Bye-Bye Broken Links
Hello Better SEO!
Broken links on your blog hurt your SEO!
Why? Because they waste your visitors time!
A combination of a bad user experience and extraneous flow of link juice give Google a reason to frown at your site!
No one wants Google frowning when it comes to bad SEO!
Fortunately, there’s a simple, stable, safe way to track down those pesky links and make them easier to do something about…
Broken Link Checker
Broken Link Checker is a free WordPress plugin, that systematically scans your entire WordPress site for links that are no longer working.
(This will not clean up CommentLuv links, simply use CommentLuv Link Checker for that.)
This plugin effectively monitors links in posts/pages (highly useful if you’ve been doing a good job interlinking your posts) as well as URL field in the comments that your visitors may have left. (The plugin does not seem able to detect links within the comments themselves.)
Once installed and activated (same as any other WordPress plugin), there are two “parts” to the plugin.
You will find the settings for Broken Link Checker under the menu item Settings >> Link Checker
I didn’t make many changes in settings. However, I did mark “stop search engines from following broken links” , look for links in comments, posts and pages, check html, plain text and embedded video.
It will take anywhere from a couple hours to more than a day for this plugin to check all of the links on your blog. Configure it and then let it run before worrying about tackling the things it finds.
2. Broken Links
You will find the actual broken links themselves under the menu item Tools >> Broken Links
Once the plugin has finished running you will find your results in an easy to manage panel that lets you choose what you will do about them.
For many of the links that I had added to my blog posts, I used the “edit link” feature. (And then “recheck”)
For links left by visitors in comments, I used “unlink”.
For the occasional false positive, I used “Mark as not broken”
Hint: In the upper menu, “Redirects” are links that actually correctly go where they should be going.
Make a plan to install this, run it, manage the links and remove the plugin.
Leaving it run will generate ongoing resource use that you really don’t need. It’s super easy to reinstall the plugin when you wish to run it again in 6 months to a year.
Want to delve further into this topic? Ana from over at Traffic Generation Cafe has a great post about this plugin that ALSO covers some alternatives that you may want to consider.
This plugin is not perfect, it misses stuff, but it’s a great FREE place to start if you’re just beginning the process of tracking down faulty links.
Have you checked your blog recently for broken links?
~ Kim ~
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