broken links

Broken Links: How to Find and Fix Them

Broken links can lower your site’s trust, ruin the user experience, and mess up your SEO strategy. They disappoint your visitors and hurt your rank on search engines. On average, 5% of all links on a website are broken. That’s why we’re here to guide you in finding and fixing these issues. With our help, your website will become easier to browse and maintain a high SEO rank. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways:

What Are Broken Links?

Broken links are hyperlinks that don’t take users to the right page. They come in different types like backlinks, internal, and external links. Knowing the different kinds is key to spotting and fixing them on your site.


Backlinks come from other sites to yours. If these links are broken, your site may lose credibility and SEO points. It’s important to check your backlinks often to keep your online presence strong.

Internal Links

Internal links connect various pages within your site. A broken internal link can make it hard for users to find what they’re looking for. Making sure all internal links work is crucial for a smooth browsing experience.

External Links

External links take users to other sites. If those external sites change or delete their pages, your links might break. Keep an eye on external links to make sure they still work well and don’t lead users to dead pages.

The common causes of broken links include:

  • Misspelled URLs can lead users to dead ends.
  • If a page’s URL changes without updating the links, they break.
  • Removing a page makes all the links to it break.
  • Websites with strong security might block some links, breaking them.
  • Bad plugins or add-ons can cause links to stop working.
  • If a site is down, its links won’t work either.

Understanding why and how broken links happen will let you keep your website running smoothly. Check and fix these links often to offer users a better experience and keep your SEO in good shape.

The Dangers of Broken Links

Broken links are bad news for SEO and those visiting your site. They hurt your chances of showing up in online searches. Google struggles to index your site properly when it can’t follow your broken links easily. This means your site might not show up as often as it should in search results.

As for users, they get annoyed when they can’t find what they’re looking for because of broken links. This could make people leave your site, which is the last thing you want. It’s like being on a road trip and hitting potholes. If your site has too many, people won’t want to stay and explore further.

“A website with broken links is like a house with a leaky roof. It may have valuable content, but visitors will ultimately leave if they encounter obstacles along the way.” – SEO Expert

The SEO Impact of Broken Links

Search engines don’t like websites with broken links. It gives them the impression that your site isn’t well-kept. This can hurt where your site appears in search results. Search engines use a crawl budget to decide how many of your site’s pages to index. When they hit a broken link, it’s like running into a dead-end. They waste time and skip over other important pages on your site.

Besides, when your links are broken, they don’t pass on their value as well. This link value, or ‘link equity’, helps boost your site’s reputation online. But with broken links, this link juice doesn’t flow as it should. So, your website might not be seen as such an authoritative source online. Fixing your broken links can help keep your site’s SEO in good shape.

The User Experience Impact of Broken Links

Imagine if you were exploring a website, looking for something interesting. You click on a link, and it doesn’t work. This is frustrating. It can make visitors leave your site. The high number of people who leave after only seeing one page is something to worry about.

It’s really disappointing to land on a ‘404 Page Not Found’. Your brand gets a hit, and visitors may start to doubt your site. They might wonder if they can trust the information you provide. They could even choose to look somewhere else for what they need.

To keep visitors happy and your brand looking good, find and fix your broken links. A well-maintained site not only does better in searches but also keeps its visitors around. It shows that you care about their experience. This could mean more people staying and exploring what you have to offer.

How to Find Broken Links

Finding broken links on your website is key to keeping things running smoothly and protecting your SEO score. There are many tools out there to help. You can choose from free options or invest in more advanced tools.

Premium Tools

For those looking for advanced tools, here are some great options:

  1. Semrush’s Site Audit helps deeply check your site’s health. It gives a detailed list of broken links, making it easy to spot and fix them.
  2. Ahrefs’ Site Explorer is a top choice for SEO insights. It can look for broken links on your site and suggest ways to enhance its performance.
  3. Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider checks for broken links and more. Its easy-to-use design and detailed reports are valued by SEO experts.

Free Tools

If you can’t spend money, Google Analytics and Google Search Console have some great free features:

  • Within Google Analytics, under “Behavior,” the “Site Content” option helps spot pages with many “Page not found” errors. These are likely pages with broken links.
  • In Google Search Console, the “Coverage” report shows URLs that give a 404 error. This is how you find and fix broken links quickly.

