Broken links are one of the major concerns from both user and SEO points of view. Hence, learning how to detect broken links and resolve them in time is one of the most crucial parts of Technical SEO.
In this article, you will learn What are Broken links? How they affect your site and user experience. And 5 Best comprehensive methods to resolve in WordPress without any extra effort.
How broken Links affect Website performance?
As mentioned earlier, broken links are bad for SEO and users. And the main reasons behind this are mentioned below:
- Degrade User experience – What if a visitor is clicking on the link provided by you is broken? Is it quite irritating to see a blank or error page? Hence, the final verdict will be the visitors will no longer show interest and trust in your content. Slowly your website traffic graph will start showing getting down, and in the end, it will become deserted.
Hence, to maintain a healthy traffic and website reputation, you must use Broken Link checker WordPress plugins or other methods discussed in this article.
2. Affect SEO: Another impact does broken links shows on the SEO of the Website. As you know, many search engines have their own Bots called crawlers, whose main work is to crawl the website pages, check links and contents thoroughly. Once the crawlers detect a link as broken, it results in a 404 error page. And as a result, if the error persists, leading search engines like Google can ban it in the future.
Now, let us check out what exactly broken links mean.
What are Broken Links?
In simple words, broken links or dead links are links that no longer exist or are removed. This can happen due to several reasons, but the most common reason is when you delete a page or moved to a different location, resulting in a 404 error page.
In WordPress, this could happen when you try to locate your webpage or content to another location. Another most common mistake usually happens when you delete a webpage from your Website without redirection.
Even sometimes, users make spelling mistakes in links and forget about it for quite a long time. Hence, it is always advisable to do regular website monitor for dead links and URL spelling mistakes to stop affecting your SEO.
In this article, we will share you with some techniques and tools that help you sort out all dead links present on your website and How to remove them with comprehensive solutions.
5 Best Methods to Find and Remove Broken Links WordPress
Now, you must have clearly understood how Broken links impact your SEO efforts. Now you will learn how to detect and resolve it as soon as possible with comprehensive available online tools. Below are the following solutions mentioned :
- Online Popular Seo Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs
- Google Search Console
- Broken link checker WordPress plugin
- Free online broken link checker
- Broken link checker Software
1. Online Popular SEO Tools (SEMrush & Ahref)
The most effective and popular method we highly recommend is using SEO tools such as SEMrush and Ahref. These two paid tools have been specially designed to carry out all the necessary tasks for website health. These tools scan your website thoroughly and generate reports accordingly.
Let us see how to use Ahrefs first to determine broken links.
First of all, you open the Ahrefs web tool on your browser and click on add a new project. Succeeded by providing the URL of the website and let it scan the whole website. It may take several minutes, depending upon the size of your website.
After completing scanning, click on the reports to see a list of all 404 errors on the web page. Now, you can check all the dead links on your website and correct it if necessary.
Check dead Backlinks
Not just 404 error pages, but with the help of these powerful web tools, you can also check all the dead backlinks present on your website. To check, first, you need to go “Backlink profile” section as shown in the image below and click on “Broken.” A report will generate showing all the broken backlinks on your website. Check and remove it.
Check Broken Outgoing links
Similarly, you can also check Outgoing links on your webpage by clicking on the Outgoing links section. A complete outgoing broken links report will generate showing all the dead links present on your website.
Let’s understand the way in which you can find broken links using semrush tool
In order to check broken link of a wordpress website or any other type of website using semrush, you will have to perform site audit. In every site audit report, you will get all the 404 errors.
Both Semrush and Ahrefs are good option to find broken links in your WordPress websites.
2. Using Google Search Console Crawl Stats
Google search console, an online tool developed by Google to monitor and troubleshoot errors on a webpage for better Google search results. To begin the scanning process, first, you need to link your website with a Google console. After adding, you can enjoy its features and benefits.
From the above pic, you can see how the Google search console shows 404 error pages.
3. With Broken Links WordPress Plugin
Although, we do not want you to use the Broken Link checker WordPress Plugin because they can impact your site performance by slowing it down. These plugins are heavy and use all the resources of your website.
Considering all the problems that it might generate for your website if you still want to use it. It is highly recommended to use for a short period of time, and after the completion of scanning and correcting dead links, you can uninstall or deactivate it.
