Have you ever been in a situation when your visiting other websites to get answers for your query? probably, the page ended with a 404 error? Is Broken links in SEO are annoying your website? Before it affects clean up your website well if not, It might take action to harm your SEO.  

It is important to understand what are broken links and how does it affect your SEO before going to perform an SEO Audit you need to know all these things. Here is a guide for what kind of broken links will affect your SEO.

What is broken links?

A link on a webpage that no longer works (or) an improper URL entered for the link by the website owner and it might not be visible on SERP due to server error.  

Search engines will see the website’s link quality to improve your rankings. A website with too many broken links is the signal of low-quality pages and it could have a negative impact on your SEO.

Types of Broken Links in SEO:

Below is the list of broken links with a brief explanation to find and fix them to improve your website ranking on Google.

1. Internal Links:

An Internal link refers to one page to another page within the same website. Whenever you are making any changes or updating your content make sure your internal links pages are working properly. 

Purpose of Internal Links:

  • Internal Links supports and allows the user to navigate a website to find relevant information.
  • It helps to spread link juice from Page Authority and ranking throughout the website.
  • They establish hierarchical information from the given website.
  • It boosts your SEO Campaign. 

2. External Links:

External links refer to the links that are pointing which redirects to another website. When Google spiders find too many broken links your website will decrease the ranking value on search engines.

Note: Broken Link generator is a free tool in WP Plugin that allows webmasters and search engine optimizers to check the status of both external links and internal links on the entire website. 

Broken link example with error codes:

1. 400 (Bad Request):

This 400 error generally happens due to invalid syntax of the request. Received this type of error while accessing important website or a webpage could be frustrating. It has the relationship between the website servers, user devices, and third parties. 

Even if you have a controlled environment it could be difficult to determine the actual cause of the problem.  

Resolve: Sometimes, It is simple to resolve by refreshing the page if it doesn’t work the problem is likely to be temporary. Try deleting the browser cache and cookies because maybe your browser has saved a copy of the error message.

400 Bad request page

2. 401 (Unauthorized Page):

401 Unauthorized page

401 error is an Unauthorized Access page that lacks authentication to the targeted resource. By refreshing the page server provides the targeted resource after a specified number of seconds. 

401 page is quickly clarified by refreshing a web page though you don’t have a right to access the requested page.

Resolve: Check your website URL and clear cache from DNS and clear cookies from browsers, uninstall extensions, plugins and confirm your URL as WWW. Authenticated header. If all these fail to fix it could be a custom code that is causing this issue.

3. 403 Error (Forbidden Page):

403 Forbidden page

403 page is a landing page that receives organic traffic to your website. A forbidden page means A server is not permitted to access the resource for some reason. This page doesn’t encourage users to stay on your website. 

It gives poor user experience and negative user behavior signals to Google. This can be removed from Google’s index depends upon the recrawl of your website.

Resolve: check your .htaccess file, disable WordPress plugins, and reset file or folder permissions.

4. 404 Error (Page Not Found):

404 error

It is an error code which means the page you are trying to reach couldn’t be found on the server. which is usually has either incorrect URL or deleted content. 404 error page is not just frustrating, but it could hurt your bounce rate as well. 

Resolve: Try to fix it from the URL address bar or refresh the page through the F5 button re-enter the website URL to access the page.

5. 501 (Internal Server Down):

501 Internal Server Error

A server doesn’t support the access page required to fulfill a request by the user which means the server couldn’t recognize the request. Mostly 501 errors always create an issue to the web browser. This type of error could impact your rankings negatively.

Resolve: Try to delete your cache and cookies from the web browser, reload your page, disable proxy settings and reach out to your host. 

6. 502-(Bad gateway):

502 Bad Gateway

Bad gateway is the server detect invalid response signaled by Browser when an invalid response received by the server where the server act as a gateway or proxy.

Resolve: By removing corrupted files, delete cache and cookies that are being stored in your web browser might solve your problem.

7. 503 (Service unavailable):

503 Service unavailable

Server overloaded (or) service unavailable is signaled by the browser when the server is overloaded or down due to an excessive number of users involved at a time.

Resolve: Try refreshing your page with F5 or ctrl+R if this doesn’t work restart your modem and router then your computer. Check if the problem is with the DNS server choose the other DNS to use. 

8. 504- Gateway timeout:

504 Gateway time out

The server reached the response time limit (or) gateway timeout when the server is unable to identify the request in his fixed time limit where the server acts as a gateway or proxy.

Resolve: Fix it with proxy server settings, and enter the URL correctly in the address bar or refresh your page with the F5 key. Still, if it is troubling you fix restart all your network devices.

9. 505 Error (Http version Not supported):

Mostly, 505 errors seen in mobile devices when we try to install any apps on devices. This error pops out when a user downloading an app from the play store. It seems the app is incompatible and the major cause of the 505 occurrences is Air-based apps.   

Resolve: Update your android device and reset your factory with the latest version. clear all the cache files from Menu > Settings > Apps > Google Play Store > Clear Cache. Clear the data from the same option.

10. 511 (Network authentication required):

The server demands the user to authenticate (or) network authentication required information where the server needs user authentication to access requests. It is caused by database design errors.

Broken Links which harm your website:

Always keep an eye on broken links. Below are the three ways which will harm your SEO campaign.

1. Your Income/Revenue:

Broken links affect your revenue because if the users are not converted as customers without progressive which means No use of spending time on your website. You will lose your customers and conversion rate. If you delay to fix broken links, and your time and effort are wasted Also, you will lose more customers.

2. Your Bounce Rate:

Bounce rate measures the total number of visitors who visit your site without performing any action and navigate away after visiting only one page. Any user who does not stay on your website for a long time is measured asbounced” and the search engine will consider your site is irrelevant. Keeping your visitors satisfied you can have good user experience. So, make sure your bounce rate should always be between 40-55%. 

3. Your Ranking on SERP:

If Google bots find any broken links on your website immediately it will stop the indexing process. When you have huge broken or harmful links on your website you cannot rank on search engines. Also, you will lose your ranking and traffic on SERP.

Main Factors you should avoid in broken links:

  • Old Content
  • Incorrect URL
  • Technical Issues
  • When you delete your content (or) rename your URL/title but did not update on your internal pages.
  • When your external pages have changed URL (or) moved the page.

How to fix Broken Links?

Have you decided to find and fix broken links on your website? Below are the Google broken link checker tool download and Ahrefs broken links is a popular tool to prevent harmful links and to improve your ranking on SERP. 

Are you looking for how to fix broken links in WordPress? Broken Link Checker WordPress is a free tool that helps to check all URLs on your WordPress blog and gives you a complete report of the broken and redirected links.  


Cleaning up all broken links could add context to your website, and improve user experience, ranking on SERP, reduces bounce rate, CTR, etc.., and it is easy to find content for visitors on search engines to discover within your website.

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