The three biggest complains by Internet users are speed issues, broken links, and slow ads. Let’s tackle the number two complaint: broken links. Few things are more frustrating than tracking down the information you want, and you click the link and get the famous “404 Page Error – Page Not Found”.
The term “web” came about as a visual image of how the Internet and web pages work. Through a process of links within a web, each web page connects with another web page which connects with another, and another, and so on and so on, all connecting the strands of the web together. When one of those strands is broken, the web weakens.
A web page features two different types of links: internal and external. External links take the user to another site, leaving yours behind. Internal links are the links that connect one page to another within your website.
As a search engine moves through your site, it relies upon the internal links to move through your web site from page to page, gathering information. If there is a break in any of these links, or you have pages that are not linked to from within other pages in your site, that page won’t be found by the search engines.
If you use site statistics programs to monitor your website or blog visitors and access, check to see how often your 404 page is being accessed, or how often a 404 error is reported. If frequently, thoroughly check how up-to-date your internal links are to keep people inside your site on the right content.
Keeping up with “dead links” can feel like a full-time job. There are several link checking software programs available to help you organize and check your links, as well as free online link checkers to help those with only a few links on their pages. Blogs and pages come and go rather quickly. Or administrators change their linking structure so broken links are found even though the site is still functioning. While link checking programs can identify broken links, you still have to manually check to see if the link is really dead or just moved.
If you have a small business or site, schedule link checking about once every three to six months to keep your external links updated.
Check with your web host to find out what site statistics and logs they have and learn how to use them to check for broken or dead links. There are also some WordPress Plugins you can use to monitor your site’s activities which also log your Page Not Found errors.
Bloggers using wordpress.com can track their 404 Page Not Found errors through the Referers tab on your Manage panel. The link on the left shows the incoming source for the link and the link on the right shows the 404 error. Monitor this to keep track of potential page not found errors on your intrasite links.
No matter which version you use, be sure and check your outgoing links on a regular basis. Go through the list of 404 errors and check out the bad links. Fix the link or delete it in the post.
Link Checking Resources
- DMOZ’s Link Management Links
- Siteowner’s Link Checker
- Link Valet
- Webthing’s Free Link Checker
- W3C check link free utility
- AnyBrowser’s Link Checker
- HTMLHelp Valet Link Checker
- Icehouse Designs Link Checker
- NetMechanic’s Link Check
- Poisontooth’s Free Link Check
- RelSoftware’s Link Checking Software
- Link Checker for Firefox
Site Search Tags: site optimization, seo, search engine optimization, broken links, checking links, dead links, 404 page not found error, link checkers, testing links, blog maintenance, site maintenance, blog administration, taking care of your blog, blogging tips, blog tips
Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network Subscribe