Do Broken Links Hurt Your Rankings?
I recently came across an interesting forum discussion on Web Pro World, where someone asked whether having a few (50) broken links on his rather large web site could get him excluded from search engine results.
Bad links typically happen when you link to a page on another web site and they either remove the page or restructure their site so the page ahs a new address. Other typical causes are typos in links within your own site and moving or deleting graphic files that are still in use by some pages on your site.
I know that some directories (I’m thinking of DMOZ.org, The Open Directory) will drop a web site if an editor finds even a singly bad link. But for the search engines, you’re unlikely to be banned. Bad links may well cause your rankings to suffer, though.
You’ll find the full discussion here. Bottom line: avoid broken links. We run a monthly link check for our clients. If you think we may not be running one for you, please let me know.