Using Google Analytics and Google Search Console gives you important info about your broken links. This data helps you focus on the most critical fixes.

With the right tools and steps, finding and fixing broken links is doable. This action enhances your website’s user experience and search engine standings.

Using Google Analytics to Find Broken Links

To keep your website healthy and your users happy, finding and fixing broken links is key. Google Analytics is a great tool for this. It uses reports on Engagement and Pages and Screens to show you where the issues are.

To begin, navigate to the “Reports” section. Select “Engagement” from the options on the left-hand side, then choose “Pages and screens” from the dropdown menu, as illustrated below:

how to find broken links in google analytics 4


Then, proceed by scrolling to the bottom of the page, where you will discover data pertaining to all your URLs.

click on search to find broken links in ga4


In the search bar depicted above, input “page not found” or “404,” or whichever title your error pages typically have. Ensure you choose “page title and screen class” from the dropdown menu below the search bar. Also, add the secondary dimension “page path and screen class,” as demonstrated below:

searching for broken links on ga4


Through this search, you’ll be presented with your 404 error pages (if any exist), along with the pages linked to the broken ones.

Moving this info into a spreadsheet makes it easier to work with. It helps you see clearly which links need fixing the most. This way, you won’t miss any broken links, making your website well-maintained.

With Google Analytics, you can make your website better by fixing broken links fast. This improves how users see and use your site, and it can even help keep your SEO score high. Use Google Analytics well to make your website a smoother experience for everyone who visits.

Using Google Search Console to Find Broken Links

Google Search Console helps find broken links on your site. Go to the Crawl Errors report to see pages with 404 errors, which means they have broken links. This info lets you fix the broken links on your site.

Navigate to the “Overview” page and select “Pages” located under “Indexing” on the left-hand side.

how to find broken links in google search console


Scroll down to the bottom of this page until you reach the section labeled “Why pages aren’t indexed.” Then, click on “Not Found (404),” as illustrated below:

not found 404 pages in google search console


You will then see all occurrences of 404 errors within your domain.

example of 404 pages in gsc


Fixing these links helps your site work better. It makes users happier and helps search engines find and rank your site.

The Crawl Errors report also shows which pages have links to your broken ones. Knowing this helps find where the problems start. By fixing these links, you make your site smooth to use.

When you fix these links, it’s good for search engines. They scan and rank your pages better. This can help more people see your website in search results.

Using Web-Based SEO Audit Tools to Find Broken Links

Web-based SEO audit tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Sitechecker are key for finding and fixing broken links. They check your site and point out broken links. This makes the job way easier.

These tools can scan your whole site for errors, including broken links. They deliver detailed reports showing which links are broken. This lets you focus on those that need fixing the most, saving you time.

“Web-based SEO audit tools are invaluable when it comes to finding and fixing broken links on your website. They provide detailed reports that highlight broken links, allowing you to prioritize and fix them efficiently.”

They also have cool features to tackle broken links. For instance, Ahrefs helps find broken backlinks. This means it shows links from other sites that are broken on yours. Then you can contact those sites to fix the links.

Besides broken links, these tools look at other SEO factors too. They might check page load speed, meta tags, and sitemaps. So, using them can help you boost your site’s SEO performance overall.

The report clearly shows which links are broken and where they’re at. Plus, you see the HTTP status code for each broken link. With this info, fixing your site’s broken links becomes straightforward. That way, your visitors enjoy a smooth browsing experience.

Strategies to Fix Broken Links

After finding broken links on your site, taking steps to fix them is key. Choosing the right strategies ensures a smooth browsing experience. Here are some top methods:

1. Redirect Broken Pages

Redirecting broken pages to new ones with 301 redirects works well. It sends visitors to the right page, avoiding error messages. This also keeps the SEO value of the old URLs.

2. Update URLs

Keep your URLs current for a website that works well. When your site structure changes or pages are renamed, update the URLs. This keeps all links accurate and usable, bettering the user experience.

3. Remove Internal Links

Another good move is to take out links to pages that no longer exist. After finding broken links, check your other links and take down any dead ends. This stops visitors from hitting roadblocks and makes your site easier to navigate.

Fixing broken links is vital for user experience and your site’s SEO. Search engines like sites that are easy to browse and have working links. By fixing broken links, you boost your site’s reputation and keep visitors happy.

