A “broken link” refers to a hyperlink that no longer functions correctly because the target webpage has been moved, deleted, or its URL has been changed. When users click on a broken link, they typically encounter an error page instead of being directed to the intended content.
A broken link is a hyperlink on a webpage that doesn’t lead to the intended destination. Instead of reaching the desired content, users are redirected to an error page, usually displaying a “404 Not Found” message.
Also read: 4xx status codes.
Imagine you’re following a map to a location, and suddenly the road you’re supposed to take is closed. In web terms, a broken link is like a closed road – when you click on it, you don’t reach the expected destination; instead, you encounter an error.
Causes: Broken links can occur when a webpage is moved or deleted, the URL structure is changed, or there are typos or errors in the hyperlink code.
User Experience: Encountering broken links can be frustrating for users, as they don’t get the information they expected. It can also negatively impact the credibility of a website.
SEO Impact: Search engines may downgrade the ranking of a website if it contains a significant number of broken links. This is because broken links can indicate poor maintenance and a potentially outdated or poorly managed site.
If a blog post contains a link to a news article, and that news article is later removed from the website, the link in the blog post becomes a broken link. Clicking on it would result in an error page instead of the intended news article.
In summary, a broken link is a hyperlink that no longer directs users to the intended content due to changes in the target webpage’s URL or its removal. Regularly checking and fixing broken links is important for maintaining a positive user experience and preserving a website’s SEO performance.
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