SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a beast with many arms. To utilize this beast for your success, it is important to understand how he (or she if you prefer :P) operates. In this blog I want to share with you one of the important factors (arms of the beast): that is, broken links.
It is important to not have broken links on your website for many reasons. I have highlighted three (3) that I feel encompass the entirety of why resolving broken links is important and can help your search engine ranking.
The first reason why is that it is a direct metric in the search engine algorithm. When Google scans your site it can see your internal and external link profile, and if you have a high percentage of broken links then it will start to harm your ranking. The way to resolve broken links is to figure out what they are. I recommend using Google Webmaster Tools as it will display everything it finds (Webmaster Tools is very big so they are a good source). Once you know where the errors are, you can either do a redirection from within an htaccess file, or if they are internal you can fix them on your website by correcting the mistake.
The second reason for resolving broken links is that Google and other search engines are wanting their searchers to have a good user experience. Google doesn’t want someone to use them, find a site, and then click to a broken page from within that site. Basically Google would think that they recommended a bad site and they don’t want searchers to think that they show bad results as part of the “Google” experience.
Linking also needs to be accurate so that the visitors to your website will be able to get to anywhere they would like at any moment. Having a broken link on their journey through your website could be the determining factor that turns someone away rather than convert into a sale. Making sure all links are correct can ensure the possibility of a visitor turning into a customer.
What it all comes down to.
Resolving all broken links will give you a little more favor in regards to the search engine algorithm, provide a great user experience, and possibly turn visitors into customers. These are all things that a successful online website aims for.