Broken Link

Definition of Broken Link

A broken link, also known as a dead link, refers to a hyperlink that no longer directs to the intended destination or resource due to various reasons, such as deletion, move, or renaming of the target. When users click on a broken link, they typically encounter a 404 error page indicating the requested content cannot be found. Broken links can negatively impact website navigation, user experience, and search engine rankings.


The phonetic representation of the keyword “Broken Link” using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) would be: /ˈbroʊkən ˈlɪŋk/

Key Takeaways

  1. Broken links negatively impact website usability and user experience, potentially leading to decreased user engagement and increased bounce rates.
  2. Regularly checking and fixing broken links is essential for maintaining a healthy website, as they can affect SEO performance and organic search rankings.
  3. There are various tools and methods available to identify and fix broken links, such as Google Search Console, online broken link checkers, and website crawler software.

Importance of Broken Link

The term “broken link” is important in the realm of technology because it signifies a hyperlink that, when clicked, no longer directs the user to its intended webpage or resource.

Broken links disrupt the smooth functioning of the internet, as they impair user experience, hinder site navigation, and potentially harm the reputation of a website.

Moreover, they negatively impact search engine optimization (SEO), causing a decline in search engine rankings, which in turn results in reduced website traffic.

Efficient identification and repair of broken links contribute to improving the overall quality and performance of a website, leading to a better experience for users and a more robust online presence.


Broken links, sometimes referred to as dead links or link rot, are hyperlinks on a website that no longer function or lead to an intended destination. When a user clicks on a broken link, it usually results in an error page, such as “404 Not Found,” meaning the content is missing or has become inaccessible. These links not only create a frustrating experience for users trying to navigate a website and locate essential information, but they can also negatively impact the site’s credibility, user engagement levels, and search engine optimization efforts.

The purpose of identifying and fixing broken links is to create smoother website navigation and ensure a positive user experience. Broken links can exist for various reasons, including changes in the website’s structure, removal or relocation of web pages, or when an external site linked to it has become unavailable. To provide a functioning and efficient site, website owners or administrators should regularly check their websites for broken links and rectify them as soon as detected.

This process commonly uses tools such as link checkers or website crawlers that scan the entire site and identify broken links for further investigation. By ensuring all links perform as intended, website owners can maintain credibility with users, improve user satisfaction, and facilitate search engines in ranking and indexing the site effectively. In essence, fixing broken links contributes significantly to a website’s overall success and reputability.

Examples of Broken Link

The term “Broken Link” refers to a hyperlink that is not functioning properly or leads to an empty or dead web page. Here are three real-world examples of broken links:

A company’s website restructuring: A business decides to revamp its website and change the URL structure. During the process, some old links pointing to specific pages may no longer be valid. A visitor clicking on an old bookmark or a link from an external site might encounter a 404 error page, indicating a broken link.

Expired or deleted content: An online news portal regularly archives its old news stories, removing them from its database. As a result, links to these articles from external sources may lead to a “Page Not Found” error if the content is no longer available, resulting in a broken link.

Misspelled or incorrect URLs: A user might accidentally type a wrong URL into the address bar or the site owner might make an error while linking within a page. When users click on these incorrect links, they face an error message or an empty page, as the web page does not exist. This is an example of a broken link caused by human error.

FAQ – Broken Link

1. What is a broken link?

A broken link, also known as a dead link or a link rot, is a hyperlink on a webpage that no longer functions or leads to a non-existent webpage, typically resulting in a 404 error. These links can negatively affect a website’s user experience and search engine ranking.

2. What causes broken links?

Broken links can be caused by various factors, such as a website’s restructuring leading to changed URLs, typos in the hyperlink, or a website being removed or moved to another domain without proper redirection. Additionally, a linked external resource may be deleted or moved, causing the link to become broken.

3. How can I check my website for broken links?

You can check your website for broken links by using online tools such as the W3C Link Checker, Google Search Console, or other website crawlers. These tools can scan your entire website and report any broken links they find, allowing you to fix them and improve your website’s user experience and search engine ranking.

4. How can I fix a broken link?

To fix a broken link, you can either update the link to point to the correct URL, remove the link if the targeted webpage no longer exists, or set up a proper redirection for the old URL to the new URL. For linked external resources that are no longer available, consider linking to an alternative resource or removing the link entirely.

5. How can I prevent broken links in the future?

To prevent broken links in the future, ensure your internal linking structure is well maintained and monitor any changes made to your website’s URLs. Regularly review and update external links to ensure they are still valid. Using a content management system or automated link-checking tool can also help alert you to any broken links that may arise.

Related Technology Terms

  • 404 Error
  • Dead URL
  • Link Rot
  • Orphaned Content
  • Link Checker

Sources for More Information


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