In The Lost Land of Broken Links

Broken Links – What Can Be Worse?

Have you ever found yourself lost with broken links? Visit a website and you can’t find what you had googled for? In a previous post I had touch upon it with the use of sitemaps.

I’ve always worked on broken links for our retail websites daily within our Stores Online dashboard. They have their own system and it’s pretty easy to re-direct the broken links. They seem to happen when a product goes out of stock and I eliminate it from the site or if I change a title or description. It also happens when I add new products or pages. Not positive why on that one.  I believe it’s the first time someone comes upon that page and Google hasn’t crawled it yet. I can say that Google crawls more quickly than ever before since the caffeine updates.  2 years ago it would take weeks for a new page to show up and now it just takes days.

I recently started to use Google Webmaster tools for fixing broken links as I started to work on some for this blog. I found that Google Webmaster tools found different broken links and it really helped  the retail site get more views and even more sales the next day.  So fixing those broken links can really make a difference to your blog or website.

If you are not familiar with Google Webmaster tools for fixing broken links I have made some screen shots along my fixing those nasty URLs that slow down the visits to your blog or website.

So you scroll down to the health section of the webmaster tools for your site as you see above.

You then proceed to the crawl errors and find which broken links are causing the problem.

 

And then you must enter the bad URL to fix the broken link here.

Or you could eleminate the broken link altogether but I would be very careful about doing that. I did it with one and will let you knwo how that works out :)

You then could also create a page on your website like this one below if you still have broken links and someone lands on it. This one I created only lasts for 3 seconds and then goes to the home page.

There are a few other ways to find and fix broken links too.  More coming soon on that.

How often do you check on your broken links and what method do you use?

Lisa

Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Social Media, Blogging and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others?
She has 20+ years experience in marketing/advertising with 4 years experience blogging, social media and SEO. Get her new eBook Tweeting Like It's 2nd Nature Today!
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26 Responses to In The Lost Land of Broken Links

  • Mayura
    Twitter:
    says:

    Cool ;) You have come up with the screenshots, so anyone can follow it easily. I’ve been using Google Webmaster Tools for broken links and lately start to use Broken Link Checker too. Both are really helpful in busting broken links and finding errors with our sites. Else we never know. However Google Webmaster Tools is a resource. And 404 pages are must. Else readers get confused after landing on unavailable page.

    Informative post Lisa :)

    Cheers…
    Mayura recently posted…How to Add a Notification Bar to Your Website with Hello BarMy Profile

  • Adrienne
    Twitter:
    says:

    I’ve only used the Broken Link Checker service myself Lisa so I haven’t ventured into Google Webmaster for checking my broken links. Mainly because with this service it will tell me on which page the link is located so I can either delete the link altogether or the comment it’s connected to or the repair the link if it’s mine.

    But it’s always nice to know there is another source to use. Of course, I’m sure there are plenty.

    I now check mine monthly and so far, I’m clean. Yey!!!

    Thanks for giving us this scoop. Great information.
    Adrienne recently posted…Why Your Blog May Be Losing Rank In GoogleMy Profile

    • Lisa
      Twitter:
      says:

      Thanks Adrienne, I used that one too and I like it. It’s interesting though the two don’t always match so I like checking with both. It’s a great feeling when you see them clean.

  • Her Social Network says:

    Thanks for the tips. I always appreciate someone who shows people learning the ropes. I have really never known how to check broken links other than to just click them and test them myself. And it takes a long time! I am going to definately use this. Thanks Lisa

  • JanB
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Lisa. I think Google Webmaster Tools is one of the most underrated tools available. They offer tons and tons of information. For free!
    Sitemaps rule. They make your site better ‘crawlable’,
    Broken links are a pain in the butt to find.. Especially with a business site every link has to be working.

  • Andrew says:

    very interesting post thank you for sharing this with us i really enjoyed reading all the information your post offers.

  • Micah says:

    Ya know it’s funny, I’ve been reading quite a few blogs about this lately. This is something I even thought about until I started reading about it.

    Most of my broken links are from comments, so those are easy to simply remove.

    I’m going to have to make this a part of my regular schedule, I’ve got a hundred or so links I have to sort out. A weekly check would let me keep this under control.

    Just a side note, When I did my link check, I had a bunch come back from the same domain. The site just happened to be down for the moment, some server problem or other. Make sure the broken link is actually broken, and not just a temporary server issue.

    Anyway thanks for the great tips Lisa :)

  • Brenda
    Twitter:
    says:

    Testing comment luv

  • Susan Silver
    Twitter:
    says:

    Glad you pointed out using webmaster tools as a resource. I have been reading up on 404 errors, redirects, and soft 404’s. It’s weird, but their are times when it is better to serve a “not found” page rather than a redirect for SEO. I still don’t know and understand all the rules though.

  • Tom
    Twitter:
    says:

    Good post Lisa! Checking for broken links is time consuming especially if you have a blog with hundreds of posts.I used to do that manually using Google Webmaster tools.The easiest and quickest way to locate broken links is to use “Broken Link Checker”.

  • Barry Wells
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Lisa,

    How uncanny is this, I came over here following your link in the commentluv filed on my blog and found a 404 error message page not found, so I was going to tell you about it ha ha.

    I’ve not used the Webmaster tools for this issue but I have used Broken Link Checker, which trew up loads for me to fix or remove. I actually wrote a post on it and included a video to demonstrate finding plugin issues that also cause our blogs to load slowly. I’ll leave the link in commentluv ;)

    Thanks for leaving the details of how you fixed your broken links I’ll check it out and compare it to Broken Link checker, they do say 2 heads are better than one :)

    Thanks Lisa,

    Barry
    Barry Wells recently posted…A Solution To Your Plugin Nightmares and Slow Loading BlogsMy Profile

  • Lisa
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Barry, yes, actually some plug-ins almost took this whole blog down. It’s been moved to another server is in the propagation period so I did lose my lost post and some funky things have happened. It should be complete by tomorrow and I’ll be posting again soon, and about it too. I can always teach from my errors.
    Lisa recently posted…In The Lost Land of Broken LinksMy Profile

  • Sally Brown
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi LIsa,

    This is a problem I have been dealing with for some time now. Since I’m not very technical, I have not had much luck at fixing my 404’s. I will try Webmaster Tools and see if I can figure it out. Thanks for this post and for sharing. Sally
    Sally Brown recently posted…Finding Your NormalMy Profile

  • Mandy Allen says:

    Brilliant information, thank you. I used the Broken Link Checker after reading about it on Barry and Adrienne’s blogs, but I’m going to try this out too! Thanks for sharing.

    Enjoy the journey.

    Mandy

  • Donna Merrill
    Twitter:
    says:

    :razz: Hi Lisa…Wow I’m so impressed by this. Broken links haven’t entered my mind, but now you have enlightened me of the importance of checking it. You did make it easy to understand. I get lost when it comes to things like this so this is saying a lot. I’ve booked marked your page in my Evernote under Broken Links. That’s the only way I can remember to do things.
    This was an awesome tutorial and I thank you,
    Donna Merrill
    P.S. So happy we connected via Adrienne Smith’s blog!
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Fear – Don’t Let It Stop YouMy Profile

    • Lisa
      Twitter:
      says:

      You are welcome Donna, with the retail sites I manage for my husband it’s important to find these broken links through various methods. It can make a difference on the traffic you get.

  • sumit says:

    Thanks for the tips i am always check broken links.

  • Cory Stewart says:

    Great post – a lot of information not all of us are aware of! Thanks for spreading the word and keeping us informed.

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