How many of you have faced the error “404” while browsing your favorite content online?
So frustrating, right?
This is called a broken link, also known as 404 error. This means that the link you are trying to open is no longer working or is not available anymore. It can happen due to several reasons.
- The page that link was pointing at, has been removed.
- The page has been moved to another location.
- Some wrong link has been entered by mistake, by the web page owner.
These are the major causes for experiencing a broken link. Many fear that if these links exist on a website, then SEO of that website will be hampered. But that’s not true at all. Broken links are not going to effect the SEO front of the website, but it might effect user experience on your website. By witnessing broken links, users might leave your website permanently.
So, how can you avoid all of this? Is there even a way to avoid broken links?
Detect the broken link
The first step of solving this is to make sure where the broken links appear. And for this task, you will find a lot of plugins and software available online. But the best method to detect such links is by using Google’s search console. In the search console for your website, you will find “Crawl errors” in the drop down menu, which will help you detect such broken links easily.
According to Ollie Hill, Broken links hurt SEO a lot. So if your post is losing rankings, make sure to check you don’t have any broken links on your post.
Avoid those links
Once you know which links are broken, you can work on solving the issue. Either remove those links from existence, or move them to a different working page. If you don’t avoid them, somebody who is doing broken link building will approach you to change the links. And this is also a great approach to solve the broken link issues.
Redirecting the broken links is another great strategy to eliminate 404 errors. Edit the HT Access file of your website to create a redirect for a certain broken link. But be careful with the process. Any wrong syntax or mistake will cause you a lot of trouble. So make sure you have used the correct syntax to create a 301 redirect, and double check for any mistakes or errors.