As someone who needs to do a fair amount of research, I end up going to A LOT of websites—no doubt many more than your average web surfer. And there’s one thing I’ve noticed over and over again: there are TONS and TONS of broken links out on the web.
I mean TONS.
Do Broken Links Really Matter?
Broken links can annoy your visitors, of course, but even more than that, they can hurt your quality score with the search engines.
Google, for example, provides a one page overview for webmasters called Webmaster Guidelines. This page contains about 30-35 things that Google says you should do. When you have to boil everything a website should do down to 35 things or so, there isn’t room for messing around.
One of those guidelines says the following:
- “Check for broken links and correct HTML.”
Straight-forward. To the point. And, you guessed it, IMPORTANT.
Broken links make for a bad user experience. A bad user experience means your website is downgraded by both your human visitors and the search engines who are attempting to mimic your human visitors.
It’s really that simple.
An Equally Simple Solution
As it turns out, the solution to the broken links problem for a WordPress site is just as simple: a plugin called Broken Link Checker.
After installing and activating the plugin, you will find a number of options in the settings area.
Here are a few of the option panels:
You can then examine your broken links and fix them.
Note: Remember that websites can go temporarily offline, and so you’ll want double check your broken links before trashing them or changing them.
You can find the Broken Link Checker here.
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