According to Google, having broken links don’t hurt the ranking of other pages on your website. But it surely hurts the user experience. If your website is full of broken links, your will visitors would frequently be visiting 404 pages. This is surely not a good sign for an authority site.
So, finding and removing broken links from your site is very essential to keep a good user experience. Broken links are nothing but links which points to a page that doesn’t exist. So you can understand how it may hurt the user experience of your site. If you want your site visitors to navigate throughout the site with peace of mind, you must ensure that you don’t have any broken links.
It really doesn’t take a long time to solve this problem. If you feel that your site might have a lot of 404 pages, you need to check it and remove them as soon as possible.
What Are 404 Pages?
A 404 page is nothing but pages that do not exist. A 404 page is created when someone links to your blog or website using a wrong URL. Obviously the wrong URL will not point to any webpage and user will not go anywhere. This is a very bad experience when someone visits your website and clicks on a link with no destination. It is a good idea to check your website if it contains any 404 page so that you can remove them. This is how your page may look.
How to Find Broken Links Easily?
If you have a blog on WordPress, the best way to find out a broken link is by activating a plugin like Broken Link Checker. If you activate this plugin, it will notify you whenever it finds a broken link on your blog. However, this is not the only plugin which can help you find broken links on your website. There are hundreds of other plugins to do this work very easily.
There is another way to find broken links on any website. If you want to check a blog or website that you do not own, you can’t find broken links. In such a situation I would recommended you to use this wonderful tool to discover broken links on your website easily. Here you will just need to URL of the webpage you want to check. So you can check any website or blog of your choice if they have any broken links.
Follow the link Xenu’s Link Sleuth and download the tool and install it on your PC. Once it is installed, you will be able to check websites or blogs for broken links. This is how the tool looks like. You can get a better image if you click on the above link and go to the original page to download the tool.
Some Additional Features of This Tool.
1, Simple, no-frills user-interface.
2, Can re-check broken links (useful for temporary network errors).
3, Simple report format, can also be e-mailed.
4, Executable file smaller than 1MB.
5, Supports SSL websites (“https:// “).
6, Partial testing of ftp, gopher and mail URLs.
7, Detects and reports redirected URLs.
8, You can also create a Site Map.
How to Get Started With It?
Unzip it and install it wherever you want. To check a site, click the toolbar icon on the left and enter a WWW address. If the address finishes with a directory name, don’t forget to put a / at the end or you will possibly get the whole parent directory spidered.
You can also click the “browse” button to check a local HTML file. If you do not already use IE for browsing and are sitting behind a company firewall, don’t forget to configure your proxy before you start.
If you are using a personal firewall (like ZoneAlarm or Outpost) you must enable Microsoft Internet Explorer by starting it, entering a URL and then “allowing” the application (you may also have to enable Xenu – see example for Norton Intenet Security). To find out what the software can do, simply try out the menu choices, the toolbar and the right mouse key.
General System Requirements to Use This Tool.
Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Vista/7, WININET.DLL required (included with Internet Explorer). To have peace of mind, I recommend that you are using an up-to-date anti-virus software on your computer (so do I!). No, it won’t work on Windows 3.11, not even with Win32s. No, I won’t make a Java, MacOS, Linux, Knoppix, Ubuntu, Beos, Palm, C64, SAP, AmigaOS, Blackberry, Symbian, iPhone or Android version.