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Link Rot

Link rot, also known as link decay or link death, is the process by which hyperlinks on a website become broken or outdated over time.

This can occur for various reasons, such as the removal or relocation of the linked content, changes in domain names, or website restructuring.

Link rot can negatively impact a website’s SEO performance, user experience, and online credibility.

The Consequences of Link Rot in SEO

  • Loss of Link Equity – Broken links can result in the loss of valuable link equity, which can harm a website’s search engine rankings and overall SEO performance.
  • Decreased User Experience – Link rot can lead to a frustrating user experience, as users encounter broken links and are unable to access the desired content.
  • Damaged Online Credibility – A website with numerous broken links can appear poorly maintained or outdated, which may reduce its credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of both users and search engines.

How to Prevent and Address Link Rot

  • Regularly Audit Your Website – Use tools like Google Search Console and Screaming Frog to periodically check your website for broken links and address any issues that arise.
  • Update Outdated Links – Keep your website’s content up to date by regularly reviewing and updating any outdated links, either by fixing the link or replacing it with a more relevant and current resource.
  • Implement 301 Redirects – When restructuring your website or changing domain names, set up proper 301 redirects to ensure that users and search engines are directed to the new location of your content.

For more information on link rot and how to address it, consider these resources:

  1. Moz: How to Fight Link Rot
  2. Search Engine Journal: How to Identify and Tackle Link Rot