Are you letting errors hurt your SEO?

Errors can seriously damage your website’s SEO and page rank.Β  You can lose some valuable traffic due to it. Mark of Marks Marketing Blog is giving tips to reduce the seo errors. Join in the awesome guest blogging club and take a look at our guest blogging guidelines.

There is an awful lot written about how to optimize your site in all the right ways; making sure you build back links and keywords and all that sort of stuff. But do you make a habit of checking for those little errors that might be undoing all the good work you have been putting in?

Broken links are the enemy of good SEO

Google is all about helping it’s users to find websites that are helpful and enjoyable to use, and users don’t tend to like it when they click on a link and they get the dreaded 404 error – ie, “page not found!” the link is broken.

As such, if Google is cruising around your site and it follows a broken link, your site is going to get marked down for that. Google doesn’t want to direct it’s users to sites that don’t work properly after all.

And images, they matter too

Images, and in fact, any media you can embed into your site, can all “break”. If google finds an image tag but the image itself isn’t where it should be, that’s not good either. I’m sure we’ve all been on sites and found the little icon you get when an image is broken…

How to prevent broken internal links

Sometimes these things will happen, pages move, typos happen and the bigger your site gets the more they will happen. But if you take some precautions, you can minimize the risk of broken links happening and save your precious SEO brownie points.

KISS
keep your sites link structure simple. This is perhaps only a little thing, but having a simple link structure will help to minimize mistakes and mis-types which can lead to broken links.

301 redirect
If you do move a page you will obviously change all the links, but just in case you forget, using a 301 re-direct in your HTACCESS file will ensure that any old links will be sent to the right place. This also preserves any page rank that page may have.

How to prevent broken external links

From time to time you will probably want to link to a site outside of yours, this is good, you should do. Unfortunately, you have no control over the other site you are linking to. If a site you link to goes down for any reason you might end up with broken links.

Be picky about who you link to
Do you ever link to sites that are related to a subject you are writing about without really checking that site out? When you are linking to a site you should be thinking carefully about how well maintained that site is. The question ultimately comes down to: is this a site that is still going to be here in 6 months, or a year? If you link to short term sites, which dis-appear a few months later, you end up with broken links and lost visitors.

Link to main pages
For similar reasons to the previous point, it is always helpful if you can link to main pages, the home page is most ideal, but category pages or other key pages work well too. Item pages and post pages get moved or deleted, home pages don’t.

Store your own images
Don’t use images hosted on another site, you never know when it might be taken down. If you are going to use an image, store it on your own site, that way you know that it will stay there.

Be vigilant

Obviously, some of these suggestions aren’t always practical. You might be referencing a particular post for instance. Or maybe you review a brand new product with an uncertain future, you can’t really avoid linking to brand new websites all the time.

So the final tip is to be vigilant, constantly check through your website. There are plenty of link checking sites available, I like to make sure to check my site about once a month. If you follow all of the tips above, most of the time you will not find anything. But broken links will occasionally creep in, so make sure you spot them before Google does.

  • Great tips Mark. I never knew that Google marks down our site if they find out any broken links.

    Better be vigilant regarding links next time!

    Nabeel

    P.S. Typo in post:

    ‘Or maybe you are review a brand new product with an uncertain future,’

  • Hello Mark πŸ™‚
    Thanks to WordPress for having Broken Link checker plugin, which looks after all redirects and outbound links πŸ™‚

    When it comes to images , people always name the images as 1.jpg, 125.jpg, …etc. So for better SEO optimization we should give proper names with “-” instead of space, if the name is more than a word. Even “alt” tags matters a lot and still there is a big dispute going on between SEO experts what matters more important “ALT tag” or “Image names”.

    But some we must follow both for better indexing of our images and ranking higher in the image search.

    Thanks Mark πŸ™‚
    Enjoyed reading ^-^

  • Opening my Google webmasters page to check for broken links is part of my weekly maintenance. Saying that I never knew Google punishes for broken links.

    I also have the plug-in that Sunil mentioned.

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  • How timely as I just encountered a broken links problem today (linking to a blog listing). Funny thing is I could see the images (even though I constantly clear my cache), but a friend called to let me know the images were showing as a red X. I’m a little baffled by that. I’m going to install the Broken Links plugin. Didn’t know about that.

    • I think you should check the manually as well. Sometimes, these broken link checkers might miss. So you should try to use the 2 step policy

  • Sunil……….You are a huge lifesaver. All of my sites are WordPress blogs and ran into this problem of broken links not long ago linking to some other niche related blogs that the owner took down or there host provider did, one or the other.
    Thanks for your recommendation of the WP plugin. Hope I don’t run into this problem any longer.

    Doug

  • well you have mentioned some incredible points and reasons for low rankings. many sites especially newbies are not aware of this.

  • Really really awesome post and very helpful for us, the readers.

    I have really experience of this, because i changed the permalink from monthyearpostname to only postname, and then changing from non www to www. What happened was my blog was completely gone from SERPs, i was so panic.

    I wish i found this post at that time, but then i went to DP and ask there and here. One cool person suggest me to do 301 redirects. So i wait for a few weeks, until my site is back again, that was really tough experience.

    I guess people need patience too after doing your tips above.

  • Mark, great points, I would like to mention, In some cases, it might better for some sites to store their images of site. Server site optimzed for serving images. This can speed up your site if the site uses a lot of images or is portfolio site. If your site loads to slow, Google will count that is against you…My site still serves its own images, but eventually I will move the images off server…but right now, I do not have that many images.

  • Thanks to this tremendous content is that I realize many of the things I’ve been doing wrong. I never knew Google was taking into account both the broken links. Thanks again for all the content so great. Greetings!

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  • Storing images in our own server is important. In my earlier posts I didn’t know much about using wordpress images and I just link from other sites and later many turned to broken images. You have given good tip.

    I have a doubt regarding broken links. If I change my wordpress url by changing permalinks will that become broken links?

  • Mark Johnson thx for the SEO tips i really love this site im getting lot of info from here πŸ™‚

  • Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the tips. I was devastated when I went from being first in my chosen google search keywords to being somewhere on the fifth page.

    After checking for broken links it turns out I have tons! I don’t really know why, so will install the broken link plugin and fingers crossed this helps.

    Really don’t have a clue about webdesign, really helps when people share their information like this πŸ™‚

  • rndtechnologies786

    Nice view.