How To Fix Broken Backlinks [2023] Simple Strategies to Restore


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How To Fix Broken Backlinks? Tired of chasing broken backlinks like a determined detective on a wild goose chase? 

Fear not, fellow web wanderer! In this article, we’ll unravel the mystery and reveal the secret sauce to fixing those pesky broken backlinks. 

Short answer: link juice revival! Keep reading to unearth the magic!

Understanding Broken Backlinks

Broken backlinks, also known as dead or inactive links, are hyperlinks on other websites that no longer lead to the intended destination on your website. 

This can occur due to various reasons, such as the target page being deleted or moved without proper redirection

Essentially, broken backlinks are connections that are severed, leaving visitors stranded with a frustrating 404 error page.

Why Broken Backlinks Hurt Your SEO

Disrupt PageRank Flow

One significant reason why broken backlinks can adversely affect your website’s SEO is their impact on the flow of PageRank. 

PageRank, an algorithm used by search engines, evaluates the importance and relevance of web pages based on the number and quality of incoming links. 

When a backlink to your website becomes broken, it creates a disruption in the flow of PageRank, preventing search engines from effectively assessing the authority and significance of your content.

Creates a Bad User Experience

Beyond their influence on search engine algorithms, broken backlinks can also lead to a poor user experience. 

Imagine a user clicking on a promising link, only to be greeted by an error page. 

This frustrating encounter can diminish trust in your website and discourage visitors from exploring further. 

In a world where user experience plays a vital role in online success, ensuring that all your backlinks are functional is crucial for retaining and engaging your audience.

Affects Your ROI

Furthermore, broken backlinks can have a direct impact on your return on investment (ROI). 

If you have invested time, effort, and resources in acquiring backlinks, it is essential to ensure that they continue to provide value. 

Broken backlinks not only fail to drive traffic to your website but can also damage your reputation if users encounter them frequently. 

By fixing broken backlinks, you maximize the return on your link-building investments and maintain a positive brand image.

How to Spot Broken Backlinks

Identifying broken backlinks is a crucial step in fixing them and improving your website’s SEO. 

Fortunately, there are several tools and methods you can use to spot these inactive links effectively. 

Let’s explore two popular options: Google Analytics and Ahrefs Site Explorer.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful web analytics tool that provides valuable insights into your website’s performance. 

While it primarily focuses on tracking user behavior and generating reports, it can also help you identify broken backlinks.

  1. Navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages: This section of Google Analytics provides an overview of the pages on your website and their performance.
  2. Look for pages with high bounce rates: A high bounce rate indicates that visitors are leaving the page shortly after arriving. It could be a sign that there are broken backlinks leading to those pages. Analyzing pages with high bounce rates can help you pinpoint potential issues.
  3. Examine the “Page Not Found” (404) errors: Within Google Analytics, you can access a report on the 404 errors encountered by users on your website. These errors often occur when visitors follow broken backlinks. By identifying the pages generating 404 errors, you can determine which backlinks need fixing.

Ahrefs Site Explorer

Ahrefs Site Explorer is a comprehensive SEO tool that offers an array of features, including backlink analysis. 

By utilizing this tool, you can uncover broken backlinks pointing to your website.

  1. Enter your website URL into Ahrefs Site Explorer: Start by entering your website’s URL into the search bar provided by Ahrefs. This initiates the analysis of your website’s backlink profile.
  2. Navigate to the “Broken Backlinks” report: Ahrefs will provide you with a detailed breakdown of your broken backlinks. This report includes information such as the referring page, anchor text, and HTTP status code.
  3. Analyze and prioritize broken backlinks: Review the list of broken backlinks and prioritize them based on their importance and relevance. Focus on links coming from authoritative websites or those that drive significant traffic. Addressing these broken backlinks first can yield the most significant SEO benefits.

By leveraging tools like Google Analytics and Ahrefs Site Explorer, you can efficiently identify broken backlinks and take appropriate steps to fix them. 

Regularly monitoring your backlinks using these tools will ensure the health and effectiveness of your link profile, ultimately enhancing your website’s SEO performance.

Five Ways How To Fix Broken Backlinks

Fixing broken backlinks is crucial for maintaining a healthy and effective website. 

