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  • Writer's pictureBrent Payne

External URL redirect broken (4XX or 5XX)

When a link directs to an external URL, but this URL leads to a page with an inaccessible status during our website audit, this issue arises.


Why is this important?

When a website's link is modified, users and search engines are typically redirected from the old URL to the new location through a 301 (permanent) or 302 (temporary) redirect. If the final URL isn't reachable, it creates a problematic situation for both users and search engines who cannot access the intended content.


There are instances where a 5XX error may temporarily occur due to server issues at the moment of crawling. However, more commonly, redirects erroneously send visitors to 404 error pages, which must be addressed promptly.


What does the Optimization check?

Our check identifies any external URL that redirects to another page resulting in either a 4XX or 5XX HTTP status code.


Examples that trigger this Optimization:

Here are scenarios that would activate this alert:


HTTP/... 404 Not Found...


In the case of server errors, such as:


HTTP/... 500 Internal Server Error...


How do you resolve this issue?

For resolving the issue of redirects pointing to non-existent pages, consider these approaches:

  • Repoint the redirect - Redirect to a different, active URL if available, and ensure to update all existing links to the new destination.

  • Remove the redirect - If there's no suitable replacement page, eliminate any incoming links to the old, redirected URL.

How do you get more data from Loud Interactive?

For both solutions mentioned above, the ultimate task involves locating all linking pages directed at the problematic redirect, with updates needed accordingly.

Access extensive data on these links through the Loud Interactive platform by selecting the URL Details option from our reporting feature, then look into the Incoming Links section.

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