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what is a broken link, how to find them and fix them

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Within your content strategy and onpage SEO marketing , it is very important to take care of all the details within your page, such as links. The fact that there are links on your page that do not work can cause a bad impression on users and make them lose confidence in the brand.

what is a broken link?

Within a blog, a broken link is a web page that cannot be found or cannot be accessed at all. Web servers send an error message when a user tries to access a broken link. These can also be called "dead links" or "broken links".

Broken link error codes

    1. 404 Page not found: Means that the page or resource you tried to find directly does not exist on the server.
    2. 400 Incorrect request: The host server does not understand the URL of your page.
    3. Incorrect host: The host name is invalid, the server for that name does not exist.
    4. Incorrect URL: Incorrectly formatted URL
    5. Incorrect code: Invalid HTTP response code.
    6. Empty: The host server returns "empty" responses, they do not have any content.
    7. Timeout: Timeout has timed out.
    8. Reset: The host server discards connections.

how do we know if we have broken links?

If we are working on our SEO, we always depend on Google. A broken link on our website is a big mistake for the internet and for Google. This is why it is very important that we check the links on our website very well to look for those that do not work. Having broken links penalises us in terms of SEO, Google sees us as a poor website that does not take care of its links and decides to lower our positions in the search engine results.

For this and many more disadvantages that broken links generate on your page you should establish a routine in which you do an analysis to look for broken links on your website. For this there are several tools:

  • LinkChecker: It is a tool that you can download, it is very simple for those who are not experts, apart from being very useful for all types of public, whether they are experts or not.
  • W3C LinkChecker: This tool, in contrast to the previous one, is online, to use it you just have to enter and type the URL of our websites where there are links that we want to check.
  • Google Search Console: This is one of the best free tools, it produces a lot of useful information for your site. To check your broken links within this tool you just have to register and verify the website. On the left side you will find a menu option called "Cover", when you click on it other entries like "Details" appear. Once there you have to enter "Redirect Errors", it shows the server errors.
  • By entering the URL of your websites, you only need to click a certain button and the service will check up to 3000 pages for free. It is a good tool as it generates clear reports indicating the position of broken links. It also supports subdomains and is easy to use.
  • Dead link checker: Within this tool there are three different modes to choose from: In addition to the standard Site Check, you have the "Multiple Check" for multiple websites and the "Automatic Check" for regular checks.
  • Screaming Frog: After you have performed an analysis of your page, you can filter and sort the URLs by server response type. This is where you have to look at the 404s to see the origin of the Inlink tab.

how can we remove these broken links?

Now let's learn how we can remove or fix these broken links step by step, we will do it with the Google Webmasters tool.

  1. We check the broken links on our website by going to Crawl>Crawl errors.
  2. Click on the link to make sure that the link does not really work when we try to open it in the browser.
  3. In this step we can delete the broken links, how? Accessing the Google Index>Remove URLs section
  4. After this we have to click on the "Temporarily hide" button and paste the URL of the broken link and click "continue".
  5. At this point we will see the drop-down "Type of request". We have to select "Temporarily hide the search results page and remove it from the cache" and click on "Send request". It usually takes a couple of days.

why is it so important to take care of broken links for SEO?

Broken links greatly affect Google's results, if you have a lot of broken links on a page or website, Google will take it as a neglected website and will lower it in the SERPs. These broken links detract authority and quality in the eyes of Google. But why is it so important?

  • A broken link is directly affecting the user experience, as it tries to click on a content that does not appear and can not solve their doubts. You can not complement your experience with content that is not there. And Google is increasingly focused on providing a good user experience, which is why it lowers positions to those websites that are not helping to provide a good user experience.
  • If the broken link lasts over time, that is to say, it has been on your page for a long time, it means that you do not revise or update your website.
  • Another disadvantage of having a broken link is that we are hindering the correct indexing of pages by search robots.

In conclusion, we must take good care of the links on our page to avoid falling into broken links and thus lose positions within the search engines and Google. Have you not yet checked if you have broken links within your page? Use the tools that we have left in this post and avoid losing positions in the SEO of your website.

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