Blogging Advice

A Beginners Guide To Broken Links

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 “broken links” 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.

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 THIS POST 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.

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

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 are a pain in the arse. But if you’re serious about SEO and growing your blog then it’s definitely worth learning about – however boring it is. How do you deal with the broken links on your blog? Pin this post for later:

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

92 Comments

  1. 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

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

    1. Haha it is satisfying when they’re all done! A huge weight off your shoulders!

  2. Fantastic post as always Jenny. I’m pretty crap at keeping on top of broken links so I use a broken links plugin.
    Absolute lifesaver!

    Olivia | http://www.heylittletulip.wordpress.com

    1. It absolutely is!

  3. Blue to Bliss says:

    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!

    1. There really is, it’s hard to stay on top of everything sometimes!

  4. 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

    1. Yesss, that definitely helps! You absolutely can’t let them build up otherwise the task is just too overwhelming!

  5. 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

    1. Yes, don’t go through them manually, you’ll be there till Christmas haha!

      1. Great point!😂

  6. aimsysantics says:

    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?

    Aimsy xoxo
    Aimsy’s Antics

    1. 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!

  7. 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

    1. Thank you – literally the most boring thing you have to do as a blogger!

  8. 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

    1. Very possibly! I’d definitely get them sorted so they don’t build up!

  9. 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.

    Love, Tea

    1. The comments are usually the biggest culprit!

  10. 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!!

    1. 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!

  11. I really need to sort mine out but it’s going to be a huge task! x

    1. It really is, the longer you leave them to build up!

  12. Boss Babe Chronicles says:

    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.

    1. Always the way! I can’t believe I had thousands at one point!

  13. Great post, Jenny! Extremely helpful for us that don’t know any better. 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂

  14. Excellent post!
    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/

    1. Honestly, I would. I jut can’t bare it!

  15. 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!

    1. Thank you! It affects it so much annoyingly. I don’t want to know how many you’ve had in 7 years haha!

  16. Thanks, great to audit on your own website and a good way to build links too x

    1. Definitely.

  17. 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.

    1. There definitely will be. Sadly, comments are usually the biggest culprit!

  18. 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!

    1. 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!

      1. Ahh that makes sense – thank you!

  19. This is a good reminder to sort this out! That plugin sounds really useful – how much does it cost?

    1. It’s free 🙂

  20. Millie says:

    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!

    1. Glad you found it helpful!

  21. 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

    1. The plug in definitely is a good option!

  22. 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?

    1. Yes, I’d delete the comments as it’s always going to hurt your DA!

  23. 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

    1. Definitely always feel better after doing it!

  24. I recently went through and did all of my broken links I was shocked at how they build up!

    1. It’s ridiculous isn’t it!

  25. 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!

    1. Oh no! That’s so annoying!

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