Broken links (literally “broken” links) are invalid links that, when clicked by the user, lead literally nowhere. In such cases, the message “404 error – Page not found” is most often displayed. These are mostly pages and posts that the administrator or editor of the website has deleted for some reason, for example, due to outdated information, or their URL has been changed. How much do such things affect SEO ranking?
There are different opinions on whether broken links affect SEO ranking in Google search. According to some sources, Google tolerates broken links and they do not affect the SEO ranking or position in Google searches. Still, it’s better to fix them because they certainly won’t positively impact the user experience. No one wants to go down paths that lead nowhere, to put it pictorially. If you have a large number of broken links on your website, then your bounce rate (or abandonment rate) is likely to be high, which ultimately negatively affects SEO. In any case, it is in the interest of every website owner to fix broken links as this will improve the user experience and SEO ranking in the long run.
How to Identify Broken Links
The easiest way to find broken links is through the Google Search Console. In the left menu under the category “Indexing”, you will be shown the subcategory “Errors in indexing” and there you can see all the broken links or links that Google has identified as invalid.
How to Fix Broken Links
If your site is built on the popular WordPress platform, then there is a very simple way you can fix all broken links, or automatically redirect an invalid link to your homepage and improve your SEO ranking. The solution to this is a great plugin “All 404 Redirect to Homepage” which, as its name suggests, redirects all invalid links to your homepage. The plugin is compatible with the latest version of WordPress and is free and extremely easy to use. So far, there are more than 100,000 active installations. It is actually the simplest solution for SEO redirection.