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What are Broken Links? How Do You Find and Fix Them?

Have you ever heard the term broken link? Do you know which type of links are called broken links? A broken link redirects users or Google crawlers to an address where no site exists. This will cause the trust of Google and users towards the site to be lost and the user to leave the site. It is very important to understand what a broken link is and how it affects the site. So, stay with us until the end of this article to know the impact of broken links on SEO and Google ranking.

What is a broken link?

Maybe it happened to you that you asked someone for the address of a place, but after going to that address, you realize that the address is wrong and there is nothing there. Undoubtedly, you will not ask that person for an address again. This happens in websites as well and sometimes linking some sites leads to a 404 page that does not exist at all.

When the website sends your request to the server to open any page, a 404 error is displayed if the server cannot find the desired page. So the links that exist on the website pages but point to the 404 page are called broken links.

Why is there a broken link?

In order to prevent the creation of broken links, it is necessary to first find the main reason for the creation of these links. In general, broken links are formed for the following reasons:

1. Sometimes you may decide to remove a page from your site, but don’t define a replacement for it. At this time, when the user enters the deleted page, he encounters a 404 error.

2. Another reason for a broken link is that you edit the URL of a page on your site. At this time, when a user enters the page through the results of the search page and with the previously deleted address, there is no content and he is faced with a 404 error.

3. Sometimes you may enter the wrong URL when creating a link. This error may be caused by a spelling or typographical error. Any mistake in writing the URL may lead the user to a 404 page.

4. Maybe one of the reasons for the broken link is the failure of your website. This is one of the basic and important problems that must be solved immediately; Because if your entire website crashes, every link to your site will become a broken link. In this case, users cannot visit your site. This problem may be caused by the site’s host or domain. After fixing this problem, your site will restart and the 404 error will disappear.

Types of broken links

As you know, there are two types of links: internal and external links. This condition also applies to broken links, which we will introduce below.

Internal broken link

When the audience on your site clicks on a specific link and is directed to another page of your site, this link is called an internal link. But if the user encounters a 404 error by clicking on the desired link, that link is called an internal broken link.

We just have to point out that internal broken links are easier to manage and in case of failure, you can remove it as soon as possible; Because they are inside your site and it is easier to access them.


External broken link

As you know, the links that refer the user to other sites are called external links. For example, you may be writing the biography of a football player. You may link to that player’s Wikipedia site to provide additional information. This given link is called an external link.

In these cases, if the user clicks on the link and is not redirected to the relevant site and does not reach the requested content, he has actually clicked on a broken external link. A broken external link occurs when:

  • An error occurred in writing the site address and landing page
  • Deleting the desired page on the destination site
  • Change the desired page address on the destination site

In general, broken links create a bad experience for a user who is scrolling through your site. Having a large number of broken links on the site will harm its SEO and reduce site visits to a great extent. Due to the importance of this issue, we are going to investigate the impact of these links on the site’s SEO.

The Impact of Broken Links on-site SEO

Broken internal and external links have a negative impact on the site’s SEO in various ways, among which the following can be mentioned.

1. Links have a great impact on the ranking of the site

Links actually determine the structure of the site and Google determines the site’s rank according to them. So, the more the number of broken links on the site, the more errors occur on the site and Google recognizes your site as a low-quality site. This will decrease your ranking in Google.

2. Google uses links to crawl the web

Google checks the content of your site using its crawling robots, which is called crawling. In fact, Google crawlers use the links on the site to find new content and recognize the structure of the site. So, if there is a broken link on the site, it prevents Google robots from crawling and Google cannot index the site properly. So this is where the importance of checking links is determined and their impact on the site’s SEO is determined.

3. The links are for the movement of the audience on the sites

Now imagine your situation; Are you happy to click on a broken link? Undoubtedly, your answer is negative. It is the same for users. In fact, if the visitor clicks on a link and encounters a 404 error, he will undoubtedly leave the site; This means reducing traffic and reducing site visitors! This event has a negative point for your site’s SEO, which is the cause of user dissatisfaction.

How to Find Broken links?

After you know the impact of broken links on the site’s SEO, you need to use methods to find broken links on the site and fix its adverse effects. There are various tools for this, including the following:


1. Screaming frog tool

Screaming Frog is one of the most widely used SEO tools for checking site problems. This software is easily installed on the computer and shows the broken links. Screaming Frog will check about 500 links for your domain for free.

2. Search console

Another great tool for finding broken links is Google Search Console. For this, you must first click on the “Coverage” option and then go to “Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404”. By clicking on that option, the list of 404 pages of your site will be displayed.


3. Broken Link Checker Chrome extension

You can download this Google Chrome extension and add it to your browser. Also, Check My Links and SEO Minion are other extensions in Google Chrome that you can use to check the status of broken links.


4. online tool

One of the best ways to find broken links is to use All you have to do to use this tool is to log in and enter your domain. After entering the security code, click on find broken link option. Wait for a while until all the broken links on your website are displayed.

5. Manual way to find broken link

One of the easiest ways is to browse all the pages of the site and check all the links. (including the links in the navigation menu, sidebar, footer and anywhere else on the site pages) you must click on each link and wait for where the site will lead you; Great if the link goes to another page on your website. But if this does not happen, the desired link will be a broken link.

6. Using Google Chrome extensions to check broken links

There are many extensions for checking broken links, one of the best of which is Seo Minion. To use this extension, you must search for its name in Google and then enter On this site you can download and then install the plugin. After that, enter the desired site and click on the plugin icon. Then select “Check Broken Links” tab and click on it. The plugin starts checking the links of the site and you can find the broken links using this method.


Methods of fixing broken links

The best method used to fix the 404 error is to redirect them to relevant pages or new addresses. If your 404 pages are not worth redirecting or there is no relevant content on your website, you should create 410 status code for these pages. You can use the following methods to fix broken links.


The First method: using redirect 301 or 410

If you have alternative content, you can use a 301 redirect and direct the audience to a relevant page. Otherwise, you can use the 410 status code for the generated 404 page.


Second method: replacing broken links

To replace and modify these links on pages, there are two modes. One is to link to page 410 and the other is a redirect chain. In the following, we explain the method of correcting both conditions.

If you did a 301 redirect, there is no broken link and this time it becomes a redirect chain. In fact, to prevent this problem from happening, you should replace the previous links in the text (404) with the destination link (redirect link) in the previous step.
But if you created status code 410: This internal link should be removed from the pages altogether.

Why should we care about broken links?

Broken links have a great impact on SEO and site ranking, and it is necessary to pay attention to them. But in general, you should pay attention to broken links, because:

1. According to Google’s statements, internal and external links and their structure have a great impact on the ranking of the site, and if there is a broken link on the site, the traffic of the Google search engine will gradually decrease.

2. By analyzing internal links, Google search engine can get a good understanding of your site and get to know the structure of your site.

3. Using internal links, users can navigate your site and find the information they need through it. If there are broken links, the user faces 404 pages and may leave the site altogether. If this happens, site visits will decrease over time and your site’s rank in Google will decrease


As mentioned, the existence of a broken link on the site has a negative impact on the site’s SEO and causes the site’s ranking to decrease in Google search pages and forces the user to leave the site. But by using the methods mentioned above, you can find the broken links and fix them.