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I am aware that this could possibly be the most BORING post I ever write. I contemplated not bothering but I asked on Twitter whether a post specifically about broken links would be helpful and the large majority said yes so here we are. Grab some tooth picks to keep your eyes open with, things are about to get reaaaal dull.
Photo by Uby Yanes on Unsplash
I am kidding… I hope. I’ll try and make this as exciting as possible. Like how math teachers try and make decimals and fractions exciting by using various fruits in their examples. I was absolutely rubbish at math so clearly that didn’t work for me.
Anyway, onto broken links. Yay. You’ve probably heard the phrase before and it was probably from people moaning about them on Twitter. Heck, it was probably ME moaning about them. Broken links can be a royal pain in the arse. They’re often mentioned alongside things like DA and SEO.
- Blog DA Score: What Is It? Why Is It Useful? How Can You Improve It?
- A Beginners Guide To SEO For Bloggers
- Why You Should Be Internally Linking In Your Blog Posts
And if you’re new to all of this you’re probably wondering what the heck all these letters stand for and why I’m shouting them at you. If that’s the case, I’d probably start by checking out the post linked above I wrote last year on Domain Authority, why it’s important and how you can improve the DA score of your blog.
If you’re new to SEO, I’d recommend checking out Dana Nicole’s FREE SEO workshop for a decent lesson on the basics of SEO. And once you’re caught up with that, let’s dive into the basics of broken links, an overview of what they are, how they can affect your blog and how to get shot of them.
What are broken links?
Broken links are essentially what they say on the tin. A link. That is broken.
For example: You featured a product on your blog from a brand 3 years ago and linked to that specific product on the brands website. In those 3 years, the brand went bust and shut down their website. Therefore, if a reader clicks onto that link through your blog, they’re not going to get anywhere.
Broken links can be problematic for website visitors, as they’re not able to access the page, product or resource they want.
Reasons for broken links are:
- The URL was entered incorrectly by the website owner
- The website removed the linked page (e.g a brand removed the product you linked to)
- The website no longer exists (the brand you linked to shut down the website completely)
- Deleting, renaming or moving pages and files and not updating your internal links
- You can also get broken links from blog comments of people that either A) have incorrectly entered their URL wrong when leaving a comment. The comment will continue to show up but at the same time, they’ve given your blog a broken link. Or B) when it’s an old comment and the blog no longer exists.
Why do they affect my blog?
Broken links can affect the DA score of your blog and your SEO efforts because websites with broken links aren’t considered reliable by Google and search engines. One way search engines rank websites is by crawling your links. If your blog has loads of broken links, that essentially wastes crawlers time and money which could be used on links which weren’t broken, therefore harming harming the rankability on search engines.
Although Google won’t punish you for having a broken link or two. It’s when they start to build up is when it can become bothersome. But the trick is to NOT let them build up, like I did. Rookie mistake.
How can I get rid of them?
Manually: I wouldn’t recommend this, especially if your blog has a lot of posts but if you’re a relatively new blogger with not many posts and can’t download plug-ins then it’s worth doing. Trawling back through your old posts and clicking on anything you linked to make sure it’s a-okay. If not, simply edit the post and either update the link or un-link it completely.
Free broken link checker: There’s free broken link checkers you can use which are really helpful tools. However these free tools usually only show your first X amount of broken links, usually 300 or so. HOPEFULLY you don’t have any more than the limit they show… I did. I had more. A LOT MORE.
Broken link checker plug-in: This is what I use and my life is 10x better for it. If you can download plug-ins, I’d highly recommend searching for “broken link checker” and downloading one which will make your life a whole lot easier!
Pay someone to do it for you: Before I had the plug-in, I did this. Because my broken links were getting so out of hand and I couldn’t do it by myself. Which, FYI, is okay. We’re only human. There’s probably a much more tech-savvy person out there who can fix your broken links much quicker than you can. If you don’t have the time or the skill and have the money to spare, then do it.
[…] link checkers you can use which are a good place to start with this one and you can check out my beginners guide to broken links for more information on this […]
I can’t thank you enough for this Jenny! I used the free checker and oh my goodness I had so many! I guess because I got my own domain. I fixed my broken links, didn’t even take an hour and voila checked my DA today and it has gone up!
Amazing! So happy for you 🙂
[…] A Full Beginners Guide To Broken Links […]
First of all your post is so very helpful. I’ve seen this post floating around on Twitter for a while and today I had plenty of time to check it out. I have learned a lot about broken links and DA from your post! My website had tons of broken links that I hadn’t realized and because of your post I was able to go and fix them today. Of course I will be monitoring my links more closely now. Thank you so much for sharing this!
So glad you found this helpful and well done for fixing all the broken links!
I’m going through a lot of your blog advice posts today and making notes and I must say it has all helped SO much! So thank you for providing these resources, they’re so concise and easy to understand.
