In search engine optimization, broken links are commonly referred to as 404 errors. This is because when a user clicks a link and is directed to a page that no longer exists (or doesn’t have the content they were looking for), their browser will respond with a 404 error.
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Fortunately, Google now sends notifications whenever users from your site visit an inaccessible URL, so fixing broken links should be fairly easy. However, things can get tricky if you manage your website using Search Console.
With this in mind, this article will explain what broken links are about search engine optimization, how to find broken links in Google Search Console, and how to fix them.
Note: If you are using Google Search Console to find broken links, it’s not a proactive solution. There are broken link monitoring tools or plugins that can help you identify broken links before it’s too late.
Google Search Console
To monitor their overall site health and performance about Google search, publishers and search marketing specialists can use Google Search Console, a free web tool offered by Google.
It provides a summary of indicators relating to user experience and searches performance to assist publishers in enhancing their websites and boosting traffic.
Essential Google Search Console features:
- Recognize and correct faults.
- Look over the in- and outbound links.
- Overview of search results.
- Request index of updated pages.
- Monitor indexing and crawling.
How to find broken links in the google search console
Access your dashboard now. You may quickly view any mistakes Google discovered while indexing your website under Indexing>>Pages.
Verify any links to see whether they require repair.
Note: If you have deleted or renamed any pages, you might need to update your sitemap.
With the aid of Google Search Console, you can “watch, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s appearance in Google Search results.” You must first validate your site with Google Search Console to begin. After that, you can start using its functions, such as broken link detection.
The Google Search Console’s capability offers a Page indexing report that allows you to view all the pages that gave Google a 404-error:
Any of those URLs, when clicked, will cause a window to appear where you can see which pages connect to the 404 error page and fix the broken link on those pages:
Best practices to prevent broken links
It is avoidable for one of the most frequent reasons for broken links. Instead of erasing outdated stuff, update it. If you don’t have the time to update it, consider including a disclaimer informing the user that the content is out-of-date and providing them with a more suitable and up-to-date substitute.
Check for broken links and create 301 redirects if you recently moved or rearranged your website.
Very long, randomly created URLs can have the negative effect of creating broken backlinks. Improve the readability and clarity of your URLs. By doing this, the likelihood of typos in URLs and broken links is reduced.
Even if we take all the necessary safeguards, it is always wise to routinely check for broken links.
Links will inevitably break. Simply set aside time to locate and address them regularly. Your visitors will much appreciate your efforts to maintain everything in top order. It is a continuous process. However, so many tools are accessible for all the various platforms that you have no justification for neglecting to update your website.