Bloggers – Broken Plates are Good News, Broken Links, Not So Much


The Danish have a very old tradition of breaking dishes on the doorsteps of family and friends on New Year’s Eve.  The more dishes that are broken and piled up at your door on January 1st, the more friends and good fortune you have, Wescott writes in Tradish.

Unfortunately for blog content writers, broken links are definitely not signs of good fortune. A broken link connects the reader to an error message, rather than to more information, perhaps because:

  • The destination web page may no longer exist.
  • The user has software that blocks access to certain websites.
  • The destination website does not allow outside access.

Sites that haven’t been updated or checked for a long time may suffer from “link rot”, explains Broken links are bad news, no two ways about it, cautions

At Say It For You, I offer advice that is a play on the Hippocratic Oath for healthcare providers (“Above all, do no harm”): Above all, I teach newbie blog content writers, do not annoy your readers with poor navigation, poor grammar, plagiarism, or just plain poor marketing tactics.

Broken and dead links make for a poor user experience, translating into missed opportunities to maximize the value of a company’s or practitioner’s website, as Geonetric points out. “How  many broken links does a visitor need to encounter on your website before they begin to associate your brand with difficulty, error, and failure?”

There are two types of links, Geonetric explains – internal (leading to other pages on your own website) and external (leading to pages on another website).  Internal links are most easily fixed.  But if an outside destination no longer exists, you’ll want to remove the hyperlink altogether, revising the content so that it no longer suggests a link at all.

Broken plates may be a sign of friendship and good fortune in Denmark, but nowhere in the blogosphere can broken links be considered good news!

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