How Do Dead Links Affect Your SEO?

If you’ve ever had the frustrating experience of clicking on a link only to get an error page, you no doubt understand why dead links are not good for the user experience. But did you know that they negatively affect your SEO as well?

Who Is Out There Killing Links?

Links are tremendously useful little shortcuts, so we use them everywhere. Every button, every image, every bit of underlined blue text is a link. So what kills a link?

Not to worry. Links have no natural predators. However, things on the Internet are continuously changing, and there are several reasons for a link to not work.

  • The linked page has been deleted.
  • There is a typo in the link address.
  • The URL address has been changed but the links pointing to it haven’t been updated.

These are all relatively small errors, but small errors can add up to big problems over time.

Why Dead Links Impact Your SEO

The simple answer is that search engines prioritize a positive user experience, and dead links are annoying. So search engines may penalize your rankings if there are an overwhelming number of 404’s.

The longer answer is that there are several reasons why dead links cause a negative ripple effect.

  • Dead links are considered a normal oversight, and search engines don’t have a problem with them. But too many and the search engine will consider your site to be “under construction,” and will reduce the amount of traffic it sends.
  • When users visit your site, when confronted with dead links, they will leave creating a bounce. Google will interpret this as the user deciding that the site is not useful to them, and this will further impact your pagerank.
  • Dead links sometimes remain in the Google index.  Google has gotten much better at throwing these pages out of the index, but we still see them all the time.  When a user finds a page in Google, clicks on it and hits a 404, they bounce.  Not only that, they are not likely to visit another page from the same domain.

Luckily, dead links can be revived. Your SEO is not doomed; far from it. In fact, hunting down and fixing dead links is offered as a part of our website services. It’s all a part of our mission to make your website SEO-friendly.

If you’re not sure if your website is being affected by dead links, give Conversion Pipeline a call, and we’ll be happy to help you with your SEO and web development.Your website is your single biggest online marketing asset. Make sure it’s doing the best it can do.