We all intuitively know that broken links are bad. Links are the foundation of the Web and when they don’t work the user experience suffers, SEO suffers, and credibility suffers.  But let’s take this a step farther. Are there real financial ramifications of broken links?

Consider this.

Over the past few weeks I have come across three college websites where the link to apply for admission was broken.  That’s right. Someone who is interesting in attending was unable to apply. Let’s do some simple math. The average yearly tuition at these three schools was over $25,000 per year.  If just one prospective student decided not to apply, the cost to the college for four years worth of tuition would be over $100,000.  And this amount does not include room, board, fees, etc.  Yes, the most selective colleges would find another student to hit enrollment targets but many campuses don’t enjoy this luxury.

Links matter.  More than you think.