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"Image broken" error in Site Audit
"Image broken" error in Site Audit

Learn more about the "Image broken" issue in Ahrefs' Site Audit and how to fix it on your website.

Nick Churick avatar
Written by Nick Churick
Updated over a week ago

What triggers this issue?

This issue reports image files that return one of the 4xx or 5xx status codes.

Why is it important?

Broken images won't be displayed on your pages. This will negatively affect the user experience, while search engines won't be able to index these images.

Here's how a broken image usually looks on a page:

The "Network" tab in Chrome's developer tools:

How to fix it?

Such images could have been deleted, moved or renamed. Also, the external website hosting the image can be unavailable.

Replace, fix or remove links to the broken images on your pages.

To get the list of pages that reference the broken internal or external image, click on the number in "No. of IMG inlinks" column in this report.

Here are the most common HTTP status codes you can come across in this report:

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

The 403 (Forbidden) HTTP status code indicates that our crawler was not allowed to access the image files. 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 if your images are hosted on the external server which 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 the web server. Reduce the speed 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.

Where practically possible, keep images within your website's storage space (media gallery) rather than embedding images from other websites.

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