Broken Links Will Hurt Your Search Engine Results
Search engine results are becoming more important every day as more people use the World Wide Web to find goods, services and information. One way to help your website achieve a good website ranking on Google is by ensuring your site is free of bad links and broken links.
What Google Says About Links
When your website is ready:
– Have other relevant sites link to yours.
– Submit your website link or URL to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific sites.
– Make a website with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every web page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
– Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).
– Check for broken links and correct HTML.
Broken Links Are Bad For Users and SEO
It is important to trade links with relevant websites. But the more sites you trade with the more difficult it becomes to detect a bad link.
Bad links happen when:
– The company goes out of business or abandons its website
– Domain name change
– Website/ company merger
– Page, pages or directory sections are deleted or no longer continued
– Inexperienced Web editors or content managers make coding mistakes
Google will detect all bad links in your website. Google robots or crawlers are routinely gathering information from your website on a cyclic basis. You may experience a drop off or ranking change if your website contains bad links.
Think Of It This Way
Links are mini-direction maps. They tell the search engine robots where to find content within and outside of your website. Imagine someone giving you bad or inaccurate directions. Would you trust them? Would you come back or ask them again? Search engine robots work the same way.
Website Redesigns Can Affect Your Links
When you redesign your website it will most likely have a new link structure and new page names. For example, your home page may be given a new file name (index.asp) versus (index.html). And your interior pages might be given new naming conventions such as “suffolk-home-remodeling-team.html” versus “our-team.html.”
Before the new website pages are launched, your webmaster should create redirects for all of your old or existing web pages so that clients or customers with bookmarks in their web browser “favorites” will be redirected to your new website or website interior pages. A redirect also tells the search engines where to find your new website interior pages.
There are a few free and share-ware programs on the market that will perform a scan of your website link structure and detect and report any bad inbound or out-bound links.
There is popular software called Link Sleuth ™, a free multi-threaded link checking software that analyzes websites for broken links. It runs on Windows and requires some basic webmaster knowledge to run, but has pretty good documentation.
Solid Links = Solid Reputation
Whether you manually check your links, or use software or a link checking service, having a solid intact link structure reflects well on your website. It means you care about your visitors’ online experience and your website presence. Bad links may harm your website search engine ranking and leave your website visitors with a less than pleasurable experience.