You’re so welcome! Glad you’re finding them helpful 😌
Thanks for the info
You’re welcome 🙂
[…] to get involved (and why wouldn’t you?) don’t be shy and consider yourself nominated!! (Jenny in Neverland, Mostly Blogging, Brother’s Campfire, Snapshotsincursive, beetleypete, mental health, […]
Hi Jenny I love your article about broken links, wishing you a cheerful day!
your blog is great information, Because i following the your tips today. thanks
Haha Jenny you crack me up. This wasn’t a boring post at all though, sorry to tell you. I use a website although I do always find it a bit annoying about the limit. However I downloaded a broken link plugin and my hosting company told me they don’t like us to use them as they really slow your blog down?! So I never know whether to download it temporarily and uninstall it again after haha!
Oh really, I wasn’t aware of that. I’ve had a plugin for a while and the speed seems to be okay? xxx
I HATE broken links – they SUCK!
I tend to check once a month to see if I have any broken links since I make gift guide posts pretty frequently!
Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived
They’re a pain in gift guides!
It’s possible I’ve commented on this post before, but it’s so blooming helpful! I found broken links I didn’t know I had thanks to you!!
So glad this helped!
Thank you for sharing this! Now I’m past the one year mark and I’ve learned a bit more about SEO fixing broken links is now on my to-do list! X
Yay! Glad this helped 😌
broken links are the bain of my life!
I know right!
Broken links are like a never ending chore in the back of my mind alllll the time right now.I foolishly thought that because I don’t link to products that often that I wouldn’t have many and it wouldn’t be a big deal. Wellllll all of those bitches who no longer blog or changed their domain really did me dirty (I’m kidding, kind of…) because I had hundreds. Deleted about half over 2 days which I was quite proud of. Then I downloaded a broken link plugin which apparently doesn’t seem to work because it only ever seems to find a couple but I still have over 100 to deal with when I run a check on an external website so I’m back to trying to delete as many as I can manually. I might have resolved the situation by 2025…x
Crikey! Those bitches 😂😂 Comments are always the worst!
There’s an option I use that finds mine for me without having to do it manually. I think I’d be sick of my life otherwise.
Hahah manually just is like hell on Earth
Thank you for sharing this! This was so helpful! I’ll have to schedule some time to use one of those resources to find my own broken links.
Hope you get around to it soon!
I’m a bit scared to check and see just how many broken links I’ve got 😮 I’ve been meaning to update SEO on posts that were written before my migration to WordPress, & work on broken links at that time. BUT. I’ve been so busy :’) Spring cleaning is nigh, so I’m hoping to crack on with this task soon x
It’s a huge task I don’t blame you for putting it off!
I did a broken link check a couple of months ago and I had about 150! It’s so surprising how many conjure up on our blogs over time! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
I know! They quickly add up!
I so needed this post as you well know! I think mine are pretty much sorted for the moment! PHEW! xx
I have broken link checker that works wonders for me!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
Glad to hear that!
This is a very useful post because many people don’t even realise that broken links can affect their SEO. I use a broken link checker plugin and I receive an email every time a broken link is found on my blog – this way I can deal with it straight away and I never let them build up!
What plug in is this?
it may not be the worlds most exciting topic but it’s one we bloggers need to know about! Thank you!
I really need to check my links as haven’t done it in over a year! x
broken links are such a pain in the arse! x
They definitely are!
Thanks for this, I hope to get mine all sorted soon
Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes
You’re welcome, I hope you do too!
I keep meaning to sort mine out, you’ve motivated me! x
Hope you manage to get around to it soon!
[…] via A Beginners Guide To Broken Links — Jenny in Neverland. […]
Hmm, I expect I have some broken links hanging around. It is harder to fix links to other sites, since you do not know if the link has changed, but, since old content is often read, it is good to touch up as many posts as you can.
Thanks for sharing this conscious tip to fixing broken links!
This is such a great post. I didn’t really know that broken links affect your DA. I am very new to SEO and I am trying to figure it out. Thanks so much for sharing all this info!
You’re welcome. Yes, it definitely does affect it, unfortunately!
I’ve been giving my blog a bit of an overhaul recently and sorting out my broken links was top of the list. A boring but also weirdly satisfying job haha! Super useful post 🙂 x
Haha it is satisfying when they’re all done! A huge weight off your shoulders!
Fantastic post as always Jenny. I’m pretty crap at keeping on top of broken links so I use a broken links plugin.
It absolutely is!
Very helpful information. I am scanning my website now and looking at plugins. There is so much to do as a blogger, it is a great reminder to stay on top of broken links. Thanks!
There really is, it’s hard to stay on top of everything sometimes!
When I first checked my broken links I was there all day doing it and then I decided to try and go through them twice a month so it wouldn’t take so long every time and that really helped! X
Yesss, that definitely helps! You absolutely can’t let them build up otherwise the task is just too overwhelming!
