What is a broken link? A broken link means that a hypertext link (also known as a URL) no longer redirects to the website it targets. There are several possible reasons for broken links. The link may have been inserted incorrectly, usually by copying and pasting. A functional link may also stop responding if the destination website no longer exists. Or it may be that the affiliate program has stopped.
It's normal for dead links to appear on a website, but their presence is undesirable.
The links you place on your website have two main functions: monetization and SEO.
Affiliate links generate traffic and sales for your partners. If your affiliate links are broken, the revenue generated by your website will mechanically decrease.
When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it's all about showing search engines that your website is well maintained. Having broken links on your site is like having weeds on your lawn. Search engines don't like the impression of clutter, and the resulting penalties are often swift and severe.
💡 SEO: Search engine optimization. These are the set of best practices recommended by search engines. They enable your content to rank higher in Google's search results pages, for example.
Whether you want to make money or increase your traffic, dealing with broken links is an essential step in ensuring your website's audience longevity and profitability. It's all the more important if you have feature articles. To find out more, read our article on building an audience mattress.
If broken links are to be eliminated, you need to be able to find them without having to check each and every page of your website one by one. Several tools can help:
These tools are handy, but they act downstream of the problem. How do you prevent these links from forming? The ideal solution is to use tools that do the work for you. Affiliate platforms make your partners' catalogs available as XML or CSV files, but also via APIs. Developing your own tools that use these feeds greatly reduces the risk of having partner links that no longer respond.
💡 API stands for Application Programming Interface. In this case, it's a URL that returns requested information when sent a request with a product code. Example: a product sheet for the Zelda Links Awakening game on Nintendo Switch in XML format.
However, to develop such tools, you need to know how to program. If you're not a developer, you'll have to invest in automating the work. Fortunately, Affilizz offers these tools on its website. With just a few clicks, you can create your own price comparators or buttons/CTAs, choosing the products and merchants you want to appear. If a product is no longer available from a merchant, it will automatically be removed and replaced by another available offer.
This saves you from having to manually check partner links for broken links.
Broken links are bound to appear on sites in the short to medium term. But they don't have to be. By regularly consulting the data provided by various tools, you can minimize the time needed to eliminate them. In some cases, such as with affiliate links, tools can help you automate the work. This way, you spend less time maintaining your website's links, and more time developing your audience and revenues.