Do Broken Site Links Result in Negative SEO Repercussions? Yes!
 by Casey Markee

Do Broken Site Links Result in Negative SEO Repercussions? Yes!

  • We just conducted a client audit and noted that they had several internal AND external broken 404 error links into their site. The client has been slow to correct these. Are we correct in assuming that fixing these should be a priority at their end? What's Google's official stance on this?

Answer: Let's approach the answer to this question logically. If you were a site visitor and you were navigating through this site and stumbled upon one broken link, let alone several, do you really believe you'd stick around the site from that point forward? Probably not.

Next, let's say you are a search engine spider or bot and you are crawling a site for inclusion in your index. Google and others discover your content by crawling your URLs, it's certainly possible that as they crawl your site they find several 404 errors. Google, specifically, will note these 404 errors within your Webmaster Tools account as Crawl Errors under your Diagnostics setting. Here's a visual representation from a sample account:

Google Crawl Errors Graphic

If you aren't logging-in regularly and checking which URLs on your site Google is flagging with 404s (and trust us, you have them), you should. Here's what they look like in our sample account:

404 Errors Pages in Google WMT

Now, as SEOs, when we see that Google is making ALL this effort to provide you the site owner with information on broken links that exist within your site, it's probably a good idea to address them. Further, if you ...