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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.

broken links

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.

Related reads:

Recommended resources:

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.

broken links

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.

broken links

I hope this guide on broken links helped to break down what they are and how you can fix them!

101 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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

    Sophie

  4. 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

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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!!

  13. 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.