Common HTML link (external and internal) Errors

What are broken external links?

Broken external links are links that lead to a destination outside your own site that either does not exist or used to but no longer exists. There are many reasons for this – websites disappear from the Internet, individual pages move due to restructuring or updates, or are simply deleted, and errors in the URL also lead to broken links.

Broken external links can be a real nuisance for users. If they click on a link and only get an error message, they don’t get the further information they were looking for. If this happens several times, it is extremely negative for the user experience.

Webmasters or SEOs should therefore check at regular intervals if and where broken external links occur and fix or delete them. This way, the user will feel much more comfortable and shows search engines the website is well-maintained. Defective external links can be detected very easily with tools like Sistrix.

How many inbound links should a page have?

The answer to this question depends on the number of total links. As it is possible to indicate to search engines which subpages are particularly important via a good link structure, important pages should be linked to internally more frequently, based on how many internal links there are in total.

For inbound links in the sense of backlinks, the general rule is: the more, the better. So-called backlinks are still a quality feature for Google, and especially in contested areas they can be decisive for the ranking. In addition, they also bring visitors to your own website. But even more important is the quality of the incoming links.

A link can be worth different amounts for search engine optimisation and your own traffic. A link from a high-traffic website, which the target group and Google trust to have a lot of competence, is worth more than dozens of links from a random website with low visibility.

Pages linked internally with follow and nofollow – do I have to choose one attribute?

You have to decide on one of the two attributes for each link. It is useful if you are clear about which pages should be linked with which attribute.

For a long time, SEOs linked pages that were unimportant for a ranking, such as the privacy policy, with nofollow. The idea behind this was that “link juice” and crawl budget would not be unnecessarily wasted on pages that should not rank at all.

However, changes in Google’s algorithm have led to the search engine not distinguishing between follow and nofollow for internal links; Google follows both “tracks” equally. Internal nofollow links, on the other hand, could even cause damage, Matt Cutts said back in 2009.

Therefore, it is best practice to provide all internal links with follow. Pages that should not appear in the rankings can be marked accordingly via a noindex tag.

So not only does it make sense if you decide on an attribute, but you should link internally with follow according to the current state. So the number of internal links is crucial, not their attribute. Therefore you can control the link juice with a sensible link structure.

Steve Paine