Let’s explore five different methods you can use to address and rectify broken backlinks.

1. Web-Based SEO Audit Tools

Web-based SEO audit tools provide comprehensive analysis of your website’s SEO performance, including identifying broken backlinks. 

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Option 1 – Ahrefs Audit Tool: Ahrefs offers an audit tool that can scan your website for broken links. It provides a detailed report highlighting the broken backlinks, allowing you to take corrective action promptly.
  • Option 2 – Ahrefs Site Explorer: Ahrefs Site Explorer also allows you to find broken backlinks. By entering your website’s URL, you can access a breakdown of your backlink profile, including any broken links pointing to your site.
  • Option 3 – Ahrefs Site Explorer for Broken Outgoing Links: In addition to finding broken backlinks, Ahrefs Site Explorer can help you identify broken outgoing links on your website. Fixing these broken links can enhance user experience and prevent visitors from encountering dead ends.
  • Option 4 – Sitechecker Website Audit: Sitechecker offers a website audit tool that includes the ability to find broken links. By running a website audit, you can discover and fix broken backlinks efficiently.

2. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool provided by Google that helps website owners monitor and optimize their website’s presence in Google search results. 

It also offers a feature to identify and fix broken backlinks.

  • Access the “Coverage” report: Within Google Search Console, navigate to the “Coverage” report. This report provides an overview of any issues detected on your website, including broken backlinks.
  • Review the “Excluded” tab: In the “Coverage” report, check the “Excluded” tab for any URLs labeled as “Crawl anomaly” or “Page with redirect.” These may indicate broken backlinks that need attention.
  • Take corrective actions: Once you have identified the broken backlinks, take the necessary steps to fix them. This may involve setting up redirects, updating URLs, or reaching out to webmasters to update or remove the broken links.

3. Desktop Software

Desktop software can be another useful tool for fixing broken backlinks. 

Some software options provide advanced features for analyzing and managing your website’s link profile.

  • Install a desktop link checker software: Look for reputable desktop software specifically designed for link checking and management. These tools can scan your website for broken backlinks and provide detailed reports for easy identification and resolution.
  • Follow the software’s instructions: Each software will have its own instructions and user interface. Follow the provided guidelines to scan your website, identify broken backlinks, and take appropriate actions to fix them.

4. Online Broken Link Checker Tool

Online broken link checker tools offer a quick and convenient way to scan your website for broken backlinks without the need to install software. 

Consider using one of these tools to identify and fix broken backlinks:

  • Choose a reliable online broken link checker tool: There are various online tools available that specialize in scanning websites for broken links. Research and select a reputable tool that suits your needs.
  • Enter your website URL: Provide the URL of your website to the chosen tool and initiate the scanning process.
  • Review the scan results: The tool will generate a report highlighting the broken backlinks found on your website. Analyze the report and take appropriate actions to fix the broken links.

5. Broken Link Checker WordPress Plugin

If you have a WordPress website, utilizing a broken link checker plugin can simplify the process of identifying and fixing broken backlinks. 

Here’s how you can use a WordPress plugin for this purpose:

  • Install a broken link checker plugin: Search for and install a reliable broken link checker plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.
  • Activate and configure the plugin: Once installed, activate the plugin and configure its settings according to your preferences.
  • Initiate the scanning process: Start the scanning process by running the plugin. It will analyze your website for broken backlinks.
  • Review and fix broken backlinks: After the scanning is complete, the plugin will provide a report highlighting the broken backlinks found. Review the report and take the necessary steps to fix the broken links within your WordPress website.

By utilizing these five methods, you can effectively identify and fix broken backlinks, enhancing your website’s SEO and providing a seamless user experience. 

Regularly monitoring and maintaining your backlinks is essential for maintaining a healthy and optimized website.

FAQs About How To Fix Broken Backlinks

How do I remove broken links from SEO?

To remove broken links from SEO, you need to follow a systematic approach. 

Start by identifying the broken links using tools like Google Search Console or website audit tools. 

Once identified, you can either remove the broken links or replace them with updated, working links. 

Additionally, implementing 301 redirects for broken links can help preserve their value and redirect traffic to relevant pages.

