A broken link or dead link is a link on a web page that no longer works because the website is encountering one or more of the reasons below.
Reasons for broken links
- An improper URL entered for the link by the website owner.
- The destination website removed the linked web page (causing what is known as a 404 error)
- The destination website permanently moved or no longer exists
- The user has software or is behind a firewall that blocks access to the destination website.
- The website owner linked to a site that is behind a firewall that does not allow outside access (such as an Intranet site or a restricted access area on a website).
Broken links can be problematic for website visitors, making them unable to access the desired resource or information. These users may decide to make use of another site to find the necessary information elsewhere. A site that hasn't been updated or checked for a long time may suffer from link rot, which is a term used to describe a site with dozens of broken links.
Tip: Sometimes, if a link is broken you may still be able to read the content that was on the page copying the link and then trying to view that link on the Internet Archive.