Broken Link Building Strategy: How to Find and Fix Broken Links

Have you ever clicked on a promising link, only to be greeted by the dreaded “404 error”? This frustrating experience is a dead end for users and a missed opportunity for website owners. But fear not! There’s a simple solution: learn how to fix broken links and transform those dead ends into SEO opportunities. Enter the hero of our story: broken link building, an SEO strategy that turns lost connections into ranking power.

To find broken links, use Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, or Google Webmaster Tools to scan for errors. Once identified, either restore the original page or redirect the broken URL to a relevant active page. Furthermore, this enhances user experience and can improve your site’s SEO by reclaiming lost link equity.

This article will guide you on how to find and fix broken links like a pro!

5 Ways to Find Broken Links

Several techniques can be used to find broken links:

1. Use Website Crawling Tools

To check for broken links on your website, use crawling tools such as Screaming Frog, Ahrefs Site Audit, or SEMrush Site Audit.

semrush site audit-

These tools thoroughly analyze your website, finding any links that lead to broken or error-filled pages.

2. Analyze Google Search Console

This tool extensively analyzes your page’s crawl issues, including broken links. Go to the “Coverage” or “Crawl Errors” area and look for URLs that give soft 404 or 404 return problems.

3. Manually Check Internal Links

Scroll through each page of your website to manually check that all internal links lead to the correct places. Additionally, navigator menus, footer links, and within-page references require special attention.

4. Use Broken Link Checkers Online

You can enter your website’s URL and have it scanned for broken links using some internet programs, such as Dead Link Checker and BrokenLinkCheck.com.

Dead Link Checker-

These tools give you a fast summary of your website’s broken links.

5. Analyze Backlink Profiles

Using Analytic or Ahrefs, examine your website’s backlink profile. Moreover, find any broken external links to your website and request updates or replacements to the linked domains.

Backlink Checker-SEO

By using these techniques regularly, you can maintain your website’s reputation, optimize user experience, and boost SEO performance by identifying and fixing broken links.

Types of Broken Links

A “404 Page Not Found” error is the internet’s way of saying, “Sorry, nothing to see here.” This message suggests the missing page might just be lost, not gone for good.

But it’s not the only error in the game; other 4xx codes can also signal a breakdown in link integrity:

  1. 400 Bad Request: Imagine typing a URL slightly wrong. For example, you meant to visit https://www.example.com/products/product123 but ended up typing https://www.example.com/products/product123/. This extra slash can confuse the server, resulting in a 400 error because the request doesn’t make sense to it.
  2. 410 Gone: A firm “gone for good” sign is presented by the internet’s 410 Gone code. Unlike the ambiguous 404, a 410 status code is declared, indicating the permanent deletion of the page and its inability to be restored.
  3. Link Refused: Sometimes, a server might just shut the door on your request. This could be due to high traffic or site maintenance. It’s like showing up at a store during business hours only to find the doors unexpectedly locked.

Recognizing and resolving these different broken links is crucial for keeping a website accessible and enhancing the user experience.

How to Fix Broken Links?

You must locate any broken links on your website before attempting to fix them (assuming there are any).

Thankfully, you don’t have to click every link on your website yourself to check if it’s broken. You can use a variety of tools to evaluate the current state of your incoming, outbound, and internal links.

Initially, I suggest using premium tools like Semrush’s Backlink Audit or Site Audit. You can also utilize the Broken Link Checker, SEO PowerSuite’s Link Assistant, or Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider.

Google Analytics-

Google Analytics may be used for free to identify broken links in case of a tight budget.

1. Update or Replace Broken Links- How to fix broken links

When a link on your website leads nowhere, the fix can be simple. If the broken link is internal, search your site for the correct page or URL and update the link.

link building-

For example, update the hyperlink accordingly if a link pointing to www.yoursite.com/old-page is broken and the content has moved to www.yoursite.com/new-page. If an external link is broken, you could create content similar to what was on the broken link’s page and ask the referring site to update the link to point to your new content.

2. Implement 301 Redirects- How to fix broken links

301 redirects are your go-to solution for permanently moved or renamed pages. Additionally, they reroute traffic from the old URL to the new one while transferring SEO benefits.

How to Fix Broken Links-

For instance, if you decide to consolidate two similar product pages into one, you would set up a 301 redirect from the less popular page to the more popular one. This ensures visitors and search engines are directed to the right page, maintaining your site’s usability and rankings.

3. Enhance User Experience with Custom 404 Pages- How to fix broken links

Instead of letting users hit a dead end with a standard 404 error, create a custom 404 page that helps them find what they need. Include a friendly message, links to your homepage, popular products, or a search bar.

404 broken link- How to Fix Broken Links-

For example, if a user lands on a broken link, your custom 404 page could feature a message like, “Oops! We can’t find the page you’re looking for. Try these links or search for what you need,” followed by helpful options.

4. Optimize Link Equity with Canonical Tags- How to fix broken links

Canonical tags help manage multiple pages with similar content by telling search engines which version is the “main” one. This prevents SEO issues related to duplicate content.

For example, suppose you have two versions of a product page (one for mobile and one for desktop). In that case, applying a canonical tag to the preferred version consolidates link equity and improves search rankings, ensuring search engines index the version you consider most important.

5. Regular Link Audits and Maintenance- How to fix broken links

Regularly scanning your website for broken links is crucial for maintaining a seamless user experience and robust SEO performance. Additionally, tools like Google Search Console or Ahrefs can help detect broken links. 

google search console

For example, an audit reveals broken links on your monthly blog posts. In that case, you can quickly fix them by updating the links or setting up redirects, thus preserving the user experience and your site’s authority.

Conclusion- How to fix broken links

Leverage your website’s SEO and enhance your online reputation with the broken link-building strategy expertly executed by Rathore Agency. We efficiently deliver tangible results, leveraging advanced techniques to boost your web presence.

Don’t let broken links drag your site down. Connect with Rathore Agency today and see how our expertise in broken link construction can propel your business forward.

Contact us now to start optimizing your site’s performance!

FAQs

What is the best practice for broken links?

Regular monitoring and quick correction are key components of the best-broken link management strategy. Identify broken links on your website with tools, then quickly update URLs or redirect users to the appropriate pages to fix them. Also, a unique 404 error page should be designed to offer alternate navigation options and guide users through the problem.

How to build a broken link?

To intentionally generate a broken link, you can change an existing page's URL or remove it completely. You can also remove the link between a page and its destination or source. Ensure the link looks genuine to increase the possibility that someone else will mention it. On the other hand, you should carefully evaluate the legal consequences and potential outcomes, such as damaging your website's image.

Does Broken link building still work?

Yes, creating broken links is still an effective strategy for raising your website's search engine ranking and obtaining backlinks. You may obtain useful backlinks and help webmasters maintain the quality of their websites by pointing out broken links on reputable websites and providing relevant replacement content. To produce results, though, dedication and moral behavior are necessary.

How do you optimize broken links?

Use broken link checkers or Google Search Console to inspect your website regularly to optimize broken links. As soon as possible, fix broken links by changing URLs or setting up diversions. Design a unique 404 error page that directs people and provides alternate navigation alternatives to improve user experience and SEO.

What are the different types of broken links?

Broken links come in many forms, such as Soft 404s, Redirect Chains, Timeout Errors, 404 Not Found errors, and Connection Refused problems. Each class indicates a separate set of issues with servers or link locations.

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