Diagnosing the site for broken links and fixing them is one of the most essential steps in overall SEO audit process.
Broken links are rightfully considered bad for usability and thus affect your SEO because caring abut user experience is search engine’s primary focus.
This post looks at 4 broken link checkers (those 4 were chosen because they all have slight differences which may suit various needs):
|Xenu||LinkAider||W3C Link Checker|
|Type||Desktop||Web-based (registration required)||Web-based (no registration required)|
|Checking||The whole site||The number of pages specified||The page submitted|
Xenu Link Sleuth has already been reviewed by me here, on SEJ. Besides actually checking for broken links the tool has a wide variety of possible uses including page size check, page visibility evaluation and even duplicate content diagnostics.
The report contains the following:
- Broken links, ordered by link
- Broken links, ordered by page
- List of redirected URLs
- List of valid URLs you can submit to a search engine
- Site Map of HTML pages with a Title
- Broken page-local links
- Orphan files
- Statistics for managers
- Problems with reporting for large sites (with me it has been almost impossible to generate the report for a website containing 100 000+ pages)
LinkAider is free for 500 page crawls every month but I liked its reporting so much that it still receives 4 stars from me. Submit a website URL, specify the number of pages to crawl and basically you are done. Now wait for the tool to complete the task and get a solid report.
Here’s the screenshot of the report summary (naturally, there are also detailed reports for each section or issue):
- Average link density;
- The number of external links;
- The number of internal links;
- The number of broken links;
- Top 10 internally linked pages;
- Top 10 linked hosts;
- Duplicate page titles;
- Pages with most of the links;
- Pages with biggest page size.
- One free report;
- Web-based (no downloading);
- Paid (minimum $8 per the report)
W3C Link Checker only checks links on a specified page but it definitely should be bookmarked and referred to for on-page analysis. As a result you will see:
- The list of broken links and other issues (like server side problems):
- List of redirected URLs (and their destination page direct URLs) and, what’s is most useful, status codes for both URLs:
- Web-based with no registration required;
- Fast and reliable.
- One-page crawl.
And which broken link checker are you using? Please share!