Do Broken Links Negatively Affect SEO?

Do Broken Links Negatively Affect SEO? in 2024

In the world of making websites show up better on Google and other search engines (that’s SEO), people who own websites and those who promote them (digital marketers) are always looking for ways to make their websites work better and show up higher in search results.

But there’s something important about SEO that many people don’t pay enough attention to, and that’s broken links.

These are links on a website that don’t work anymore, like when you click on a link and it goes to a page that doesn’t exist or has been moved somewhere else.

This article discusses Do Broken Links Negatively Affect SEO? and why fixing them is important to keep a website healthy and performing well in search results.

Understanding Broken Links:

Broken links can emerge due to various factors, including:

Broken Links

Content Removal or Relocation: When website content is either removed or shifted to a different URL without adequate redirection mechanisms.

Typographical Errors: Mistakenly typed URLs within hyperlinks can result in broken links.

External Sources: Links pointing to external websites may break if the destination page is deleted or if the URL is modified.

The SEO Implications of Broken Links:

Negative User Experience (UX)

Broken links give rise to a subpar user experience. When visitors encounter 404 errors, they are more inclined to exit the site, increasing the bounce rate.

Elevated bounce rates can signal to search engines that the website doesn’t provide valuable content, potentially compromising its rankings.


Crawling and Indexing Issues

Search engine crawlers systematically scan websites for content. The presence of broken links disrupts their crawling process, impeding effective indexing of new content. Consequently, a site’s pages may not appear in search results.

Loss of Link Equity

Inbound links (backlinks) constitute a critical facet of SEO.
When a page with backlinks becomes inaccessible due to broken links, valuable link equity is forfeited, adversely affecting a website’s authority and rankings.

Keyword Relevance and Content Quality

Broken links may compromise the relevance and quality of content.
If content relies on external sources for supporting information, a broken link can render it incomplete or less trustworthy in the eyes of both search engines and users.

Addressing Broken Links

Addressing broken links is essential for maintaining a website’s health and user-friendliness. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to effectively address and fix broken links:

Regular Website Audits

Conduct regular website audits using specialized tools or software to identify broken links. Numerous online tools and plugins exist to serve this specific function.

Site Audits

Prioritize Broken Links

Once you’ve identified broken links, prioritize them based on their importance. Focus on fixing links that are on critical pages or those leading to valuable content.

Update or Replace Broken Links

If you find any broken links within your website, make sure to fix them by updating them with the correct and up-to-date URLs. Also, check that the content you’re linking to is still there and can be easily accessed.

When it comes to broken links pointing to other websites, do your best to find another source or webpage that provides similar information to link to instead. If you can’t find a good alternative, it might be best to just remove the broken link altogether.

Use 301 Redirects

If you’ve moved or deleted content, implement 301 redirects to automatically send users and search engines to the new location or a related page.
This ensures a seamless user experience and preserves link equity.

301 Redirect

Custom 404 Error Pages

Create custom 404 error pages that provide users with helpful information and guidance when they encounter a broken link.

Include links to your website’s main pages or a search bar to help users find relevant content.

404 Error

Proper HTML Syntax

Double-check all hyperlinks in your content to ensure they are correctly formatted and free of typographical errors.

Pay special attention to the URLs, making sure they are accurate and complete.

Update and Maintain Content

Periodically review and update your website’s content to ensure that all linked resources are still active and relevant.

This proactive approach can prevent future occurrences of broken links.

Monitor and Test Links

After addressing broken links, continue to monitor and test your website’s links regularly.
This ongoing maintenance will help catch and resolve new broken links promptly.

FAQS related to Do Broken Links Negatively Affect SEO?

What are broken links, and how is their SEO impact?

Broken links, also known as dead links or 404 errors, are hyperlinks on a website that lead to pages or resources that no longer exist or have been moved.

They negatively impact SEO by causing a poor user experience, disrupting search engine crawling, and potentially reducing a website’s authority.

Do broken links harm user experience, and why is this important for SEO?

Yes, broken links harm user experience because they lead to error pages and frustrate visitors.

High bounce rates, caused by broken links, can signal to search engines that your website provides a poor user experience, which can result in lower search rankings.

How do search engine crawlers react to broken links?

Search engine crawlers, like Googlebot, encounter difficulties when they encounter broken links.

This disruption can prevent them from effectively indexing new content and may result in your web pages not appearing in search results.

Can broken links lead to a loss of link equity, and why is this significant for SEO?

Yes, broken links can result in a loss of link equity. When a page with valuable backlinks contains broken links, the link equity associated with that page diminishes.

This can negatively impact a website’s authority and rankings in search results.

Do broken links affect the quality and relevance of website content?

Broken links can indeed affect the quality and relevance of content.
If content relies on external sources for supporting information and those links are broken, it can render the content incomplete or less trustworthy to both search engines and users.

How can I identify and address broken links on my website?

You can identify broken links by conducting regular website audits using specialized tools or plugins.
To address them, update or replace the broken links, implement 301 redirects when necessary, create custom 404 error pages, and ensure proper HTML syntax in your links.

Is fixing broken links considered an SEO best practice?

Yes, fixing broken links is considered a fundamental SEO best practice.
It contributes to a positive user experience, improves search engine crawling, preserves link equity, and enhances overall SEO performance.


Basically, when you’ve got broken links on your website, it’s not good for your SEO. They mess up how users experience your site, cause problems for search engines trying to find and understand your content, and lower the value of your links.

Plus, they can make your content look less trustworthy. But you can do things to minimize the damage. Keep an eye on your site, use redirects when necessary, and make sure your HTML is all good. If you focus on making sure your users have a smooth ride and your links are in good shape, it’ll help your SEO and boost your rankings in search engines.

If you want to know more about our company, go to the ‘About Us‘ page. And if you have questions, feel free to contact us. If you’re thinking about using our SEO services, you can find all the details by clicking the link we’ve given.

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