One of the major themes of ProBlogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog exercise is community. The world wide web is an infinite maze of link upon link upon link.

We link to back to our own blogs when we comment on another. We link to pertinent articles in our posts. We link to another blogger’s post if they inspired us.

But what happens when one of the links we’ve used is retired, deleted, moves or changes its link structure? Our readers click on it and end up at a dead end — adrift in the online universe far removed from our blog.

Day 27 of 31dbbb at yeah write is to clean up or clean out those dead ends.

 

According to ProBlogger, link rot can affect our blog’s credibility in two ways:

Readability: Ever click on a link of interest and see ERROR ~ Page doesn’t exist?  Frustrating, right? Most likely we won’t surf back to the blog with the dead link once we’ve navigated away. Dead links can also give readers the impression that our posts are old and out-of-date.

SEO: Problogger suggests the Search Engine Gods frown upon a post containing obsolete links.  Who among us want to anger that powerful bunch?

 

How to clean out the dead wood?

Do a manual search of each page of our blog. But if we’ve been posting awhile this isn’t practical unless we stick with searching the ABOUT ME page or our MOST POPULAR posts.

— Use link-checking tools. Some come with a fee and others are free.

Xenu’s Link Sleuth

Link Valet

WC3 Free Link Checker

AnyBrower’s Link Checker

HTMLHelp Valet Link Checker

NetMechanic’s Link Checker

Dead-Links.com was also recommended. I could never get it to load. But I’m having major internet issues.

 

After identifying all the link rot, what are we to do?

Fix or update the link.

Delete the link. If there isn’t a correct link or updated one remove it. ProBlogger suggests adding a note to the post that this has been done and trying to find another link that works in place of the deleted link.

Delete the post. If the main purpose of the post was to point to the obsolete link, sometimes the best resolution is to remove the post.

Another helpful suggestion was while looking through old posts for dead links, also search for and fix:

— Spelling errors

— Grammar miscues

—  Formatting problems with old posts if you’ve redesigned your site.

So allot some time and start rehabilitating or deleting those dead end links.

This is a guest post from Jamie Miles.