Broken Link checker WordPress plugin is one of the most no download (more than 700000+ downloads till now) plugins in this section, and it is available absolutely free. The developers are trying to bring regular updates, and it was showing the last update was 2 months ago for us.
The key features that Broken Link checker has:
- Monitors external links and internal links in your posts, pages, comments, the blogroll, and custom fields (optional).
- Detects links that don’t work, missing images, and redirects.
- Notifies you either via the Dashboard or by email.
- It makes broken links display differently in posts (optional).
- Prevents search engines from following broken links (optional).
- You can search and filter links by URL, anchor text, and so on.
- Links can be edited directly from the plugin’s page without manually updating each post.
- Highly configurable.
How to scan and detect Broken links using WordPress plugin
After Installing the Broken link checker WordPress plugin on your Website, Open Dashboard > Tools > Broken links. And a report will generate showing all the broken or dead links present on the website.
To fix or correct the broken link, you can hover over the link to reveal quick editing options, as shown in the image below. And Select Edit to edit the URL.
After clicking on the Edit URL option, you can easily edit, delete or replace the URL and click on update, as shown in the image below:
4. Free Online Broken Link Checker Tool
Free online broken link checkers are among the best web tools for beginners, especially those who have small websites and do not like to use paid tools. There are many websites available that scan the whole website and give full detailed reports online.
Dead Link checker crawls through your website, identifying broken links for you to correct. To begin with, type the website URL as shown below and click on Check.
After clicking on the Check button, it will take few minutes to scan all the dead links depending upon the size of your website. And a list of link reports will generate as shown below.
Now, from the Complete Report, you can see a list of Dead links and the source links from which part of the webpage it appears.
5. ScreamFrog dead link checker software
Apart from online SEO tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, WordPress plugin, and online dead link checker. There is also desktop software available to perform similar tasks efficiently. And one of the most popular ones is the Screaming frog.
This SEO software is widely available for all the platforms such as Windows, MacOS and Ubuntu.
To begin with the process, you need to download the software and install them on your PC. After installing, Open the software, copy your list of URLs you want to check, click ‘Upload > Paste’, and the SEO Spider will crawl the URLs, reach 100% and come to a stop.
o view the discovered external broken links within the SEO Spider, click on the ‘Response Codes’ tab and ‘Client Error (4XX)’ filter. They will display a ‘404’ status code.
To see which page from the original URL list uploaded has the broken links, use the ‘Inlinks’ tab at the bottom. Click on a URL in the top window pane and then click on the ‘Inlinks’ tab at the bottom to populate the lower window pane.
Conclusion On Choosing Best Broken Links Checking Methods
At the beginning of this article, it has been already explained how broken/dead links can affect your website SEO and overall reputation.
So, checking dead links from time to time and maintaining it become one of the crucial task to ensure Good site health. Hence, we have mentioned some tools that might work great for you:
Ahrefs and Semrush: Highly recommended SEO tool for getting a complete detailed list of broken links.
Google Search Console: Best Crawl error expert developed by Google which shows all the offending links that might affect your SERP rankings.
Broken Link checker WordPress plugin: Not recommended to use, but you can use other 4 alternatives other than this.
Dead link checker: Best for beginners and small websites.
Screaming Frog: Software based broken/dead link checker which high efficiency performance.
We have tried our best to bring all the possible solutions for the detection of broken links available in the market. But still if we missed some tools to mentioned in this article, feel free to mention in the comments down below.
FAQ On Broken Link WordPress Checkers
How do I find broken links?
There are many online resources are available to find broken links. But the most effective methods are mentioned below:
1. Use SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs
2. Use online tools like deadlinkchecker.com
3. Use google search consoles
4. Use desktop software like Screaming Frog.
What are Broken Links SEO?
Broken links or dead links are links that no longer exist or are removed. This can happen due to several reasons, but the most common reason is when you delete a page or moved to a different location, resulting in a 404 error page.
Do Broken links hurt SEO?
Broken links not only irritate users by showing a 404 Error page. But it can also degrade your website reputation and relationship with Google, which is called SEO. IT is better to avoid using dead links on your website and resolve your website’s broken pages.