A link is sometimes called a URL, which means “uniform resource locator,” in other words, the address of a file or page. A broken link, which is also called a dead link, points to a file or page that either
does not exist or does not exist in that location. The page might not be where you think it should be for various reasons. It could have been moved or you may not have permission to view it.
Another reason for a broken link is that, the page might actually be where you think it is, but the link itself may have a mistake in it. If it’s on your site, check carefully to see that it’s correct. Even a tiny error will cause a link to break.
If a broken link shows up but you know it’s written properly and you know the page is there, a poor connection can sometimes be the cause. In this case, you can usually wait a few minutes and when you try again, the link will work.
When you follow a link that doesn’t work, you’re taken to a page with what is commonly called a “404 error.” Some 404 pages have been creatively designed while others are very simple. Either way, a 404 means the page you’ve expected to see is not there.
When your site has links that are broken, visitors may become irritated and lose patience when trying to navigate the site. To make sure you keep the visitors on your site longer and to make it more appealing and pleasant for them to return, ongoing site maintenance is necessary.
Fix all broken links as soon as you’re aware of it. Take some time each week to check every link on your site and repair each one as necessary.
If you find a dead link when you’re reading a site, you may want to contact the owner about it. Most sites have a contact form or an email address where you can leave a short note including the link that is broken.
About the Author: Rhett DeMille, the owner of PalmettoSoft, is a leading search engine optimization consultant located in the Florida and Greater Carolina areas.