links to help them understand how pages are related to each other. When there are a lot of broken links, it confuses the search engines and they may have a more difficult time indexing your website. This can lead to lower search engine rankings, which means fewer people will find your website when they search for relevant keywords.
Ultimately, broken links are bad for business. They make your website look unprofessional and can hurt your chances of ranking well in search engines. So, what can you do about it?
How to Fix Broken Links
1. Check your website regularly for broken links. Use a tool like Google Webmaster Tools or Xenu’s Link Sleuth to help you find them.
2. If you find a broken link, try to find the correct page on the website and update the link. It might be that the destination page has simply moved and the link just needs to be updated.
3. If you can’t find the correct page, remove the link from your website and update it with a link that does work (or to a relevant page on your site!).
Once you’ve updated all links and removed all broken links, your website will be in good shape and visitors will be able to find the content they’re looking for. This, in turn, will improve your website’s search engine ranking and help you attract more visitors.
However, you must remember to inform your team about any changes made to the website so that they can update their bookmarks and links accordingly. Also, you’ll want the new content to be indexed by search engines, so make sure to submit your website to search engines such as Google.
By following these steps, you can avoid the damage caused by broken links and keep your website running smoothly!