When we talk of broken links, it is usually to refer to links which return back error messages. In fact, the message “404 page error” is perhaps the only error message which everyone has faced sometime or the other. The reason is, of course, the presence of a broken link or a link which has stopped working for reasons like:
- Unavailability of the website,
- Webpage moved to another domain without adding a redirect clause,
- There is a change in the website’s URL structure etc.
While it is extremely frustrating for the web visitor, for the website site owner it is something which questions their credibility and integrity. In addition to this a broken link to a website also:
- Hurts an e-commerce business negatively by:
- Making then lose their regular customers or clients.
- Having an adverse effect on brand value.
- Affecting conversion rates and
- Acting as a hindrance to any internet marketing program launched.
- Causes irreparable damage to the reputation of an e-commerce company or organisation in several ways like:
- Content in the form of articles, blogs, social media posts, etc, containing a broken link invariable makes an audience view it negatively,
- Constantly having to face the 404 page error message makes a potential client irritated and frustrated and sooner or later he stops going to the website altogether,
- People sharing links to a website is a good way of getting good quality of inbound links but content containing a broken link is never shared thereby leading to a loss of the much-coveted inbound links etc.
- Search engine rankings are also adversely affected since a search engine encountering a broken link, immediately reverses its opinion of the website thereby causing it to either:
- Almost disappear from any search engine result or
- Downgrading its search engine ranking.
In both cases, the e-commerce website gets affected since there is a huge drop in web traffic.
Thus the issue of the broken link needs to be sorted as soon as possible so that business does not get affected. There are a number of website auditing monitoring platforms like the Hexometer which help identify them and resolve the problem.