Broken Link Scanning, or ‘Link Rot’ as it’s often referred to, is a critical but often overlooked component of any website’s maintenance strategy. Not only do broken links lead to a poor user experience, but they can also harm your site’s SEO. However, locating and fixing these links doesn’t have to be a cumbersome process. In this article, we will walk you through the intricacies of Broken Link Scanning and show you how to incorporate it into your website management routine.
What is Broken Link Scanning? #
Broken Link Scanning is the process of finding and repairing non-functioning links on your website. These could be links to external sites that no longer exist, or internal links to pages on your site that have been removed or relocated.
Why is Broken Link Scanning Important? #
Broken Link Scanning is crucial for three primary reasons:
- User Experience: Dead-end links can frustrate users, potentially causing them to leave your site prematurely.
- SEO: Search engines may penalize sites with numerous broken links, lowering their rankings in search results.
- Credibility: Websites littered with broken links may appear neglected or unreliable, tarnishing their reputation.
How to Perform Broken Link Scanning? #
There are multiple methods to perform Broken Link Scanning, from manual checks to using automated tools.
Manual Checks #
One can check each link manually, but this method is time-consuming and less reliable, especially for larger sites.
Using Automated Tools #
Several tools, both free and paid, can automatically detect broken links. Examples include Google Search Console, Screaming Frog SEO Spider, and Check My Links Chrome extension.
Fixing Broken Links #
Once identified, broken links can be fixed by either updating the URL or removing the link entirely. It’s also possible to redirect the broken link to another relevant page.
Broken Link Scanning is an essential part of maintaining a website. It boosts user experience, improves SEO rankings, and bolsters credibility. While manual checks are possible, using automated tools simplifies and accelerates the process. Once discovered, broken links should be promptly fixed to keep your site healthy and user-friendly.
- Why is Broken Link Scanning necessary for my website? Broken Link Scanning is essential for maintaining the user experience, SEO ranking, and credibility of your website. Broken links can frustrate users, lower your site’s search engine ranking, and tarnish its reputation.
- How do broken links impact my site’s SEO? Search engines, like Google, consider the quality of a website when determining its ranking. Broken links can signal a poorly maintained website, potentially leading to lower SEO rankings.
- Why should I use automated tools for Broken Link Scanning? Automated tools can scan a large number of pages quickly and accurately, saving you time and ensuring a thorough check of all links on your site.
- How can I fix a broken link once I’ve found it? Broken links can be fixed by updating the URL to its new location, removing the link entirely, or redirecting the link to a relevant page.
- How often should I perform Broken Link Scanning? The frequency depends on the size and dynamics of your website. However, a monthly scan is generally recommended for most sites.
- Why do broken links occur? Broken links occur when the linked webpage has been deleted or the URL has been modified without updating the link accordingly.
- How do I prevent broken links? Preventing broken links involves careful site management, such as ensuring URLs aren’t changed without proper redirection and checking the validity of external links before adding them.
- Why is redirecting a broken link beneficial? Redirecting maintains the value of the original link, guiding users and search engines to a relevant page, thus preserving user experience and SEO rankings.
- How do I choose the right tool for Broken Link Scanning? The right tool depends on your specific needs, budget, and website size. It’s best to test a few tools and choose the one that suits your requirements.
- Why does my site have so many broken links? High numbers of broken links often result from a lack of regular website maintenance, frequent content changes without proper redirection, or linking to many external sites that may have been moved or deleted.
Further Reading #
- “How to Find and Fix Broken Links in WordPress” on HubSpot
How we can help you #
As part of our Managed Hosting service, we can you provide with a broken link scanning report on a regular basis.