Search engines employ complex algorithms and formulas to analyze which pages are most relevant to search words, terms, and phrases entered into engines’ search fields. Hyperlinks, also called backlinks in digital marketing terminology, are essentially portals to other websites that are latched on to anchors of letters, numbers, or other text.
Nobody other than select Google employees delegated to its web marketing services, programming, and upkeep know exactly how many aspects of web pages are factored into rankings. Some resources indicate that as many as two hundreds individual, independent factors weigh into search engine results.
One thing we do know with 100% certainty is that backlinks undoubtedly factor into search engine rankings. Hyperlinks sometimes transport users to entire domains that aren’t active anymore, individual pages that were deleted, or are otherwise nonfunctional and “broken”. Broken links affect search engine results in a number of ways.
- They turn individual users off
- Harm results on external search sites
- Harm the welfare of your Google search results.
Let’s go into further detail about the why’s and how’s of broken link effects on search engine optimization.
How Exactly Do Links Become “Broken,” Anyways?
Webpages are named with a combination of domain name and particular page name. The domain name is and if we use Google’s search engine as an example — www.Google.com. If Google published articles themselves and someone access one of the articles, the entire web address would be www.Google.com/oneofthearticles. Everything behind the backslash “/” is the page name.
If the page name is renamed to something else, the link may become broken. Similarly, if the page is moved and its internal link is not changed in the hyperlink linking to such web content, the link breaks.
If the web address links to videos, MP3 files, PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, or Microsoft Word documents and such content gets moved somewhere else or deleted from the Internet, the backlink is considered broken.
Finally, if a webpage links to a source outside of their domain also known as a third party’s site and they modify that content’s URL (referred to as “page name” above) or move it to another location, the link is effectively broken, as well.
As seen, broken links can happen through a variety of causes, but all of these are still very much considered “broken,” whether the content’s creator modified the web page himself or by a third party who did not notify other of the change. All of these scenarios need to be fixed, which is done through a number of established and innovative SEO strategies from an online marketing company.
Turning Individual Users Away From Your Site
People who browse the Internet obviously visit websites to be entertained, informed, or educated. Even those who mindlessly browse to kill time, with no real reason behind their browsing, are doing so to be entertained. If they reach a link that leads them nowhere, they are likely to press the back button and explore elsewhere, find something else using a search engine of their choosing, type in one of their favorite websites, or quit browsing completely. Internet users are obviously less likely to browse that site’s page again immediately following stumbling across a broken link.
Hamper SEO Results On Google
Website traffic decreases as a result of broken links. Search engines, whether it be Google or Ask.com, they don’t want to lead Internet browsers to broken pages. If they did often search for broken links, users would undoubtedly utilize another search engines for their digital needs. Most websites need to contact an SEO services company to get help in regaining search engine ranking, as broken links bump sites down following detection of bad links.
Several avenues can be taken to repair broken links and subsequent search engine ranking decreases, ranging from seeking out local SEO service. Because nobody has access to Google search engine’s algorithms, there is no definite method of broken link repair. Some sites simply fix the link and type it in correctly for the same page, they change links after third party’s links are modified, use complex software tools, and countless other strategies.
Whatever one decides to do with link repair, just know that they are bad for search engine optimization.