What are 200 OK pages?
200 OK is an HTTP status code. 200 OK pages are termed valid by your web servers. It tells the browser or a crawler that the concerned page is fine and can be served to the user.
What are internal links?
Internal links are basically how different pages on your website connect with each other. Which is via a hyperlinked text.
What are broken links?
Broken links appear on a site when a certain page links to 4XX or 5XX error page. There are multiple reasons when this can happen.
- Broken links can happen when a certain page links to the wrong URL or a page which doesn’t even exist on your site.
- The other reason could be that a page which has been serving content has been removed. OR
- The page being linked to is not being served because of a server outage.
Why is it important to link to the right URL?
Broken links can cause many issues both for your site users and search engines. The user will feel lost when they click on a link which doesn’t serve the content they were expecting to find. For a search engine spider finding a broken link would mean inefficient crawling. This inefficiency in crawling can show up in multiple ways.
Crawl Budget – A search engine spider allocates a certain amount of crawl budget to each website in its index. This amount of crawl budget assigned to a website can vary depending on the frequency at which the website is updated and…….
Since the crawl budget is limited for a website it is important that you are linking to pages which serve content. More the content Google consumes on your website better the chances of you ranking for a set of keywords.
When you link to broken links you are directing Google spider to pages which don’t serve any useful content(4XX and 5XX pages). This leads to wastage of crawl budget. Pages which deserve crawling and indexing might get missed out because the spider depletes crawl budget as it keeps hitting broken URLs. Broken links on a page degrade the user experience of the page. This might lead to lowered ranking in SEO.
How to check if your website links to 200 OK pages?
To check if your site has broken links you first have to run a complete crawl of your site using a tool like DeepCrawl. This will take time depending on the number of pages on your site. Open the crawl report once you are done. In the left sidebar, you should see a link to “All Broken Links” click that.
If this report shows you have broken links then you have clean up to do.
How to fix these broken links?
Find patterns. See if there is a pattern to the broken links. Use the 80/20 rule. If your site has a large number of broken links it could be possible that most of those broken links are occurring because of few coding errors or a single URL which is throwing a 404 error.
It might be that there is a sitewide broken link in the sidebar or footer because the programmer has used an extra slash ‘/’ in the relative URL. This usually shows up as a sitewide URLs in footers, sidebars and navigation.
To get started you need to see in how many instances a particular link is broken. If the number is very high then it means that many pages are linking to it. You might want to fix this first.
Deep crawl does this in a very clean way. When you click on “unique broken links” section you will see that all broken links are sorted based on the number of times the false URL creates a broken link. This gives us priority on how to go about our fixes.
To get this done you should first click on the “unique broken links” link in the sidebar.
Once you click it you will see a list of all broken links, the anchor text, target URL, Title and number of instances the broken link occurred. In the example below I see that a certain broken link has over 10,000 instances. On further lookup, I realized that the privacy link in the footer was broken!
Once you get such a prioritized list you can hand over the list with screenshots to your dev team to get it fixed.