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Explore What Broken Links Are and How to Find & Fix Them

Explore What Broken Links Are and How to Find & Fix Them broken link checker tool manual

As you know broken links can make a negative impact on your website’s rankings. Websites broken link checker is modified to help you find such internal and external links. The process is easy: enter URL you want to check, press “Start”, get report and correct them immediately.

Our free online tool will:

  1. Check your website or blog for dead hyperlinks (up to 150 pages absolutely free, unlimited with paid plans);
  2. Find errors and make suggestions for better website optimization;
  3. Report error codes (404, 502 etc.) for all bad URLs
  4. Fix users’ usability errors (nobody likes to be redirected to nonexistent page);
  5. Get extra valuable links to your website. (It is called “broken links outreach”);
  6. Tool works online, without need to create an account or download;
  7. Scans both internal and external hyperlinks.

What is a broken link?

A broken link is such an URL, 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 “dead” 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, both external and internal. 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 experience. A person came for information on your site, saw a link on the topic … Clicks on it, but there’s nothing there.

Search engine is another reason to care about broken links. Imagine – the search robot goes to your site and regularly stumbles upon bad links. This will affect on your crawling budget and overall website performance.

The worst thing with broken links is that they are invisible. It’s rare for the site owner to have full-fledged analytics – which hyperlinks and which pages users click on.  A year or two passes and some of the forgotten links have become broken.

Users come to the site on request and want to surf the Internet, but then it does not work out as planned – they are not working. Since the webmaster does not often know about this, it becomes messy.

The number of pages indexed by web search engine is growing every day, thousands of new sites are being created, hundreds are ceasing to exist. Although, working sites periodically change CNC, content, add new pages and files as well as delete old ones.

If your website is less than 20 pages and broken links are easy to control, then there can be 10,000 pages on another’s and it becomes a lot more difficult to control them. Especially if you refer to web documents on several other sites – you can’t always keep track of the availability of all links from the site.

What causes broken links?

In which cases links may become dead:

  • If you delete old and unnecessary pages and documents – but on other pages, in other sections there are links to these pages. They become “broken”.
  • If you link to another site and a 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 not configure a redirect (read about what is a 301 redirect) – in this case the link to the page without www. will also become broken.
  • If the sites have an automatic update of content or other data from an external source – for example, with online stores, delivery services or warehouses with data on the Internet. Failures in such systems can be the cause of dead 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 may not take into account all the nuances of moving page content – broken links happens.

There are several more reasons for links to be broken, but we’ve identified the main ones, and we’ll probably stop here.
The most important thing to consider that is a natural, unstoppable process. The larger your site, and the more often you refer to your own or other people’s pages – the higher the probability of broken links on the site. There is nothing you can do about it but regular checks and fixing.

How to fix, change and delete broken links on the site?

You have to do this manually using your own hands or website crawler tool. How do you go about this?
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 URL appeared as a result of the fact that the site ceased to exist, you can refer to the same page in web archive or find an adequate replacement for the old link.
  • If the bad URL 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 issues or DDos.
  • If you refer to a page of the site, and URL address has changed on it, your task is to find an old page with a new URL definition and write it in place of the old one.
  • If the page is deleted and you can’t find a replacement for it or find it at a new address – there’s nothing that can be done, you’ll have to remove the broken link altogether. To prevent your websites from indexation problems, you should close broken links in robots.txt file. This way they can’t be indexed by search bots. Read our blog post about what is robots.txt and how to manage it correctly.

If you can’t determine dead links to your websites by yourself, you can use free broken links checker. Yes, you will have to spend some time. But by doing this you show respect and care towards visitors coming to the site from social networks and search engines.

What is more, we have some articles on issues with broken links, including ones when Page has broken images, Page with broken CSS files, Pages with links to broken JavaScript files. Follow the guide on how to find and fix the issues.

Also, you can check out the full guide: “How to fix Broken Internal and External Links” by Craig Campbell.

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