With regular updates to Google’s algorithm like Panda update, etc. Google continually improves its algorithm to show relevant content to their users. They use what they call as signals (factors) to rank a link better. Social signals, content relevance, back links linking to the page and page to keyword ratio, link depth etc. These are some of the several factors that can improve the “visibility” of the site and influence the site ranking in Google and other search engines.
Social signals are the number of users sharing and liking your content, why? anything that people keep talking about continuously has to be interesting right? , while the other factors are self-explanatory. Link depth is what we are talking about here. Link depth, is the number of pages a link leads to. And a broken link is something that we all want to avoid. As google would immediately consider it as a roadblock and value a site less. Why they do it is quite simple, they value a site if it has more information for its audience. If a site isn’t going to offer value, why should they value it?
Many blogs, articles and services offer guides and recommendations on content organization, keyword selection and compilation of semantic core. However, the topics of monitoring and tracking the content availability are mostly overlooked.
Why broken links can damage your online business
Imagine a client visits your site to get more information and cannot find it because the page is not available. it simply, frustrates them. At best, the customer goes on to other pages of the site, or worst, they just leave the site. You stand to see your bounce rate increase and a client lost.
Search engine visibility
Simply put, if there are many “404s”, it will have a negative impact on your website’s ranking with major search engines. Google can penalize your entire site or atleast a few individual pages. your site rankings could take a hit, and the number of visits to your site would be reduced.
Losing back links
As mentioned above, back links are a signal and the number of incoming links to your website impacts on how a search engine ranks your site. As a website owner you might how difficult it is to get quality links and references.
At the same time, not enough attention is given to monitoring the availability of external linked pages.
Broken links = Lost opportunities
Creating and managing website content is a complex process, which is always associated with many manual adjustments. Multiple site editors, frequency updates, the need for constant content updating – all this processes increase probability of various errors. The common error that arises out of this are broken links.
Your broken links are your competitors’ benefits
Your competitors can take advantage of the broken link to your site, and populate useful information with the necessary keywords on their site. Webmasters use link building due to non-existent pages (404 error) and dead links to their advantage, this technique is quite popular. Many manuals and tools were created for broken links checking and replace them with their own links. This is a simple and free link building in a legal way (white hat seo). If you do not care about your broken links, others will use it to their opportunity. Who knows, some webmasters might be already hunting for your dead links while you are reading this article text.
FACT: Research shows that 77% of viewers who hit this page will leave your site, immediately. And they may never return.
The immediate step you’ll have to take is to find out how many link are broken and redirect or create pages with relevant information. Using Broken link checker tools like ATOMSEO can help finding these broken site links before the google’s web crawler does and they also analyze which error 404 links are indexed by search engines, as well as which of them have other references (back links). It’s free (for 3000 site links) too.