Broken internal links are a problem that should not be underestimated as they can negatively affect the results of the SEO strategy adopted.
Broken internal links have an impact on a user’s browsing experience and are also identified by the search engine spiders, which will tend to worsen the ranking of your website. This implies a decrease in organic traffic and negatively affects performance of your website.
In this article I will tell you what broken internal links are, when this type of error may occur it is possible for this type of error to occur and how to find them. In addition, I will show you what their presence means for SEO and I will report some activities to remedy this problem. Finally, I will explain how SysSEO, our Sysplorer module, detects these links and how, in a very simple way, it can help you correct them.
When an internal link is broken?
A broken link is defined as a link that refers to a resource that is no longer available. This means that when a user clicks on the hyperlink he will land on a page that responds with an error of the HTTP status code of type 4xx, that is, content not found, such as 404 or a 5xx error, relating instead to the failure of the server.
We can talk about broken links in two cases:
1 – the first concerns the links relating to an external website that you insert within your content to allow the user to deepen the topic;
2- the second concerns internal links, i.e. the links that you insert within your pages and that refer to other content on your website.
Finally, we can also include the so-called backlinks, i.e. all incoming links, in the “broken links” category. In fact, when you move a content that is mentioned by a third party site and you do not correctly insert a 301 redirect all the benefits deriving from this recognition will be null and void.
There are multiple causes that can lead to this type of error, the most common are:
• Domain changes
• Modification of the CMS
• Graphic restyling
• Structural modification
• Website migration
All operations that may involve moving, renaming or deleting content from your website or content belonging to a third party.
In practice, it happens when you delete an old article and the latter was reported as a hyperlink in another; or when you change the URLs and don’t do a correct 301 redirect. The same happens, as we said before, when the owner of a content you mentioned makes these mistakes, as there will be a link inside your page that leads to an error.
Detecting these problems is difficult, it is considered an error that webmasters commit quite frequently because, due to lack of time or simply because it is considered a secondary activity, checks on the links are not carried out periodically with the right frequency.
Impact of these links on SEO
For SEO links are very important: they allow the user to deepen a topic in which he is already interested and are also positively evaluated by the search engines. Their inclusion in the texts, whether they are internal links and therefore refer to other pages of the site or refer to those of an authoritative site (external link), increases the value of the content and the search engine reward. Backlinks are even more popular: the more citations you get, the more you will be rated as authoritative and the search engine will tend to offer your content to users compared to those of other competitors.
It is therefore understandable how having a broken internal link can negatively impact the positioning in the search engine results. As you can guess, the presence of these links affects the user experience and is also detected by the search engine crawler. In the first case, a user who opens our page and clicks on a link that does not show him the desired content will not only have a negative experience, but will lead him to immediately abandon our website, which he will probably never return to. In the second case instead, the crawler, during its periodic scan, will notice the presence of a broken internal link and the search engine will penalise the content causing it to lose positions among its results.
How to find and correct broken links
What can we do to avoid being penalized for having broken internal links? Regularly check the links within the web pages!
If you own a website with few pages it is not such a difficult activity, you can in fact carry it out manually. All you have to do is click on all the links and check that they open the correct web pages. If not, you will have to search for similar content and update the link or, in the worst case, delete the link.
Remember that, when you perform one of the operations that involve moving your content, you will have to correctly insert the 301 redirect inside the page that points to the new text.
This operation becomes much more demanding, if not impossible, when you own a website with hundreds and hundreds of pages. In this case, it is obvious that the activity cannot be carried out manually and you will therefore have to rely on one of the SEO tools available online. An example of these tools is Screaming Frog, the SEO Spider that scans all the pages of your website and lists if there are links related errors. After this report, all you have to do is correct them manually.
Correct Broken Links with Kleecks
The “traditional” solution that is used to correct broken internal links remains, despite the tools on the market simplify the identification of this problem, an operation that requires several resources to be invested in terms of time to complete and Human Resources.
Kleecks revolutionises all operations related to the world of SEO and beyond, allows the SEO specialist to solve all the problems related to the presence of broken internal links very quickly and in a very simple way.
Kleecks in fact, when you rename or move a page of your website, creates the correct internal links to avoid the error of broken internal links.
How does it work? In case you have deleted a content, thanks to its artificial intelligence algorithms, it searches for a page with the content similar to the one you deleted and create the internal link automatically. It is a setting that you can activate or deactivate at any time. You can decide to modify it manually and Kleecks will simply notify you of the presence of a broken internal link in your content and you can correct it directly without requesting the support of other departments of your company or your web agency.
Correct Broken Links with Kleecks
After having better understood the impact of links in SEO and what it means to have broken internal links in your content, I hope this article has been helpful to understand what are the activities to be done to avoid being penalised by search engines and get a worse the performance for your website.
Always remember to regularly check the status of your links and correct them as soon as possible. Or ask Kleecks ….