Not boring at all Jenny, in fact, very informative. I had no idea broken links affect your domain authority. Since I don’t have my domain yet, I’ll use the free broken link checker to make sure my site is on point. I have over 170 posts so going through manually will be too much😂 thanks for the awesome tips!
Natonya | https://JustNatonya.wordpress.com
Yes, don’t go through them manually, you’ll be there till Christmas haha!
This is something that I always forget to check so I probably have loads building up now. Is there a plug-in that you like the most for checking?
I used to use a brilliant one but sadly it stopped working so I’d just type in “broken link checker” in the plug in search and try and few!
Broken links are the WORST! So time consuming and boring, BUT it feels so good when you finally get them all boxed off! So great for our DA too 🙂 This is such a helpful post gal – it’s reminded me to get my endless broken links in check haha x
Thank you – literally the most boring thing you have to do as a blogger!
My DA dropped and is now stagnant so I’ve been suspecting it could be broken links. This is so helpful, i dont have the time to do it all manually either!
Ash | thisdreamsalive.com
Very possibly! I’d definitely get them sorted so they don’t build up!
This was a really good post. I always have an eye on the link in my posts, but I never thought about the comments. Thank for sharing.
The comments are usually the biggest culprit!
Thank you for this! I’m a new blogger and posts like these are always so helpful. I really liked your DA post too.
I had to laugh when you wrote about math teachers trying to make fractions exciting by using fruits etc. I’m a math teacher and am guilty of this LOL!!
Oh my god hahaha! So glad you weren’t offended by that comment but it’s SO true! Why do you always use fruit haha!
I really need to sort mine out but it’s going to be a huge task! x
It really is, the longer you leave them to build up!
It’s like you read my mind with this post. I just deleted all the broken links on my blog about an hour ago! I need to make it a habit to check on them more often, though. I had way more than I’d like to admit.
Always the way! I can’t believe I had thousands at one point!
Great post, Jenny! Extremely helpful for us that don’t know any better. 🙂
Thank you 🙂
I really need to schedule in and do it once a month haha although my blog now has so many pages that I might just pay someone to do the lot.
Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/
Honestly, I would. I jut can’t bare it!
OMG. After 7 years, do you even KNOW how many broken links my blog has had?? It’s INSANE.
I didn’t realize that it could affect the blog so much until I read your post a few months ago about DA score (it’s so low, I cry) and how to bring it up.
I have the plugin, which helps with redirects as well.
Thanks for the post! It will be very helpful for many!
Thank you! It affects it so much annoyingly. I don’t want to know how many you’ve had in 7 years haha!
Thanks, great to audit on your own website and a good way to build links too x
Okay, I had no idea that links left in comments could affect my DA. I’ve been actively checking my posts for any broken links but never gave a thought to the comments. I’m going to download that add-on and see if there are any within the comments section that are broken.
There definitely will be. Sadly, comments are usually the biggest culprit!
What do you do when the broken link is someone’s blog? Obviously ones in your post you can edit but can you edit those? Yeah I needed this, aha, dread to think what mine is like… a job to do for sure, thanks for this!
I delete the comments – you can’t edit the links I don’t think or if you can, it’ll take so long, so I just delete it!
Ahh that makes sense – thank you!
This is a good reminder to sort this out! That plugin sounds really useful – how much does it cost?
It’s free 🙂
Whilst the topic isn’t exactly exciting, thank you for writing about it! Broken links was something I was confused about but I am defo going to get sorting any now!
Glad you found it helpful!
It may be a ‘boring’ subject but this is so useful! I also let my broken links build up for ages, and only recently realised I needed to fix them. I used a free broken link checker, but a plug-in sounds like it would be easier so I’m going to search for one now. x
The plug in definitely is a good option!
This is a really useful post. I’ve been meaning to check my broken links for ages but never got round to it so this gave me the push I needed.
I’ve just checked and most of my broken links are in the comments. I’ve had my blog for 5 years so I’ve got a lot of comments from people who left links to blogs which don’t exist anymore. Is it better to delete these comments to get rid of the broken links? I feel bad deleting nice comments that people took the time to leave me but is this hurting my DA etc?
Yes, I’d delete the comments as it’s always going to hurt your DA!
I went through and removed loads of broken links last week and now I feel so much better for it! I always dread doing it but it’s worth it xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
Definitely always feel better after doing it!
I recently went through and did all of my broken links I was shocked at how they build up!
It’s ridiculous isn’t it!
This was actually really helpful! I didn’t realise broken links could effect so much! I literally linked something the other day on my blog and the website already removed the page / messed it up or something? Idk 😭😭 I’m gonna try the free broken link checker because I don’t know how to download plugins! Thanks for sharing!
Oh no! That’s so annoying!