Using these methods makes your site better for users and search engines. By redirecting, updating, and removing links, your site becomes more functional and user-friendly. Prioritizing these fixes shows your dedication to a high-quality, easy-to-use website.

Importance of Regular Maintenance and Automation

Maintaining your website and using automation is key. They keep your site free of errors and make users happy. With tools like Semrush’s Site Audit and Google Search Console, you can find and fix broken links easily. This boosts your site’s performance and helps your SEO.

Checking regularly ensures all your links work right. By regularly scanning for broken links, you fix problems before they upset your users or hurt your site’s reputation.

Automating the Process

Automation is a game changer for finding and fixing broken links. Semrush’s Site Audit and Google Search Console can check your site on their own. This means you don’t have to check everything by hand and issues get resolved quickly.

Scheduling regular checks with Semrush’s Site Audit is a great idea. It makes sure your site doesn’t have any errors. The detailed reports let you easily see and fix broken links.

Google Search Console also shows you when a page has a 404 error. You get to find and fix these issues. This keeps your site running smoothly.

The Benefits of Regular Maintenance and Automation

“Regular maintenance and automation not only help prevent broken links but also contribute to delivering an exceptional user experience and maintaining a strong SEO standing for your website.”

Maintenance and automation have big pluses:

  1. Enhanced User Experience: A website with no broken links is easy to use. Users get what they want fast, making them happy and likely to stay on your site.
  2. SEO Optimization: Google doesn’t like broken links. Fixing them helps your site rank better. This means more people find you online.
  3. Time and Cost Savings: Finding and fixing links manually takes a lot of time. Letting the tools do it saves effort and money, giving you more room to grow your site.

Keeping up with maintenance and using automation makes your site top-notch. It pleases users, does well in searches, and saves you time and money.

Benefits of Regular Maintenance and Automation 
Enhanced User ExperienceImproved website usability and increased user satisfaction
SEO OptimizationBetter search engine rankings and increased organic traffic
Time and Cost SavingsEfficient resource allocation and reduced manual work

The Impact of Broken Links on SEO and User Experience

Broken links affect SEO and how users interact with your site. They hurt the site’s SEO by being seen as dead ends. This makes it hard for search engines to show your site in search results.

SEO-wise, many broken links tell search engines your site is old or poorly managed. This causes your site to rank lower. It means fewer people find your site through search.

Users also have a tough time with broken links. Finding a broken link is annoying. It stops them from finding the info they want. This can make users think less of your site and brand.

Broken links can make people leave your site, too. This ups your bounce rate. High bounce rates tell search engines your site isn’t meeting user needs well.

To keep your website strong, fix broken links often. This boosts your SEO and user satisfaction. A site with no dead links keeps users happy and encourages them to stay and explore.

It is key to continuously find and fix broken links. This keeps the user experience smooth and helps your site rank well in search results.

SEO ImpactUser Experience
– Decreased organic search visibility– Frustration and disruption for users
– Lower search engine rankings– Diminished trust in your brand
– Missed opportunities for traffic– Increased bounce rates
– Negative perception by search engines– Decreased user satisfaction

“Broken links act as dead ends, preventing search engines from properly indexing your pages and impacting your organic search visibility.”


Broken links can really hurt your website. They make it less credible, reduce user satisfaction, and lower your SEO rank. But, by using the tips in this guide, you can fix those issues and make your site better.

It’s key to check for broken links with the right tools. Regular maintenance and quick fixes are important too. Focus on finding and repairing these links to keep your SEO strong and your website running smoothly.

Optimizing your website is very important, and addressing broken links is a big part of that. Spend time on this to boost your website’s trust, make users happier, and strengthen your SEO. Take action to find and repair broken links, and see your website do even better.


Can broken links be prevented proactively, and if so, what preventive measures can be taken?

Yes, broken links can be prevented proactively by implementing best practices such as using relative URLs, avoiding URL changes whenever possible, setting up automatic link monitoring tools, and regularly reviewing website analytics for potential issues.

How frequently should website owners check for broken links?

Regularly checking for broken links is essential to maintain website health and user experience. Depending on website size and content updates, monthly or quarterly audits are recommended to promptly identify and fix broken links.

What are some common causes of broken links on websites?

Broken links can result from various factors, including website restructuring, content removal or relocation, URL changes, typographical errors in hyperlinks, and external websites going offline.