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Troubleshooting Broken Links for Better SEO(Ultimate Guide In 2022)

Hello there!

One of the most important aspects of SEO is ensuring your links are working correctly.

If you have broken links on your website, it can hurt your ranking on Google and other search engines.

In this guide, I will walk you through how to troubleshoot links for better SEO and cover everything from identifying link problems to fixing them permanently.

Let’s get started!

The basics

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Broken link

A broken link is defined as any link that does not function correctly or does not lead to the intended destination website.

Types Of Broken links

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There are several different types of broken links, including:

1. Dead internal links – These are links from your website that do not work correctly or lead to the wrong page.

2. Dead external links – These are links from external websites that no longer work.

3. Link rot – This is when the page or website a link is pointing to has been completely redesigned, and the URL no longer works properly.

4. Links with redirects – Redirects are temporary URL changes that can cause broken links if they aren’t updated correctly.

5. Malicious code – Broken links can also be caused by malicious code, such as viruses or malware, that affect your site’s coding and functionality.

It is imperative to always fix any broken links on your website because they can have a negative impact on your SEO.

This means that even if you have fantastic content, that content might not be ranking correctly due to broken links.

Here are the steps to fixing Dead internal links

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  • 1. Identify the broken link using a tool like Broken Link Checker or Screaming Frog.
  • 2. Once you have identified the broken link, fix it by either updating the URL if possible or removing the link if necessary.
  • 3. After fixing any broken links on your website, run another check to ensure they are all working correctly.

Here are the steps on how to run a link report using Broken Link Checker:

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  • 1. Open your web browser and go to the Broken Link Checker website.
  • 2. In the ‘Insert URL(s)’ field, enter the URLs for your website that you would like to check for broken links.
  • 3. Click ‘Check Now.
  • 4. The results will be displayed on a new page, including all broken links and any notes about any redirects or canonical errors on those pages.
  • 5. After fixing any broken links, run another link report to make sure they are all working properly before resubmitting your site to search engines and directories.

Here are the steps on how to run a link report using Screaming Frog:

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  • 1. Open up Screaming Frog and enter the website URLs you want to check for broken links.
  • 2. Click ‘Check’ to start scanning your site for any broken links.
  • 3. The results will be displayed on a new screen, including all broken links, as well as information about canonical errors or redirects if applicable.

Here are the steps to fixing Dead external links

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  • 1. Identify the broken link by using a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush.
  • 2. Once you have identified the broken link, contact the external website owner and ask them to update their link with your new URL.

Here is an email template you can use:

hello ________,

I am writing to let you know that one of the external links on your website is currently broken. 

The link in question is to the following URL: ____________. 

I have updated this link with a new, working URL: _________________. 

If you are able to update your link to reflect this new URL, it would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Sincerely, _________

  • 3. After fixing any broken external links on your website, run another check to make sure they are all working correctly.

Here are the steps on how to run a link report using Ahrefs:

atractive woman working on a report
  • 1. Go to the Ahrefs website and sign up for a free account.
  • 2. Enter the URL of your website and hit “Site Explorer”.
  • 3. Under the “Backlinks” section, select “Broken” from the dropdown menu and click on “Details”.
  • 4. Review the report for any broken links, and make any necessary changes to fix them.

Here are the steps on how to run a link report using Semrush:

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  • 1. Go to the Semrush website and sign up for a free trial account.
  • 2. Enter the URL of your website, go to “Backlink Analytics” from the left-hand menu, and click on “External” under the “Linked Domains” section.
  • 3. Review the report for any broken links, and make any necessary changes to fix them.
  • 4. Run another check to ensure all of your external links are working correctly.

Here are the steps to fixing a Link Rot

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  • 1. Identify the broken link by using a tool like ahrefs or Semrush.
  • 2. Once you have identified any link rot issues, create a new version of the content that is on the outdated URL and replace it with your updated version
  • 3. Run another check to make sure that all links are working correctly after updating an outdated page/URL.

Here are the steps on how to run a link rot scan using Ahrefs:

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  • 1. Go to the Ahrefs website and sign up for a free account.
  • 2. Enter the URL of your website and go to “Broken links” from the left-hand menu.
  • 3. Run a link rot report using Ahrefs, which will show you all broken and outdated links on your website that need to be fixed or updated.
  • 4. After updating any pages with outdated URLs, run another link rot report to make sure that all of your links are working properly.

