I am in the midst of a discussion about a number of broken links on a site which has discovered by a checker tool.

My argument is that the majority of these links are from the CSS in the form of background images on small elements such as buttons and menu items (which has happened from an old site move).

How does Google view this? I thought they would only negatively affect your SEO if they were broken anchor link elements on the page?

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    Maybe the only little negative impact on SEO is HTTP requests to load images take time for nothing; and a site which loads faster is good for SEO.
    – Zistoloen
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


Those aren't broken links. They're just missing images/files. Since CSS/HTML validation is not a ranking factor these won't affect your rankings.

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    They will still return 404 not found errors so worth cleaning up but yeah, not going to cause any negative effect with regards to ranking.
    – zigojacko
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:11
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    @GeoffJackson-zigojacko then again it is also increasing the load time as Zistoloen stated Feb 14, 2014 at 16:04

Although, not a primary ranking factor, we would recommend that you clean them up so there are no 404s or missing pages.

If an auditing software can detect these errors, then you can bet that Google can, too.

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