Dead links, also called broken links, are ones that no longer lead to the content you originally linked them to. This could be for any number of reasons. Most commonly it’s because the site is retired, deleted, has moved, or has changed its link structure.
Dead Links are Trouble!
They affect the readability of your blog, breaking the flow of comprehension. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a link only to find an error page, irrelevant content, or even a bad site you’d never go to voluntarily. This will frustrate your reader, and you will lose credibility.
They also affect your SEO, because search engines don’t like broken links.
How to Find Dead Links
The simplest way is to go back through your blog and manually check and change each and every post. That can be quite time-consuming, depending on how many posts you have. You may need to do that in the end after all, just to make sure. But first, here are several suggestions for sites that will help get you started…
Tools and Resources
Google Webmaster ToolsXenu’s Link Sleuth
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
W3C Link Checker
WordPress Plugins, such as Broken Link Checker
A word of caution: These plugins can really slow down your site, so if they are the only choice for you, just be careful!
What to Do with Dead Links
1. Fix or update:
Some links are simply wrong, or point to the wrong place. If that’s the case, you can easily fix it so it works again.
2. Delete the link:
If you can’t fix the link, delete it. Make sure your post still makes sense without it, or add a different link that is just as relevant.
3. Delete the post:
If there is no way to fix the link or update the post, you may need to delete it.
Further Reading from ProBlogger:
One Activity You Should Do On Your Blog Every Day
3 Important Questions To Ask About Posts in Your Blog Archives
Updating Old Posts On Your Blog
7 Old Post Revival Techniques You Won’t Believe You’re Overlooking
25 Reasons Why Google Hates Your Blog
How to Find and Fix Broken WordPress Links: Elegant Themes
Website Weight Loss: Fix Your Broken Links: About Tech
Website Broken Links: Why You Should Fix Them: Dave Lucas
What about you?
How do you find dead links on your blog? Do you have another way that isn’t listed above? Please share!