So what are broken links? Simply put, broken links are links that are broken. A broken link happens when a link is pointing to a page that is no longer there. This page could have been deleted or moved to a new location.
There are two types of broken links:
1). Internal Links: These links point to pages on your blog.
2). External Links: These links point to pages outside of your blog (other websites and blogs).
These blogging tips will show you how to fix both internal and external broken links.
Why You Should Fix Broken Links
Broken links can negatively impact the user experience on your blog. As an example, think about when you're visiting a web page that appears to have exactly what you're looking for, only to be served a 404 error page.
When users are served a 404 error page, they typically don't stick around to find what they're looking for. This means if your blog has a lot of broken internal links, you're missing out on the opportunity to gain loyal readers.
Additionally, in the long-term, having too many broken links on your blog can negatively impact your SEO.
One of the factors Google takes into consideration when ranking your blog is your blogs bounce rate. Your bounce rate is based on how long visitors stay on your blog. The faster people leave your blog, the higher your bounce rate will be. Having a high bounce rate tells Google that people aren't finding what they need when they visit your blog, which in turn can hurt your page ranking.
How to Fix Internal Links
1. In your Google Search Console, go to Crawl > Crawl Errors and click on the Not found tab.
2. Now take a look at the list of crawl errors detected on your blog. If you click on a link, a page will pop-up that shows you where the broken link has been found on your blog.
Here's an example:
I recommend testing the links to make sure they are indeed broken.
3. Once you've identified your broken links, you can start creating 301 redirects for them using the Redirection plugin. A 301 redirection simply redirects your broken link to a relevant link of your choice.
You don't have to do this for every single crawl error. Try to focus on the errors that you can redirect to other relevant pages.
After you've set your redirect, mark as fixed in the Search Console.
How to Fix External Links
To fix the broken external links on your blog, you can use the Broken Link Checker plugin. This plugin scans your blog for external broken links and gives you the option to either:
- Edit the link
- Remove the link (keeps the text) or
- Leave the link as it is
If you've never gone through and fixed the broken links on your blog, the first time you do it, it can be tedious. Especially when you're fixing your internal links.
I recommend checking your blog for broken links about once a month to keep your site nice and tidy.
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