Are broken backlinks bad?

Yes, broken backlinks can have a negative impact on your website’s SEO. 

They disrupt the flow of PageRank, create a poor user experience, and can affect your site’s reputation. 

It’s essential to regularly monitor and fix broken backlinks to maintain a healthy and effective link profile.

How do I find broken backlinks?

You can find broken backlinks by utilizing various tools and methods. 

Some options include using web-based SEO audit tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush, using broken link checker plugins or online tools, analyzing Google Search Console’s crawl errors report, or conducting manual checks on specific pages or anchor texts.

Does fixing old broken links still matter to SEO?

Yes, fixing old broken links is still important for SEO. 

Even though they may have been broken for some time, resolving them can improve user experience, preserve link equity, and demonstrate to search engines that your website is well-maintained and up-to-date.

Do dead links affect SEO?

Yes, dead links can negatively affect your website’s SEO. 

When search engines encounter dead links, it can signal poor website maintenance and quality, potentially leading to a decrease in rankings. 

It is crucial to regularly monitor and fix dead links to maintain a healthy and optimized website.

How do I remove bad backlinks from search console?

To remove bad backlinks from Google Search Console, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the bad backlinks using the “Links to Your Site” report.
  2. Make a list of the URLs or domains you want to disavow.
  3. Create a disavow file containing the URLs or domains you want to disavow.
  4. Submit the disavow file through Google’s Disavow Tool in Search Console.
  5. Monitor the backlink profile and repeat the process as needed to improve your site’s link quality.

Why am I losing backlinks?

There could be several reasons why you are losing backlinks. 

Some common reasons include websites removing or restructuring their content, websites going offline, changes in linking strategies of other websites, or backlinks being flagged as spam. 

Regularly monitoring your backlink profile and engaging in link-building efforts can help mitigate the loss of backlinks.

How do I know if my backlinks are bad?

You can determine if your backlinks are bad by evaluating certain factors. 

Look for backlinks from low-quality or spammy websites, excessive backlinks from a single source, irrelevant or unrelated websites, or links with over-optimized anchor text. 

Analyzing the quality and relevance of the linking domains and the overall context of the backlinks can help identify potentially bad links.

Is there a tool to find toxic backlinks?

Yes, there are tools available to help identify toxic or harmful backlinks. 

Some popular options include Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz, and Majestic. 

These tools provide insights into the quality and toxicity of backlinks, allowing you to identify and take action against harmful links.

Does paying for backlinks work?

Paying for backlinks is against the guidelines of search engines like Google. While paid backlinks may provide temporary benefits, they carry significant risks. 

Search engines are continuously improving their algorithms to detect and penalize websites that engage in paid link schemes. 

It is recommended to focus on organic link-building strategies that prioritize content quality and natural link acquisition.

How many backlinks is too many?

The number of backlinks is not the sole determinant of SEO success. 

Instead of focusing on the quantity of backlinks, it is crucial to prioritize the quality and relevance of the links. 

A smaller number of high-quality backlinks from authoritative and relevant sources can be more beneficial than a large number of low-quality backlinks.

How many backlinks per day is safe?

There is no specific number of backlinks per day that is universally considered safe.

The key is to ensure that your link-building efforts appear natural and organic. 

Instead of focusing on a specific number, aim to acquire backlinks gradually and consistently over time. 

Quality and relevance should be the primary factors guiding your link-building strategy.

Final Thoughts About How To Fix Broken Backlinks

Fixing broken backlinks is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy and optimized website. 

By addressing broken backlinks, you can improve your SEO performance, enhance user experience, and prevent negative impacts on your site’s reputation. 

Utilizing tools like web-based SEO audit tools, Google Search Console, desktop software, online broken link checker tools, or WordPress plugins can help identify and rectify broken backlinks effectively. 

Regular monitoring of your backlinks and taking prompt actions to fix any issues will contribute to a strong link profile and better search engine rankings.

Remember, investing time and effort into fixing broken backlinks will lead to long-term benefits for your website’s visibility and success.

Julian Goldie

Julian Goldie

Hey, I'm Julian Goldie! I'm an SEO link builder and founder of Goldie Agency. My mission is to help website owners like you grow your business with SEO!

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