Here are the steps on how to run a link scan rot using Semrush:

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  • 1. Go to the Semrush website and sign up for a free trial account.
  • 2. Enter the URL of your website, go to “Backlink Analytics” from the left-hand menu, and click on “Links” under the “Total Backlinks” section.
  • 3. Review the report for any broken or outdated links, and make any necessary changes to fix or update them.
  • 4. Run another link rot report using Semrush to make sure that all of your external links are working properly after updating any pages with outdated URLs.

Here are the steps to fix links redirects

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  • 1. Identify any links that are using redirects by using a tool like ahrefs or Screaming Frog.
  • 2. Update the link with a permanent redirect to your target page/URL, or find an alternative way to fix the broken link.
  • 3. Run another check to make sure that all links are working properly after updating an outdated page/URL.

Here are the steps on how to fix a link redirect using Ahrefs:

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  • 1. Go to the Ahrefs website and sign up for a free account.
  • 2. Enter the URL of your website and go to “Redirects” from the left-hand menu.
  • 3. Run a link redirect scan using Ahrefs, which will show you all broken or outdated links that need to be fixed or updated due to redirect issues.
  • 4. After fixing any links with redirect issues, run another link redirect scan to make sure that all of your links are working properly after updating an outdated page/URL.
  • 5. Repeat these steps periodically as needed to keep your links working correctly and avoid any further link rot issues on your website.

Here are the steps on how to fix a link redirect using Screaming Frog:

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  • 1. Go to the Screaming Frog website and sign up for a free account.
  • 2. Enter the URL of your website, go to “Crawl” from the left-hand menu, and click on “Redirects” under the “Internal” section.
  • 3. Run a link redirect scan using Screaming Frog, which will show you all broken or outdated links that need to be fixed or updated due to redirect issues on your website.
  • 4. After fixing any links with redirect issues, run another link redirect scan using Screaming Frog to make sure that all of your links are working properly after updating an outdated page/URL on your website.
  • 5. Repeat these steps periodically as needed to keep your links working correctly and avoid any further link rot issues on your website.

Here are the steps to fix broken links due to malicious code

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1. Identify any links that are broken due to malicious code by using a tool like ahrefs or Screaming Frog.

2. Remove any malicious code from your website and update your existing content to ensure that it is free from viruses or malware.

Here are a couple of applications you can use to run a malware check on your website:

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1. Wordfence Security 

2. Sucuri SiteCheck

3. Google Search Console’s Malware Scanner

4. Web Inspector by SiteGuarding

5. Bitdefender TrafficLight for Chrome and Firefox

3. Run another check to make sure that all links are working properly after updating your website with new, clean content.

Frequently Asked Questions About Broken Links

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What are the reasons for broken links?

Broken links can occur for a number of different reasons, including malicious code or redirects from outdated pages or URLs.

How often should I run checks to ensure that my website is free from broken links?

You should run regular checks on your website to identify and fix any broken links as soon as possible.

Depending on the size of your website and how frequently you update your content, this may vary from several times per week to a few times per month.

Does my Weebly site check for broken links?

Yes, there are a number of online tools and applications that you can use to check for broken links on your Weebly site.

Does my Worpress site check for broken links?

Yes, there are a number of plugins and tools that you can use to check for broken links on your WordPress site.

Some popular options include the Broken Link Checker plugin, the W3 Total Cache plugin, and the Google Search Console’s Malware Scanner.

Does my Wix site check for broken links?

Yes, there are several online tools and applications that you can use to check for broken links on your Wix site.

Some popular options include the Broken Link Checker plugin, the Google Search Console’s Malware Scanner, and Sucuri SiteCheck.

What to do when a link is not opening?

There are a few possible causes when a link is not opening, such as broken code or incorrect URL formatting.

If you are experiencing this issue on your website, you may want to run a link redirect scan using a tool like Screaming Frog or ahrefs to identify and fix any broken links.

You may also want to check your website for malicious code or outdated content that could be causing the problem.

You can try refreshing the page or clearing your browser cache to see if that fixes the issue.

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that some external links may simply be down for maintenance and will eventually start working again on their own.

In these cases, there is often no need to take any action and you can simply wait for the link to start working again before attempting to fix it.

However, if the link continues to be broken after a reasonable period of time, it may be a sign that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

How do I remove broken links from my website?

There are a few steps that you can take to remove broken links from your website.

First, identify which links are broken by using a link checker tool or application, such as Screaming Frog or ahrefs.

Next, remove any malicious code or outdated content from your website, and update your existing pages and URLs to reflect the changes.

Finally, run another check on your website to ensure that all of your links are working properly after making these updates.

Well, that’s it for now! If you have time, don’t forget to check our recent post on avoiding website spam. It goes very nicely with the link information above.

Lastly, please don’t forget to leave a comment below and share on your social media if you found this information useful!

Till next time!

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