As more people use the World Wide Web to find goods, services and information, search engine results are becoming more important every day. One of the many ways to help your website or blog achieve a decent ranking is to make sure that your website or blog is free of bad and broken links.
If you have been written a lot of articles on your blog, almost every of your blog posts contain links, sometimes, links do got broken, such as, a page is deleted, a subdirectory forgotten, a site moved to a different domain and etc. It is almost inevitable that over time some of them will lead to a “404 Not Found” error page.
404 is a code name for a missing page or a webpage that no longer exists.
Obviously you don’t want your readers to be annoyed by clicking a link that leads nowhere. You can check the links yourself but that might be a task if you have a lot of posts. The other method you can use is to use your web server’s stats but again, that only works for local links.
All these errors comes under observations when you have an eye over the response of all the URLs that associated with your blogs. If you have more than 1000 posts in your blogs, it is impossible to check all the links manually.
Search engines don’t like broken links, so you must check your blog for broken links.
Whether you manually check your links, or use software or a link checking service, having a solid intact link structure reflects well on your website means that you care about your visitor’s online experience and your website presence. But bad and broken links may harm your website search engine ranking and leave your website visitors with a less than pleasurable experience.
Among of other link checking software, I find Broken Link Checker is the best, it is a WordPress plugin which automatically checks all the post and pages for errors in links and images. It will auto tell about the errors at the WordPress Dashboard. This plugin checks for the errors within defined interval of time (you can change the time interval from the plugin options)
The broken links, if any are found, will show up in a new tab of the WP admin panel – Tools -> Broken Links. A notification will also appear in the “Broken Link Checker” widget on the Dashboard. To save display space, you can keep the widget closed and configure it to expand automatically when problematic links are detected. E-mail notifications need to be enabled separately (in Settings -> Link Checker).
The “Broken Links” tab will by default display a list of broken links that have been detected so far. However, you can use the links on that page to view redirects or see a listing of all links – working or not – instead. You can also create new link filters by performing a search and clicking the “Create Custom Filter” button. For example, this can be used to create a filter that only shows comment links.
There are several actions associated with each link. They show up when you move your mouse over to one of the links listed the aforementioned tab –
“Edit URL” lets you change the URL of that link. If the link is present in more than one place (e.g. both in a post and in the blogroll), all occurrences of that URL will be changed.
“Unlink” removes the link but leaves the link text intact.
“Not broken” lets you manually mark a “broken” link as working. This is useful if you know it was incorrectly detected as broken due to a network glitch or a bug. The marked link will still be checked periodically, but the plugin won’t consider it broken unless it gets a new result.
You can also click on the contents of the “Status” or “Link Text” columns to get more info about the status of each link.
Broken Link Checker Features
* Detects links that don’t work, missing images, deleted YouTube videos and other problems.
* Periodically checks links in posts, pages, comments, custom fields and the blogroll.
* New and modified entries are checked ASAP.
* Notifies you on the Dashboard if any problems are found.
* Lets you edit all instances of a specific link at once.
* Gives you a list of all links ever posted on your site, with the ability to search and filter it.
* Lets you apply custom CSS styles to broken and removed links.
* Highly configurable.