Every SEO should be focused on making sure links work on a site, right? Well sometimes this task can be quite cumbersome. In fact if you have a site with hundreds of pages it can be down right almost impossible to check all those by hand in an acceptable time frame.
So here are a few tools you can use to speed up that process.
First is my favorite, W3C’s Link Checker. It does the whole process for you. All you have to do is enter in your website URL and it spits out all the links on that page which are broken. And even shows you a list of links that lead to pages which are redirected. Pretty cool, huh? The only down side to it is that it only checks that one page or URL you entered it. It doesn’t check your whole site automatically. Oh but wait! It does that too!
To get check a site over you just need to click the “Check linked documents recursively” checkbox and then enter how the recursion depth. The recursion depth indicates how deep you want to look through links to pages on your site – meaning how many pages deep you want the checker to go on your site, checking each page on it’s way for broken links.
The data from this tool is awesome. You can get a lot more data than just broken links.
Next up we have LinkChecker a Firefox Add-on which seems to be pretty popular.
Then Check My Links, a Chrome extension. Jon Cooper posted a very informative blog post on not just how to check your own site for broken links but how to leverage that extension to build back links to your site. Pretty neat trick! Check it out over on SEOmoz.org, Check My Links Chrome Extension – A Link Builder’s Dream.
The last nifty tool I want to mention is Google’s Webmaster Tools. Within your webmaster account there you can view data on what pages have broken links and exactly which pages are linking to those broken pages. The fact that Webmaster Tools is providing source data for broken links makes this data 10 times more useful. You can quickly clean up broken links and as a bonus you know the links Google knows are broken :). Yep, It’s pretty handy!
Well that’s it for now. Do you have any favorite tools you use to check for broken links? I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments.