Links to 404 pages are usually called broken or missing links. You may link to another site, but after a while that site becomes inaccessible or stops working. In this case, your link will lead to page 404.
You may also come to a restaurant and order your favorite food after looking at the long list of restaurants. But after waiting for a while, the food order manager tells you that the food you ordered is unfortunately not available right now!
This frustration with the lack of your favorite food in the restaurant is also an example in the world of the Internet.
When you are browsing different sites on the Internet and clicking on a site link, you expect the content you expect to be available on that page; Instead, you will be taken to a page that displays the following message:
The content you requested does not exist on this page!
What is a Broken Link?
The link you clicked on to get to the contentless page is called a Broken Link, and the page you click on is called a 404 or 404 page. Broken links are generally of two categories. One is an internal broken link and the other is an external broken link.
It is necessary to point out that broken links are one of the issues that are talked about in the field of internal link building of the site. You can learn other trainings in the field of internal link building in the link building training workshop.
Internal broken links
When a user clicks on a link on your site and is redirected to another page of your site, it is called an internal link. If a user clicks on a 404 page when they click on your site links, it is called a broken internal link. It goes without saying that these types of links are easier to manage because they are inside your own site, and if they break down, you can delete them quickly.
Broken external links
The links you use to refer to other sites are called external links. Suppose you are writing an article about a famous actor and for more information, you link to that actor’s Wikipedia link. This link is called an external link. But if the user does not get the content he wants after clicking on this link, he has clicked on a broken external link.
Now that you are familiar with the concept of broken links, we want to examine its impact on SEO.
Why exactly do broken links occur?
The famous saying “prevention is better than cure” is true in many cases of daily life. One of its uses is to prevent broken links.
In fact, once you know what causes broken links, you can easily prevent them from appearing on your site. In general, broken links are created for two reasons:
- Edit the URL of a page of your site. When a user enters the page through the results of the search page and with the previously deleted address, no content is shown to him.
- You delete a page from your site but do not define any alternatives. So when a user enters the deleted page, he is faced with a 404 page.
Why should we remove broken links from our site?
Let us give a simple example of this. Suppose your content is linked to a page from another site. After a while, this site will remove the page you linked to from your site. But when Google crawls your site and enters the deleted page, they reach a dead end.
When the number of dead pages or 404 of your site increases, the value of your site decreases from the point of view of search engines and this process will hit your SEO badly in the long run.
Even if we assume that search engines ignore 404 pages, your site will still not receive a passing score from the user’s point of view. But the fact is that it is the users who are the first priority of search engines; Then
If your site does not like the user, Google will consider it a worthless site.
What effect do broken links have on SEO?
One of the most important criteria for Google to determine the quality of a page’s content is the number and quality of links referenced to it. When there is a broken link on one of your pages, its value and credibility are practically lost instead of being redirected to an important page on your site. This will be even more important for the links that other sites have given you.
Getting links from other sites is usually difficult and now a 404 page has lost all its value and credibility, so these links can have a huge impact on your SEO.
2 Ways to Avoid 404 Pages
When you click on a broken link, you enter the 404 error page. But in order to reduce or eliminate the number of these annoying pages in general, the following 2 tips can help you a lot:
- Instead of deleting content, edit it: You’ve probably deleted parts of your site; But instead of deleting a page from your site altogether, the better solution is to edit the content so that users who are redirected to the page through search results will not see the 404 page.
- Use a 301 redirect to direct users to a targeted page: If content is still on your site but has just been redirected or its URL changed, it is best to use a 301 redirect. In this type of linking, instead of encountering painful pages like 404, users are redirected to the content they expect but on another page.
You might think this is where the discussion of broken links ends; If so, then you have overlooked the most important issue with Boken Link:
Correct broken site links
So far we have told you what to do so that your site is not infected with broken links. But what if you are not lucky and there are 404 pages on your site? What steps do we need to take to keep our site away from broken link viruses?
Step 1: Find all broken links on the site
In this step, you must first identify the broken links of your site. There are several tools to do this, and we’ll look at two of the best ones below.
Use the Google Search Console tool
If your site has broken links, you can view them in the Search Console tool and then fix them. We recommend that you do not remove pages with broken links through the remove url in the search console, as this will have a negative impact on your website SEO. Use this tool only to identify 404 pages of your site.
Visit and enter your site address. After entering the displayed security code, click on the find button. In the next step, this site will provide you with a list of broken links of your website as a list by analyzing the site.
Step 2: Repair broken links
After being used by various tools; Once you have identified the broken links on your site, it is time for the most important part, which is to fix them. To do this, the following two solutions are in front of you:
- Replace broken links with new ones: If you have a replacement for your broken links, it is best to replace them with another one in the first place. Replacing new links with broken ones manually can take hours or weeks, depending on the number of broken links on your site.
- Remove links: If you do not have a page that you can use as a replacement for broken page content, you can delete broken links on the site.
According to Google, 404 pages or broken links do not directly affect your SEO; But the fact is that search engines are constantly improving the user experience. So it is better to take all your actions in line with the user’s needs, because user satisfaction in many cases is what Google is always looking for.