Did know that most websites leak link equity and authority? They’re essentially losing out on inbound link equity by not keeping track of broken inbound links.
How to fix broken links
So what is a broken inbound link? In short its when a ‘website A’ is linking through to a page on ‘website B’, however somewhere down the line ‘website B’ discontinued the page that ‘website A’ had pointed a link towards, which resulted in a slight loss of overall organic search visibility on ‘website B’. Still with me on this? Read that again if I’m not making sense, don’t worry I often don’t.
Let’s break this down on a more granular level, ‘website A’ had previously discovered a page on ‘website B’ worthy of a mention and a link. That link earned would have likely carried across link equity (aka Pagerank or link juice) whilst the page on ‘website B’ was live and indexable. The end result would have been an increase of organic search visibility to the page on ‘website B’, leading to a slight increase of overall site organic search visibility.
‘Website B’ for whatever reason decided to take down the page that ‘website A’ has kindly pointed a link towards. Because that link in the chain was severed by ‘website B’ taking down the page, the overall site organic search visibility would have dropped which would mean less visitors from Google organic search.
Reading this article I would assume you know some of the basics around link equity, if not that’s fine, have a read of this article from Moz on link equity later.
All is not lost, ‘website B’ is still holding that link equity from ‘website A’, however it’s probably in limbo 404 land. ‘Website B’ can reclaim back that link equity by redirecting that inbound link from ‘website A’ to another page on ‘website B’. All that’s required is a simple 301 redirect. Once the redirect has been implemented to another page on the website, the link equity ‘website B’ has earned should in theory pass over to the redirected page.
One key caveat I should mention, you’ll lose link equity if the page you’re redirecting too has no relevance to the page linking to you on ‘website A’. So I would recommend wherever possible if you’re planning to capitalise on those broken links, try to redirect to pages of similar relevance.
Tools to find broken links
So how do you find all those juicy broken inbound links? One tool I swear by for finding broken inbound links is AHREFS.com broken link checker, it’s not free, in-fact it can be pricey on a month-to-month subscription. You can use the trial version to find and download those broken links.
I’ve also mentioned overall organic search visibility in this article a couple of times. A tool you can use for checking organic search visibility is Search Metrics SEO visibility tool, which again is a paid tool. You can conduct a few free of charge searches per day to help you analysis and study organic visibility data.