Some time back I shared an article on SEO optimization using Google webmaster tool and extending that tutorial, here I’m sharing how to find 404 pages on your blog using free Google tool call Google webmaster tool.
ShoutMeLoud traffic is almost 20% impacted due to Google panda and in effort to recover from Google panda effect, I’m working to fix all broken links on my blog. There are many things which I will be doing along with it, and I will be sharing my experience and tutorials along.
Broken links and 404 pages are useless for search engine bots and it’s a dead-end. It’s an important part of SEO to fix all possible 404 pages. Though in WordPress we have plugin name Broken link checker which will let you find all the broken links. But, if your blog is huge, it might slow down your server for a while. You can also take help of broken link checker website to find broken links on your blog.
Finding 404 Error pages:
So the easy way to use Google webmaster tool to find all 404 pages and fix them. To find the list of all 404 pages, you can login to Google webmaster account and under diagnostics click on Crawl errors. Click on not found and you will see a list of all the links which are giving 404 error.
On the right hand side, you will see a column for linked from: Click on that and you will find all the pages from that broken link is linked. You can manually edit those links and let Google recrawl your blog.
If you see any links from external domain which is broken due to mis-spelling or you might have changed something. You can notify the owner to fix the link or set up a 301 redirection on your blog to redirect that link to original link.
Depending upon your blog size, this may be little lengthy process, but in long-term this is going to be useful for your, for readers and most important for search engine. Though this trick will not tell you about outgoing broken link from your blog. You should consider using any other tool like broken link checker plugin or Xenu to find all external broken link as well.
Do let us know how do you take care of 404 pages and broken links on your blog? Do you use Webmaster tool or any 3rd party tool?