What triggers this issue?

This issue reports pages that link to URLs returning one of the 4xx or 5xx HTTP response codes.

Why is it important?

Links to the 4xx or 5xx URLs are known as "broken links". Broken links on your website damage your visitors' browsing experience as people cannot access the page or file via a link they click. Besides, they create unnecessary "dead ends" for the search engine crawlers and can waste your crawl budget.

How to fix it?

You can see the broken URLs linked from the affected page along with their HTTP response code in the following columns of this report:

  • Internal outlinks to 4xx
  • Internal outlinks to 5xx
  • External outlinks to 4xx
  • External outlinks to 5xx

Here are the most common HTTP status codes you can come across in this report and ways to fix this issue:

The 404 (Not Found) HTTP status code indicates that the linked page could have been moved or deleted, but the link to it was not changed. To fix this issue, you can restore the page with the old URL, edit the link on the referring page so that it points to another relevant page, or remove the link altogether.

Alternatively, you can set up the 301 redirections for the broken pages. This is especially relevant for the pages with a huge number of incoming links. However, it is better to have direct links across your website.

The 403 (Forbidden) HTTP status code indicates that our crawler was not allowed to access the linked URL. Your server could have started to block requests from our crawler at some point of a crawl. This might happen due to a server or firewall configuration. You can whitelist our IP addresses and run a new crawl. 

This can also happen when your page has outgoing external links, and the external server blocks our crawler.

The 429 (Too Many Requests) HTTP status codes may indicate that the crawling speed set in the crawl settings for your project is too high for a web server. Reduce it in the crawl settings and run a project re-crawl.

5xx (Server error) HTTP status codes indicate some server issues, and you should address your developer or hosting provider. Your server may be misconfigured, overloaded, or generally slow.

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