Broken link checkers: how to identify and remove broken links

Broken link checkers: how to identify and remove broken links
A broken link is a hyperlink that leads nowhere. It may happen with internal links where a hyperlink links to a page that no longer exists or that leads to a blank screen when clicked. They happen in a similar way when they point out to other websites. It is even possible to break backlinks which is where a link that used to point to you from another website no longer works. Broken links of any type are bad for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) which will make it harder for you to rank up through the search engine results pages.


Broken links happen internally for a number of reasons

A bug on your page may stop a link from working. Your link being written incorrectly may also cause the problem. The page may have been moved or there may be a problem with the page that is linked. The most common reason is because the page has moved or been deleted. This is what causes most broken links.

Broken links that point outwards happen for a number of reasons

Just like internal links you may have a bug on your page or you may have written your link incorrectly. The most obvious reason is that the website you linked to is gone, but it is not always the case. Their server may have shut down or the page may be offline for maintenance. There may even be bugs on that page that does not allow browsers to navigate to it.

Get yourself a broken link checker

There are lots of them online. Many of them work by going through the Google search engine results pages, but the best ones simply look for the hyperlink code and see if the page gives a response when the link is followed. Be aware that some backlink checkers will only check HTML links whereas some will check other types of link such as JavaScript links.

You do not have to pay for a broken link checker

There are lots of free ones online and the great thing is that they are easy to test. Just try a few free ones and go with the one that shows you the most broken links. That will most likely be the most reliable one.

Your broken link checker will tell you which links are broken

Firstly, you have to assume that there are broken links. If you are trying quite a few backlink checkers and you do not find any broken links then you may simply not have any broken links. Once you have run a scan it will tell you all the links that are broken. This list is what you use to correct your broken links.


You can choose to repair links if you like

You do not have to remove them. You may simply fix them. You can check to see if the link has been written correctly and do bug hunts to see if a bug is causing the problem. If the URL has been deleted then consider deleting the link or creating a new link in its place.

Outbound links can be changed easily

If the link pointing outwards is broken then do a little investigating. Is the whole website down? Or is the broken link report incorrect? If the page is gone then delete the link. If the page shows a redirect, then change the link to the redirected page or delete the link at your discretion (it is up to you as you control the content of your own pages).

Internal links may be fixed or deleted

If you come across internal links that are broken, then you can consider deleting the link if you like, but why not change it for another web page that is relevant to the one you are linking from. You can fix the internal link by simply adding a new one over the old one. If the new hyperlink does not work then you may need to bug hunt a little, though this assumes that you are writing your hyperlinks correctly.

If a landing page no longer exists consider switching instead of deleting

Agreeing with the advice given just above, you can delete a broken link if you wish, but there is nothing stopping you from switching the internal link so that it goes somewhere else. After all it is not a bad thing to have lots of internal links. They are good for helping people find their way around your website and are good for your SEO.

Kate Funk
She is a freelance writer at She is mainly focusing on technology, gadgets and all the latest SEO trends which are interesting for networking enthusiasts.
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