Links are used to navigate from one website to another with the click of a mouse. There are many terms used for inbound and outbound links. The former is under the control of the owner of the website linking to yours. You have no power over those. So, this article is a look at outbound links (links from the owner website to other relevant sites), how they relate to search engine optimization (SEO), and how broken ones can cause damage to SEO ratings.
What is an Outbound Link?
An outbound link (sometimes called an external link) is placed in a website to take the viewer to another relevant site. These links may take you to a specific website or just a particular webpage and can be useful for your SEO ranking as well as the ranking of the targeted site.
What Is A Broken Outbound Link?
Usually, when a website clicks on an outbound link, the targeted site suddenly appears. Occasionally, instead of the targeted site, the viewer receives a 404-error message, which indicates a broken link. As trivial as that may seem, this broken link is causing definite harm to your website. Just one of these broken links could potentially hurt your SEO and lead to undesirable experiences for visitors to your site, which could even result in loss of customers and revenue.
These links can break in several ways:
• An error in the URL.
• The page or website has moved.
• The linked site has gone offline.
• A mistake made by the person that maintains the site.
How To Find Outbound Broken Links
If your website is small, it is easy to manually click on each link and determine whether it is or isn’t broken. Keeping a spreadsheet record of the broken links will give you the chance to follow up by fixing or eliminating the weak links at another time.
If your website is extensive, then a manual review of the links is impossible. A paid outbound checkers is an excellent investment to help keep your site healthy. These checkers make an otherwise daunting task into a straightforward one. You will find that these checkers create an “outgoing broken link” or similar report. These checkers prepare reports that identify all of your broken link sites.
How To Fix Outbound Broken Links
Now that you know that you have broken links, the real work begins. Use this checklist to determine how to proceed:
• If the link isn’t necessary for your website to function, and it is not a citation, just make a notation to remove it.
• If the link is vital to your site, review the anchor text to determine what was on the page.
• Sometimes the anchor text doesn’t provide enough clues to determine what was on the page. In that case, use a website called “archive.org” to determine what the former page included.
• Check to see if the content has been moved to a different location on the site.
• If possible, check out more recent or updated information on the subject and use them with which to replace the link that is no longer available.
In today’s world, your website is one of your most valuable tools. It is essential that you keep it operating at its highest performance. As mentioned above, the SEO ranking is of vital importance to your business. Anything that adversely affects this ranking can have severe consequences for your business. Keep a check on your outbound links and keep them working for you.