Automated Website Performance Tools 3
Broken or dead links, often termed ‘link rot’, are website links that don’t work. A broken link might be due to an incorrect URL, or the linked page being deleted.
Why are they important?
- lose some of your customers (users may be so frustrated that they don’t come back).
- fail to attract new customers (dead links mean that people may not find you),
- compromise your online reputation (dead links show a lack of respect), and
- lower your site’s rating with major search engines such as Google and Bing.
Search engine spiders crawl links when ranking websites. A dead link will stop them from crawling further and affect your appearance in search engine results pages (SERPs). While the odd dead link won’t penalise your ranking, if you have too many they will.
Internal dead links – those within your own website – are particularly bad, as they suggest sloppiness on your part. There’s no one else to blame!
And remember a user’s typical profile as being goal-directed and impatient. They won’t hang around or be impressed by broken links. After all, you wouldn’t return to a restaurant that advertised your favourite dish, only to find they didn’t have it when you visited. You might even walk straight out.
The good news is that broken links are relatively easy to fix. Listed as one of the best web tools of 2012 (by webhostingsearch.com), Broken Link Check is straightforward to use. Just tap in your URL and the Capcha code (to show that you are human) and it will list all the broken links on your site.
Broken Link Check also shows exactly where these broken links are located in your HTML code.
I hope these automated tools prove useful in improving your website’s performance. We will feature more in future blogs.
In the meantime, what is your favourite automated tool, and why?