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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.

Most SEOs will tell you that the way to boost your rankings in the search engines is to build lots and lots of inbound links. Don’t build external links – those that link out – because they drain your authority juice away. Build your inbound links with great anchor text from relevant high authority websites and you’ll be the golden boy of SEO.

That advice really sucks. I’ll tell you why.

Google has long caught onto the practice of spammy links that follow all the rules of the book. They’ve done changed their algorithms at least a couple of dozen times to prevent those links from helping websites that shouldn’t rank. So do all the crafty link building you can following all the usual rules. It won’t work.

What does work is linking out to other sites within your niche. Don’t worry about draining your authority juice. You probably don’t have any yet.

Rather, consider yourself an authority in your niche and act like it. Would an authority link to a resource off site that would help a reader more than anything else you can post on your own? Of course he would. Then do that. Real authority websites link out promiscuously. They link to websites that are helpful to their readers.

That’s not to say you should link everywhere you can. Be selective about your external links. You don’t want to send your readers to warez sites or sites where they’ll pick up a malicious virus.

Set your standards for excellence based on common sense. Link to sites that add value to your niche for your readers. Become a real authority, not some fake authority based on spammy links that get you nowhere.