Explore What Broken Links Are and How to Fix Them Properly
A broken link is such a link, when navigating through which the server gives the answer “the page does not exist or is not found”.
The link, document or image requested by the user may not really exist, or may be “lost” due to a malfunction / server or site configuration.
The task of the webmaster and site owner is to ensure that there are no links to non-existing pages, documents and files on the site. In other words, the user, when clicking on any link, is guaranteed to go to the next page and see the expected content there.
Broken links are very bad for the user’s attitude to the site. A person came for information on your site, saw a link on the topic, to find out more information … Clicks on it, but there’s nothing there.
You can not forget about the search engines. Imagine – the search robot goes to your site and regularly stumbles upon broken links. What conclusion should the search engine make in this case?
It will assume that you do not update the content, do not watch the relevance of the information and don’t refer at all to where it is. Accordingly, the MS can also reduce the site in the issuance because of this, if the broken links are large.
The worst thing in broken links is that they are invisible. A rare site owner has a full-fledged analytics – which links and which pages users click on. Webmasters themselves often do not go for their links – wrote a record, published, forgotten. A year or two pass, the webmaster has already forgotten about these links, and some of them turned into broken ones.
Users come to the site on request and want to surf the Internet, but it does not work out – links are not working. And the webmaster does not often know about this. It’s messy.
The Internet is a very dynamic system from its very inception. And the further – the more dynamic.
The number of pages indexed by search engines is growing every day, thousands of new sites are being created, hundreds are ceasing to exist. Well, working sites periodically change CNC, content, add new pages and files, delete old ones.
If your 20 pages and broken links are easy to control, then there can be 10,000 pages on another’s site and you can not control them. Especially if you refer to web documents on several other sites – you can not always keep track of the availability of all links from the site.
How exactly are the broken links appearing on websites on the Internet?
In which cases do they appear:
- If you delete old and unnecessary pages and documents – but on other pages, in other sections there are links to these pages. They become “beaten”.
- If you link to another site and change occurs on it. This can be a change of domain name, site structure or page deletion. The site can move to a domain with .www and do not configure a redirect – in this case the link to the page without .www will also become a bit.
- If the sites have an automatic update of content or other data from an external source – for example, accounting online stores, delivery services or warehouses with data on the Internet. Failures in such systems can be the cause of broken links.
- If the site is processed technically or visually (change of design), the problem arises of transferring content to a new structure. Since there is a lot of data, and technical algorithms can not take into account all the nuances of moving page content – broken links in such cases appear inevitably.
There are several more reasons for the appearance of broken links, but we’ve identified the main ones, and we’ll probably stop here.
The most important thing that a webmaster, a blogger and an optimizer should understand: the appearance of broken links is a natural, irreversible process. The larger your site, the more often you refer to your own or other people’s pages – the higher the probability of broken links on the site.
It is difficult to fight against this (especially on other sites) – so we recommend to periodically monitor their presence on the site. This is more effective.
How to fix, change and delete the broken links on the site?
Hands and only hands. How does this happen.
For example, Wikipedia removes an unnecessary page or combines two pages. You need to change the address in the broken link to lead to a new page.
If the broken link appeared as a result of the fact that the site ceased to exist, you can refer to the same page in the web archive or find an adequate replacement for the old link.
If the broken link appeared because the site is unavailable – check if it lasts a long time. There is always a chance that the problems are temporary and are associated with hosting or DDos.
If you refer to a page of the site, and the structure and CNC have changed on it, your task is to find an old page with a new URL and write it in place of the old one.
If the page is deleted and you can not find a replacement for it or find it at a new address – there’s nothing to be done, you’ll have to remove the broken link altogether.
Approximately so, the link after the link, you will get rid of broken links. Yes, you will have to spend some time. But it is in this way that you show respect and care towards visitors coming to the site from social networks and search engines.
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We created a list of interesting questions and interviewed TOP marketers. This is an interview with Mike Gingerich. Mike is President of Digital Hill Multimedia, a web development & marketing agency.
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