What are Broken Links in Short?
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Last Updated on 24th April 2022 by Ajmer Singh
A broken link can be defined as a place on the internet that you click on to go somewhere else, or the words that describe the possible destination of said link.
Most commonly, these links come in two forms: text links and image links.
Most websites have some sort of example of each type of link which will lead one to another location.
These links enable you to move from page to page or site to site relatively easily by clicking on them.
However, sometimes links need updating.
Perhaps the website changed its structure, maybe it was hacked, or perhaps someone just moved around some files without updating all their links correctly.
When this happens, the link goes bad. If someone clicks on a bad link, they’ll be brought to a 404 Error page.
A broken link will usually appear in any one of the following ways:
a.) No matter how many times you click on it, the link leads to a 404 Error page.
You can check this by right-clicking on the link and seeing where it leads.
If it doesn’t go anywhere or take you somewhere other than where it promised to take you, chances are that there’s something wrong with that specific link.
404 Error is bad for SEO.
b.) An image appears instead of text when you click on your desired destination.
This means that not only is your chosen text anchor incorrect, but so might be the URL listed in its HTML code.
c.) The link leads you to a completely different page.
Even if it’s not an error page or somewhere else on the web, chances are that the site has been hacked and moved its content elsewhere.
In this case, you should contact the owner of the website.
What causes broken links?
The most common cause for broken links is that the owner of a website either does not keep their site up to date,
or someone else has altered the files and URL structure so much that it no longer works.
Other potential reasons for broken links include:
a.) A website could be “taken down” if its content was too controversial or slanderous.
This would be the result of an owner or webmaster deleting all instances of that website on their servers.
b.) The URL listed in the Anchor text could be wrong, causing it to lead nowhere once clicked.
This would mean someone either accidentally typed in the incorrect web address,
or update their site without actually checking whether or not all anchor texts were updated appropriately.
c.) A website could be hacked. If this happens, webmasters should check Google’s list of “Hacked Sites” and see where their website is listed.
If it’s there and not working properly, chances are that someone has altered the code to redirect user traffic elsewhere.
d.) Finally, websites often have a “fallback page” that they display in the event that a user has reached a dead end.
For example, if you click on a link and come up with a 404 error page,
or you click on an image to go somewhere else and text doesn’t appear,
this would be the result of any one of the above options going into effect.
Thanks for reading! Hope our short answers help you.