Broken links are one thing that everyone hates. Visitors, site owners, and even search engines!
It is a famous secret that Google uses page usability as a ranking factor. Broken links are put into that category where if a site has excessive broken links, it will be demoted from top positions in Google for any keyword.
Semrush broken link checker lets us find those and exact placements quite easily.
What are broken links?
Before talking about broken links, we need to know the exact definition of links in HTML. A link is a common synonym for Hyperlinks, web-link. According to Wikipedia, a link is:
In computing, a hyperlink, or simply a link, is a reference to data that the user can follow by clicking or tapping. A hyperlink points to a whole document or to a specific element within a document. Hypertext is text with hyperlinks. The text that is linked from is called anchor text.Wikipedia
A broken link is a link that has been broken. In web design, you may encounter different HTTP status codes such as 202, 403, and 404.
- 200 – Successful
- 302 – Temporarily migrated link
- 303 – Permenantly moved link
- 403 – Temporarily unavailable link
- 404 – Broken link
In practice and theory, both 403 and 404 broken links are bad for SEO and user experience.
How do broken links occur?
There are several ways a link could be broken. Here are some reasons:
- Mistyped URL: Most common scenario
- HTTPS implementation issue: Maybe the site owner migrated from HTTP to HTTPS but forgot to move all HTTP links to HTTPS automatically.
- Domain is changed
- External links are broken: You cannot control an external site’s fate 99% time. If you have previously linked out to any external web page and it’s down, you will get a broken link on your site.
Types of Broken links
A broken link can be a normal one.
<a href="htts://www.gogle.com">Link text</a>
Or an image is broken.
All those scenarios web browser will display a 404 screen.
Semrush Broken Link Checker
Semrush is a digital marketing platform with over 40 different tools to grow business via online marketing.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the powerhouses of Semrush, and it provides many tools like Keyword Research, SEO Writing Assistant, Keyword Gap Analysis, and Competitor Research to boost organic traffic. Learn more about Semrush from here.
Its Site Audit tool is another nifty product that analyzes your site for issues that a normal human being could not do or is impossible.
Semrush’s Broken Link Checker is offered as a sub-feature in Semrush Site Audit, not as a standalone feature. That shows how resourceful Semrush is.
So, if you are unsure where to look for the Semrush broken link checker, follow the easy steps below.
How to find broken links with Semrush
First of all, you need to have an active Semrush account. Semrush has free and paid subscriptions, and if you want to check your entire site and find all the broken links, you need to have a paid account.
Once logged in to your Semrush account, go to the Site Audit section under On-Page & Tech SEO.
Enter your domain (that you want to check all its dead links) and select the number of pages to be crawled.
Configure your site audit settings. It is an easy thing to do. But if you are stuck somewhere, please follow the instructions in the Semrush Site Audit tool guide.
Internal broken links
On your Site Audit report page, click on the ‘Issues‘ tab and look for the ‘Errors‘ section. At the top of the list, you will be shown a message similar to ‘12 internal links are broken.
When clicking on the “Why and how to fix it” message, you will be shown details about the issue and how to fix it.
Click on the message, and you will see a new page.
As you can see, Semrush’s broken link checker listed 12 dead URLs, along with where it found them. They were born when converting the staging site to the live version.
External broken links
In the ‘Warning‘ section, Semrush should have listed all the broken external resources if your site has any. It is also a perfect place to find broken external CSS and JS files that increase your page load time.
Once clicked on the message, you will see all the broken external URLs, their from-pages, and HTTP code.
Other broken resources
Semrush shows more details that are related to broken link checking.
- Internal images
- Broken canonical links
- External images
How to fix broken links
Click on the export button and download the internal broken links report.
Furthermore, if you use the Broken Link Checker plugin, you can quickly remove the link from the page(s).
Final words on using Semrush Broken Link Checker
Links that do not work intendedly are genuinely not good. That is why a good user experience is one of the top Google ranking factors.
Your website might contain many broken links (with or without your attention) if your website is large in size.
Semrush broken link checker comes under its Site Audit tool, and you can easily find broken URLs and resources from which pages they have occurred.
So, which method do you use to check broken links?