Are there broken links on your site? Have you removed some old pages while forgetting to clean up the links pointing to those pages? Did you change your file structure and leave some legacy links behind? You may not even know if you have these issues, but the search engines do.
Do these broken links affect your search engine rankings? Out of curiosity, I asked some colleagues in the industry this question and the general consensus was they don’t even worry about it as an organic factor, which leads me to think they do not believe this affects rankings. Well, I am fairly certain this is incorrect for a number of reasons. Broken links can degrade your rankings on a site wide basis. I recently wrote on the fact that search engines rank individual pages and not whole sites, but I also mentioned there are a few site wide ranking factors. I believe this is one of those factors.
Let’s set aside for a moment that having broken links on your site is bad for a wide variety of user experience reasons and focus on why it is bad specifically for search engine rankings.Read More