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Dead Links: It’s Time To Clean Your Blog

Steven 3 responses Blogging

Today we’re going on a dead link hunt.

And trust me, they’re out there.

You just have to know where to look.

But before teaching you how to deal with dead links, I’m going to explain why you should proactively take care of dead links on your blog.

Why You Should Eliminate Dead Links

1. They hurt your credibility

When I click on a dead link it immediately makes me question the blogger’s credibility.

If he’s linking to another blog, no matter how old his post is, shouldn’t that blog or page still be in existence?

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And if it’s not, what’s that say about that other blog?

How reliable was that information?

And why would my blogger want to send me to a questionable blog in the first place?

And then I start asking myself just how great this blogger really is if he can’t even manage to keep his links up to date.

2. They’re distracting

As you can see by all my questions, dead links are also distracting.

Instead of focusing on the content I’m focusing on the credibility of both bloggers.

But broken links can also affect your blog’s appearance, which is also distracting.

Every visual element on your blog has it’s own URL.

So, for example, if your header link is broken there’s just a big blank spot up there at the top of every page.

3. They’re bad for SEO

These days, dead links are also bad for your SEO.

Whether they lead to content on another blog or your own, when the search engine bots see those bad links you lose credibility in their eyes, too, and it affects your page rank.

How to Eliminate Dead Links

Hunting for dead links is easy.

If you’re using WordPress you can install the Link Checker plug-in and it automatically scans every link on your blog on a regular basis.

If any of the links are broken or dead you’ll automatically receive an email notification.

If you’re not using WordPress you can visit BrokenLinkCheck and run a free check on all your links.

Simply enter your blog’s URL and it processes an online scan of all your web-pages.

It validates both internal and external URLs and can be used on an unlimited number of web-pages.

Of course, your other option is to visit every single page and post on your blog and manually click on all your links.

Which isn’t such a bad idea, anyway, especially for your older content.

While you’re on those older pages you can add links to relevant recent content and build a stronger internal linking structure.

I’d like to hear what you think when you land on dead links.

Are you as distracted by them as I am?

Do they drive you crazy, too?

Share your opinions in the comments below and then go on a dead link hunt on your blog.

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  1. Thanks, Steven, for the external site for broken links. I have used the Broken Link checker plugin but it has never found a broken link on my site. Broken Link Check alerted me to some broken links I wouldn’t have found otherwise. Very helpful.

    1. You’re welcome Carolyn. I’m here to help!

      I see that you’re using CommentLuv on your blog. As far as I understand, the broken link checker plugin for WordPress doesn’t detect broken links in the comments.

  2. How timely is this post! I just spent hours going over every one of my blog posts to check for bad links. I knew there had to be a plug in for it, but wordpress blogs don’t support plug ins. It was ok, as I have a small blog (less than 200 posts),as it was actually interesting to go over my older posts. I did do a bit of updating on content and it was surprising to see how much I have learned since I started blogging. Thanks for your post.