How to manage broken links – Confirm, Review, Dismiss
By Sean Needham
Siteimprove’s Quality Assurance module identifies broken links affecting your website.
We highlight the location of a broken link on the page and in the code, which can then be fixed using your content management system (CMS), see “How do I fix a broken link?”.
You can view the broken links on your website at Quality Assurance > Links > Broken links
Here you have options to Confirm, Review, and Dismiss broken links that have been identified.
How are the broken links categorized?
The broken links are categorized as follows:
- Confirmed broken links – These include links that have been confirmed as broken, either automatically (by Siteimprove) or manually (by a user on the account). Links that return a 404, soft 404, or 410 status code are automatically confirmed as broken. For more information on status, codes see - What Are HTTP Status Codes and what do they mean?
- Links to review - These links may only be temporarily broken, or links that are only broken for some users. This list should be reviewed manually and links either dismissed or confirmed as an issue.
- Dismissed links - These links are either not broken or links that cannot be fixed. These are similar to what we formerly called “Ignored links”. All previously ignored links will now be listed under this new tab. For these links, a decision has been taken and can be reversed using the “undo”
Where do I start?
We suggest you first go to Quality Assurance > Links > Broken links and use the Confirmed broken links tab to start addressing the issues affecting your website users.
Confirmed broken links
You can view examples of where the broken link occurs using the magnifying glass icon. This icon brings you to Page report where you can see the link in context. See “How do I fix a broken link?” for more information on the Page report.
For each broken link category, you can filter by HTTP status code, and Type of link (internal or external). You also have the possibility to sort and export the tables to a CSV file.
You also have options to Dismiss broken links using the Dismiss button.
- Dismiss for now: the link will be moved to the Dismissed links tab but if the HTTP status code of the link changes, it will automatically be moved back to the appropriate category. The link will be removed from the broken link page if the link returns a 200 HTTP status response.
- Dismiss forever: the link will be moved to the Dismissed links tab and will stay there unless a user reverts the decision. Siteimprove will still check the links frequently and provide the current HTTP status code in case the user decides to undo the decision.
Tip: If you see lots of broken links on a site showing the same pattern, you should not dismiss them individually, instead you can reach out to Siteimprove technical support to investigate.
Links to review
The "Links to review" table gives you options to recategorize the broken links found.
After you have considered the link you can decide if it should be Confirmed or Dismissed.
- Confirm – This confirms the links as broken. The link will be moved to the tab “Confirmed broken links” with a note to say when the link was confirmed and by who.
- Dismiss – Using Dismiss you can, “Dismiss for now”, “Dismiss forever” and make a note explaining why the link was dismissed.
Here you can view all the links that have been previously dismissed along with any notes explaining why.
You also have the possibility to reverse the decision using the “Undo” button.
If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Siteimprove technical support.