Broken links generally refer to those URLs which are either not available anymore or have undergone a change of content. These links when clicked generally lead the user to a 404 error page and this can be quite frustrating and irritating for the user. Thus they are generally also termed as “ugly links” while “pretty links” are those that lead the user correctly to the website that they want. Both these links are interchangeable and thus all links that are broken can be repaired and all “pretty links”, if not maintained properly might get broken.
These links which are broken need to be taken care of immediately since they have a negative impact on the website that they are associated with. These links thus:
Make a website appear outdated
This makes web visitors lose interest in it thereby neglecting it. These results in a gradual drop in the web traffic initially which results in a sharp drop in people visiting the website.
Search engine rankings get affected
This is a very serious outcome which if, neglected will have a very bad impact on the concerned business revenue. Google keeps a track of all websites having links that are broken by using bots to minutely crawl through websites. Rankings are generally better for those websites which keep posting dynamic content and which are maintained regularly. Any website having a broken link is deemed to be old and unused by the Google algorithm and thus they get no importance in Google search rankings. This will ultimately result in a loss of web traffic and thus business turnover and revenue would get affected.
Poor effect on usability
Websites which contain links that are broken are a cause of inconvenience for users and customers. This effectively means that the user would get much less from the concerned website having links that are broken than they would from websites with pretty links thereby decreasing the usability of the website.
The health of a website can be easily gauged by companies like Hexometer that are concerned with conducting website audits. And the only way to have a healthy website is to ensure that it contains only high-quality links.