March 2018 Update: I have removed old websites which were not working & added all new working sites to check broken links. Enjoy!
Broken links are dead-links which are not good for search engine and also for your readers. Today, I will be sharing some free 404 link checker tools which will help you to detect 404 and dead links on your blog.
Personally, I prefer Xenu link sleuth for my sites. <Link>.
Though, I’m sure many of us here are wondering why we need to use these dead link checker websites. I will explain this after a break.
Why we should regularly check and fix 404 links :
Broken links are those links which give 404 status code. Usually, when a webmaster decides to change permalink and also removes the page it gives 404 status code. Such links are called as broken links and they are not useful for search engine and also for readers. Too many broken links are not treated as the sign of quality site, so we should make sure to fix such links and point them to right URL.
These free online link checker tools will check your sites for any broken links. These means, it could be the internal broken link or could be external broken links. Especially, if you have a huge blog, your old posts may have too many dead links, by adding working and updated URL’s, you will be making them worth a read.
Search engines bots hate broken links, which can result in low ranks in search engines and less traffic to your blog. From a search engine perspective, Broken links are treated as the dead end.
For WordPress bloggers, we have Broken link checker WordPress plugin, which is very useful and effective. Though, for static sites and for BlogSpot, we don’t have any such plugin, so we will look into some online solutions.
If visitors are landing on broken links of your blogs, there are chances that they won’t return back to your site. No one has time to waste time on broken links. You can find out broken links with lots of free site checker tools available online. Once you detected broken links of your blog, you can manage those broken links with redirection plugin.
Useful Broken link checker Websites:
This is one tool that we use here at ShoutMeLoud. SEMRUSH is a complete suite for finding broken links on your website (Internal + External). It shows the broken links with HTTP code & when the broken link was discovered.
You can use special link to get 14 days free trial of their pro account that is worth $199. This promo is exclusively for ShoutMeLoud readers.
W3C Link Checker
W3C Link Checker is provides you options while checking broken links of your blog such as show only summary, hide redirects, checking linked documents , sending referrer header etc. In results, it provides the status of the link and lists the issues occurred while checking broken links.
Ahrefs is a popular SEO tool-kit just like SEMRUSH. What you will really like about them is the interface and the simplicity of usage. If you need to export broken link data to share it with your developer or someone from team, you can do that with export feature.
If you are running WordPress based website, then you are in luck today. Broken link checker is a free WordPress plugin that scans your complete WordPress site for links and checks the status of it. From a single dashboard, you could check all the links which are broken, redirected or if there is some other error. This is one of the best free thing available for bloggers like you and you can read ShoutMeLoud earlier guide on Broken link checker plugin to understand it’s usage.
I saved the best for the last as this chrome extension is way different than all the websites that I have listed above. Using Check my links chrome addon, you can quickly scan mass links on a webpage to find out which links are broken or not working. I often this chrome extension for finding link building opportunity.
If your requirement is to find broken links on a single webpage, this addon is going to be your guide.
Here are few more websites and tools that will help you run a scan on a complete website and find all broken links.
Broken links gives an unprofessional image to visitors about you and your blog. If you are ignoring your blog’s broken link then I would suggest keeping a check on broken links of your blogs with the above-mentioned tools. It doesn’t take much time and is very easy to check.
Do you think that detecting broken links is a vital part of SEO? If yes, then what you do to check broken links of your blog?
Wondering what to read next? Here I have hand-picked few articles for you:
- How to Find Low-Quality Content & Create A Better Site
- 10 Surprisingly Useful WordPress Plugins Every Blog Should Use in 2018
- Best Blogging Apps For Mac Users: 2018 Edition