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What are broken links?

A broken link is either a link you have included which goes out to content on another site, or a link to a page within your own site. If the link is broken, when a visitor clicks on it they will most likely see an error page telling them that page no longer exists.

This can happen for a number of reasons – the content has been moved or archived, or the name of the page has changed, or the website has closed down. Unfortunately with links to external sites you have no control over what happens to that content.

And it can cause immense problems for your business reputation as customers don’t like being sent to broken links and they are unlikely to come back to your site if that happens to them.

Why do broken links harm your SEO?

Any links you have which go out to other sites, are called outbound links and it can be tricky to keep track of these as you don’t have any control over the pages so might not realise the page you are linking to has been removed.

However, it’s really important that you do check because if your site has a lot of broken outbound links then it can have a negative impact on your SEO. This is because the Google web crawlers, or bots, trawl your site to collect data for your ranking. The last thing they want to do is send users to sites that have broken links.

How do broken links affect customer experience?

Visitors who follow links (which either lead to or from your site) clicked on the link for a reason – they are expecting to see the content behind the link and are interested enough to read it. But if it turns out to be an error page due to a broken link, they will be left disappointed and potentially less trusting of you as your site let them down.

This is why it’s really important to avoid linking out to broken content, and to avoid having pages on your own site which are broken. It’s bad to send customers (and the Google bots) to broken pages as both will have a negative impact on your site experience.

If a customer can’t find what they are looking for on your website then they are highly likely to leave and not come back, and may end up going to your nearest competitor for the information instead so having broken links can really harm your business reputation as well as your website.


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AS A SITE ADMIN I want to be able to use an inbuilt link checker on my Haiku website SO THAT I can periodically run it to ensure that I do not have any broken links internally, or to external websites on my website.