A broken link or dead link is a link on a web page that no longer works because the website is encountering one or more of the reasons below.
- An improper URL entered for the link by the website owner.
- The destination website removed the linked web page (causing what is known as a 404 error)
- The destination website permanently moved or no longer exists
- The user has software or is behind a firewall that blocks access to the destination website.
- The website owner linked to a site that is behind a firewall that does not allow outside access (such as an Intranet site or a restricted access area on a website).
Search engines see links as a vote for a website’s quality. Links to your website and links within your website can affect where your website ranks in search results. Because of this, it’s best practice to either remove or update broken links.
Cleaning up broken links can add context to your website, improve user experience, and make content within your website easier for visitors and search engines to discover. On the other hand, websites with too many broken links can be a signal of low quality to search engines.