If you are looking for an answer to what is a broken link and how to get rid of it – this is the article to get your questions answered.
So let’s dig in.
What is a broken link?
A broken link or a dead link is a link on a web page that no longer works because the website is encountering one or more of the issues below.
- An improper URL entered.
- The destination website was removed (causing what is known as a 404 error)
- The destination website permanently moved or no longer exists
- The user has a software or is behind a firewall that blocks access to the destination page.
- The website owner linked to a site that is behind a firewall that does not allow outside access (such as an Intranet site or a restricted access area on a website).
A site that hasn’t been updated or checked for a long time may suffer from link rot, which is a term used to describe a site with dozens of broken links.
How to spot a broken link?
Once you click on a broken link you will see similar pages to the ones down below:
As you can see, once you click on a broken link it indicates one thing – the page you are looking for, is not there.
How can you check if a site has broken links?
There is no need to do it manually. There are several FREE tools that will automate finding broken pages.
My 3 favorite tools are:
How to fix broken pages?
If your website has broken links there are two main things that you could have done to cause this to happen. & so here are the things you can to do fix the issues:
If you edited the URL
This is the most common reason for a broken link. ALWAYS when you change the URL you have to create a redirect.
ALWAYS when you change the URL you have to create a redirect.
On WordPress there are several plugins that you can use that will automate redirect creation:
If you are using a back-end (back-office) that doesn’t have an option to download a plugin. It will be a bit more difficult to create a redirect but you can watch the video below will guide you through the redirect creation process.
If you deleted the page
This can be tricky. If you deleted the page for some reason (you didn’t need it, it didn’t add value or it was outdated) there are 2 things you can do.
The first option, if you land on a broken page that is an indicator that there is at least one website leading to this site. So you have to allocate the pages and make sure the link is removed.
The second option is to simply create a redirect using a suitable plugin or editing the code (more information in the section above).
Page was deleted by mistake
Things happen – one day you think the page is useless, the other you need it back.
So, how do you get back the page that’s no longer there?
In order to bring back the page and create the redirect you might have to use Wayback Machine – that’s the easiest way to bring back the page that’s gone “missing”.
Wayback Machine is like the history of the World Wide Web – this software records pages from the moment they are born till they are deleted.
Once you find the page that was deleted, you can restore it and create the redirect or match the broken URL.
I hope now you know what is a broken link!
To quickly sum up – a broken link is an indicator that the page you are looking for is no longer there.
To solve your broken link problem simply follow this 3 step approach:
- Find all your broken pages,
- Create the redirect, restore the page or make sure that there are no other resources linking to this page.
I hope now you know what is a broken link and how to deal with it.
Moreover, if you need more of your questions answered visit our SEO FAQ section.