One of the most important tasks for any webmaster is ensuring that you don’t have broken links on your website. But what kind of tool should you use for that purpose? I recently found a free broken link tool that I’d like to share with you.
Broken links can cause several problems. First, they can siphon off necessary link juice that flows from one page to another. If these pages are internal to your website, then you’ll have visitor usage problems, which can hurt your reputation. If those broken links are external and point in to your website, then you’ll get less traffic to your website. Either way, you’ll lose some authority points with the search engines and with your human audience.
All of this means you must identify and fix broken links quickly or suffer at the hands of the Internet gods.
Enter The Site Map Generator and Broken Link Tool from Internet Marketing Ninjas.
This tool is more than a broken link tool, obviously. But it serves as a useful tool for helping you find your broken links. It will crawl up to 10,000 pages at once. However, if you set it to crawl that many pages, expect it to take awhile. The bright side is you can have your broken link report e-mailed to you so you don’t have to wait.
The report is pretty thorough. It includes:
- Number of internal links
- Number of external links
- A list of your internal link errors
- A list of your redirects
- A list of your external link errors
- And a list of your external redirects
After reviewing these reports, you should have enough information available to identify your link problems and get those fixed.
Broken links can kill a website if allowed to go on for too long. That’s why you should identify them quickly and get them taken care of.
So what happens when your website has broken links?
If allowed to linger for too long, broken links can be a ding against your website’s SEO ranking. In other words, they can count against you. One or two might not hurt, but hundreds will. And many webmasters will allow their broken links to continue because they don’t monitor them.
A simple diagnostic tool will tell you if you have broken links on your website. Google Webmaster Tools is free and does the job for you. Google will tell you if your site has broken links.
After you have determined that you have broken links, go to the pages where those links exist and analyze your content. Can you find another source to link to? If so, then replace the broken link with a link to a resource that is just as helpful, or more, to your website visitors. If you can’t find one, then consider revising your content so that the link isn’t necessary.
When you revise your content you invite the search engines back to re-crawl your pages. They will then re-index your pages based on the latest crawl and re-rank them. Some webmasters have seen increased page rankings based on fixing broken links.
If you are looking for more opportunities to increase your website’s search engine optimization, find and fix your broken outbound links. It’s a small thing, but it can matter.