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How to improve your SEO by removing broken links on your WordPress blog

After the recent theme change here at wpliving.net, I went back through my archive of posts to make a few style and formatting changes, and in the process I came across some dead links.

There are 2 main reasons why you should fix dead links. The first is to improve your visitors' experience. There's nothing worse than clicking on a link only to be taken to a 404 Page or one of those generic filler pages that hosting companies litter the Web with.

Secondly, cleaning up broken links can help improve your SEO ranking. You can find evidence of this on Google's Webmaster Guidelines page related to SEO. You'll also find a whole range of measures to take to help your site rank higher in search engine results.

Ok so this a very simple tutorial on how to improve your SEO ranking by removing broken links from your WordPress blog or website.

Rather than check each link manually, I looked for a WordPress plugin to automate the process. After trying a couple of solutions, I found the Broken Link Checker plugin by Janis Elsts to be the most simple and effective option.

What I like most about the WordPress plugin is that it scans my blog at regular intervals for broken links and returns a status update on my WordPress dashboard. The report generates the following information:

  • Broken url
  • url status
  • how long the link has been broken
  • url of my WordPress post/page that contains the link
  • the option to automate unlinks and redirects

So if you've never bothered to check for broken links in the past, give this little plugin a whirl and you'll be surprised at what you find.

DupliChecker is another broken link checker service that you might want to take a look at.

Will Ellington

Originally from the UK, I currently live in Osaka, Japan, where I work in higher education. I’ve been a WordPress user since 2004 and have developed numerous projects with it over the years. Wpliving is a place to share things i've learnt along the way, and to explore innovations in WordPress too.

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4 Comments on "How to improve your SEO by removing broken links on your WordPress blog"

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Mathew Porter
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Great method for a) giving a better visitor experience and b) improving the on site SEO of your site.

This is also a method of site link building that is very effective if you have relevant content to replace links to content that is linked to and broken on other sites.

Grant
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I know some don’t like this plugin because of performance issues. WPEngine disallows it because it “overwhelms the server with HTTP requests.”

Another tool I use is Screaming Frog SEO Spider, which provides a wealth of information, including 404 links.

Other software, both Integrity for Macs and xenu link sleuth for Windows, reportedly works well for this task.

Thanks for the post!

Chris Badgett
Guest
Thanks for the broken link tip Will. I was wondering how this worked as I’ve seen other sites seem to auto unlink as links die. On a side note. I’m dealing with the posterous imminent sunset of my posterous family blog. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to handle self hosted video for a new WordPress site. I loved how with the posterous app I could just upload a 10 second video right to the blog from my iphone with one click. I guess WordPress can do this with the regular ol Media uploader and some kind… Read more »
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