|How-to||– 9 min read –||September 10, 2019|
What are the broken links, how to find and fix them
What are the broken links?
Error 404 may also be displayed when the server gives a 200 response code (everything is OK, the page is there), but in fact, it's empty or missing. This answer is called a 404 soft error. This happens when a non-existent page doesn't return a 404 code or doesn't redirect to a relevant page.
As a result, non-existent pages will be indexed, which means the site will lose the crawling budget. This is a specific time limit during which search engines scan a web resource. Moreover, if they first crawl incorrect or non-existent pages, the site's visibility will decrease, and the number of visitors will drop.
The reasons for the appearance of broken links can be completely different. The most popular of them are the following:
- the linked resource has been deleted;
- you deleted the page, leaving links to it;
- the landing page changed the address, but the link remains the same;
- when adding a link, some fat-finger was made;
- the auto-update failed due to invalid addresses.
How to check the broken links
A faster and more productive way to identify and eliminate broken links is through special platforms such as Serpstat. The service will help to analyze the site, identify broken links online, and tell you how to fix them.
To audit the site for all errors and broken links, you need to open the list of projects in Serpstat and click "Add new project". In the window that appears, enter the domain of the site (the name will be pulled from the domain, but it can be changed). Select "Site Audit" from the menu. By clicking on the "Start Audit" button, you will be taken to the project settings.
After setting up the site audit, wait for Serpstat to complete the check. After the audit is completed, an audit summary window opens. There you can see all the site errors, grouped by priority. It'll also show the level of domain optimization, a graph of the scan depth and response codes, a redirect graph, and a canonicalization diagram.
How to fix the broken links
You can analyze broken links manually, or you can use search engines or special services, for example, Serpstat. The found broken links need to be fixed and optimized for the user.
This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
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