Can Linking To 404 Internal URLs Cause a Drop In Google SERPs?

Internal linking is good for SEO and Google loves it. However, linking to 404 internal URLs could cause down rankings in Google SERPs. This issue has just been reported by a blogger in WebmasterWorld. We should be careful about this too.

Many of us have been aware of the importance of internal linking that can improve your pagerank as this can demonstrate that your contents is logical. However, if your post links to an 404 error URLs, it can likely be harmful to your SERPs in Google. This is still controversial but you need to take care of this in order to maintain or boost your ranking in SERPs.

Frankly, it is not good linking to unavaliable URLs and your webmaster tools account will show a lot of errors. This can decrease your traffic from search engines too. But, you can fix it with several tools that are free.

Here are some recommended tools that help you remove or 301 permanently redirect to new URLs:

1. Broken Link Checker:

This plugin is used for WordPress and it will scan your database and show you how many broken links your blog has. You can see and fix it easily. I love this plugin and you should give it a try and see how it can help improve your 404 errors.

2. Redirection

Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.

3. Permalink Redirect WordPress Plugin

This plugin fixes all sorts of weird addons to your URL’s by automatically 301 redirecting to the permalink for that post, page, category or tag page.

4. Permalink Redirect WordPress Plugin

A WordPress plugin that replies a 301 permanent redirect, if requested URI is different from entry’s (or archive’s) permalink. It is used to ensure that there is only one URL associated with each blog entry.

5. Non-wordpress 301 Redirect

301 redirect is the most efficient and Search Engine Friendly method for webpage redirection. It’s not that hard to implement and it should preserve your search engine rankings for that particular page. If you have to change file names or move pages around, it’s the safest option. The code “301″ is interpreted as “moved permanently”.

These are great plugins but the last one is designed for non-wordpress blogs, not plugin. If you are using wordpress or non-wordpress blogs or websites, you can still use this script to do 301 permalink redirect.

Hope this can help you fix your 404 error and improve SERPs in Google search.

11 comments… add one

  • I’ve used some of these plugins via your recommendation before, thanks for sharing :)
    The broken link checker helps me a lot, however sometimes when another site is down for a while, I see that it doesn’t check it again, so I still have to check manually.
    And do you think that this plugin will hold much server load? In the setting, I always see the current load is over 2.

    • Tran Tinh

      It is hard to say how much resource that plugin utilize as there have been no reports on this. It also depends too much on how many broken links you have and how big your database is. I am happy as I have no problems with this plugin so far :-)

      You should set it to scan for everyday to save server resources and you are safe :-)

  • I don’t use much of those plugins in there. I leave it as default and I don’t think it could hurt my serps at all.

    • Tran Tinh

      Your serps is not affected at all just in case you have your 404 links in your database. You can easily check how many of broken links in your site through webmaster tool.

  • What a great piece information to be aware of 404 internal URL. Thanks for your recommendations of these plugins.

    • Tran Tinh

      Hi Justin, you are welcome. Hope these plugins can help you sometimes :-)

  • Better check mine too. Maybe there’s an error =)

    • Tran Tinh

      You should as we can not see it with our eyes, use plugins to find them for us :-)

  • Thanks for the tips bro. I will surely look into it hereafter.

    • Tran Tinh

      Hi @Robin, you are always welcome. Hope that helps you later :-)

  • Nice Post. Very Useful Information.

    Thanks for sharing this great Post Tinh.

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