• Impact Web Design

The Terror Of Broken Links And Bad Redirects

Each URL crawl returns an HTTP status code.

What does it mean for you as a visitor?


There are four major response families:

1. 20X: success, you can, and you get to the page

2. 30X: This URL has been redirected to another page

3. 40X: client-side error (visitor), URL unavailable

4. 50X: server-side problem (site), the site is down


Each error (40X, 50X) reduces Google's confidence in our website.

Every redirect (30X) wastes crawl energy.


All we need is a maximum of 20X responses, the deletion of 40X and 50X errors, and the limitation of 30X responses. In doing that, errors will be reduced, and the search engines crawl will be facilitated.


What's the process? First, you will need to find:

  • Broken pages

  • Broken links

  • Broken pictures

  • Temporary redirects (302) that are actually lasting longer than needed

  • Redirection chains: page A refers to B which refers to C ...

  • Redirection loops: page A refers to B which refers to A ...

Let's look at the major errors and how to correct them! :)


  1. 404 Error

  2. 404 Inlinks

  3. 302 Temporary Redirect

  4. 301 Inlinks

  5. 50X Errors

  6. Redirection Chain

  7. Loop


Error-404

1. 404 Error


Help! My website is down!

  • The most typical scenario is a deleted page. It existed but was removed, and no replacement pages were made.

  • Another cause of 404 errors is a conflict between plugins (deactivate them one by one to see which one generates an error and makes the page inaccessible)


How to find them?


You can use your Google Search Console.

You will be able to see all of your error reports under: Coverage → Details → Status

Google-search-console-noindex-error

Or you can use the Screaming frog tool

Go to → Response Codes → Client Error (4xxx)

Error404-screaming-frog

How to fix it?

  • We'll set up a permanent 301 redirect to a page that discusses the same topic or to another basic page on the site.

OR

  • Create a temporary redirect (302) and remove it after completion.


You may accomplish this with any of your CMS or using HTLM directly to your page using this code (for 301):


<meta http-equiv="Refresh" content="0; url='YourURL'" />



2. 404 Inlinks


They are hyperlinks that lead to broken pages.


How to find them?


Same as for the 404 error but you have to select ''Inlinks''

The report will show you which page your broken link is set upon.

404-inlinks-error













What if my page has a lot of links and I can't identify the one that's broken?


Right-click and select ''Inspect'' → CTRL F → copy and paste your broken URL/keywords on the search browser → Identify your broken link

inspect-inlink








How to fix it?

  • Apply a redirect on the broken page

or

  • Simply delete the link or change the hyperlink to a functioning page



3. Temporary Redirects (302)


How to find them?


Screaming Frog → Response Code → Redirections → Status Code 302

302-error

How to fix it?

  • Redirect 301 or remove the temporary redirect if the page is ready to be live



4. 301 Inlinks (same as 404 Inlinks)


Hyperlinks that link to redirect pages. It would be preferable if they linked directly to the final URL.


How to find them?


Same as for the 404 Inlinks → Bulk Export → Response Codes → Inlinks Code 404


How to fix it?


  • Modify the hyperlink so it can link directly to the correct URL

  • The search and replace plugin will analyse all of your pages and replace any URLs you specify. In this situation, we strongly advise you to save a copy of your website first.


4. 50X Errors


1. Your server is full → free up or purchase more space

2. Your server has been overloaded (increase in traffic) → Increase the PHP memory

3. If things become difficult → Call your host.



5. Redirection Chains


A links to → B links to → C links to → D (Exit/final page)

What do we want?

A → D


How to find them?


Screaming Frog → Reports → Redirect → Redirects and Canonicals chains → Export CSV

redirect-canonical-chain-screaming-frog

We will have a closer look at column B (number of redirects A → B → C → D etc).


How to fix it?


The redirect starts from the URL on column F (Address)

  • Copy the slug only e.g. www.impactwebdesign.com.au/webdesign-seo

  • Paste it to your CMS redirect settings page to find your redirect

  • Modify the redirect with a link to the final URL (which is on column G Final address)


Repeat the same operation for B and C

B → D

C → D


You may locate those redirects in your report file by scrolling to the right and looking for "Redirect URL."



Should I just delete all my redirects and just link them to the correct URL? If you do that, you may lose all your backlinks.


6. Loop


A loop is like a redirection chain but you don't have a final exit page. You'll need to locate one to direct each page of your loop.

Exactly the same operation as above except that you will need to find a new exit page where you want to redirect.


From to

A → B → C → A → B etc A → D B → D C → D etc

Loop
Loop-exit-page