Search engines are one of the best free sources of targeted traffic for blogs and websites. Because of this many website and blog owners pay great attention and invest lot of time, work and even money in making their web presence as more search engine friendly as possible.
There are many things associated with on page and off page SEO and they all require lots of time and hard work to implement but in the end over long term they bring in the benefit of better search engine ranking and as a result more targeted traffic.
However there are also many things that can damage search engine rankings of a website or blog, which fortunately that can be fixed by blog owners. One of the things that can cause damage to blog are broken links.
What are broken links?
Broken links are links that point to sites that do not exist. If a visitor clicks on a broken link instead of going to the intended webpage he will get 404 error which means that the webpage does no longer exist or maybe it is temporarily offline. If the webpage is temporarily offline then the link is not really a broken link because it’s normal that websites sometimes go offline. However if the webpage has been permanently removed then the link pointing to the url can be considered broken.If the webpage has been removed than the broken link can cause damage to your blog or website.
First of all broken links are against Google guidelines. You can read the following sentence “Check for broken links and correct HTML”. Search engine spider constantly crawl your site and if the find broken links then they will downgrade the quality score of your website. This will contribute to lower search engine rankings, less visitors, sales, earnings, subscribers etc.
Another thing that broken links can damage is the user experience of the visitors. Visitors will be annoyed if they click on a link on your blog and instead of going to a webpage wit relevant information they get 404 error. If the visitors are dissatisfied with your blog there are less chances they will be coming back. Simply put broken links are hated by both people and search engines. So the question is how to remove them?
One of the ways is to check all the links in all your posts by clicking on them personally and remove those that will give a 404 error message. The downside is the fact that if you have many posts that will take you a lot of time to go through all of your posts.
Fortunately there are other ways to check for broken links. There are online tools you can use to check your blog or website for broken links. Some of the tools you can use are: IwebTool Broken Link Checker brokenlinkcheck.com and linktiger.com.
If your blog is WordPress powered then you should download Broken Link Checker plugin that will find broken links on your blog. Broken Link Checker plugin finds broken links in posts, comments, blogroll, pages and custom fields as well as missing images and notifies you via email or dashboard. This plugin also allows blog owners to fix broken links directly from dashboard without navigating to individual posts and pages.