I watched three of my friends today. I was sitting next to them, but it was like I wasn’t even in the same room. They were talking about music, and a band I had never heard of. And as I was listening, I just couldn’t focus on the four of us. My mind was drifting away, to a place, where I was among people who talked about blogging. They were using words like; wordpress, return on investment, and website optimization. And, not title of songs I had never heard of. We were watching the statistics on my blog. We were laughing, pointing and discussing; how on earth I had managed to get close to 1,500 broken links on my site.
Then, one of my friends, asked me what songs I am listening to at the moment, and my mind went totally blank. I am listening to music all the time, but I just couldn’t think of any songs. There was a broken connection at that moment, between my friends and I, and that’s probably why I kept thinking about why I needed to fix the close to 1,500 broken links on my site.
My friends were still talking, and I was watching them, thinking about what a broken link really is. And how important it is to fix them not just on my site, but in real life as well.
Why you need to fix broken links
If something is broken, and you don’t focus on it, people who sees it will most likely think that either you haven’t noticed, or you don’t care. Either way, it’s bad for you. If something is broken, you need to fix it. You want to keep your friends happy, and you want to keep your readers happy. And a reader that clicks on a broken link won’t stay happy for long.
And, then there’s the search engines. Google is recommending that you fix your broken links, if not, it will most likely have a negative impact on your rankings. Like with your readers, you want to help the search engines find the information they are looking for.
We want to fix broken links, because it makes our readers happy, it makes our relationship stronger, and in the end, it makes the search engines want to include us.
How to fix broken links
I have been watching my broken links grow to close to 1,500 and it has taken me a while to actually get the energy to do something about it. I was thinking that I should start by fixing 20 broken links a day, and do that for many weeks until I had fixed them all. But, I did some research and I discovered that there’s a better way.
I am currently using a WordPress plugin called Broken Link Checker. This helps me to find all the broken links on my site, and it helps me fix them fairly fast as well. And, in the settings, I can add that I don’t want the search engines to follow my broken links. That’s what I am currently doing. But, I have also thought about trying W3C Link Checker and Link Checker.
Do you check for broken links?
Like I said, I haven’t been focusing on fixing my broken links at all. It has been years since I have checked if I had any broken links, and because of that, I have close to 1,500 broken links at the moment. What about you, are you checking and fixing your broken links on a regular basis?