A word about broken links from the web developer…
As a web developer, one of your most tedious tasks is addressing broken links on the sites you manage and create. It takes time to fix those links, especially if you’re working with a static site and aren’t using a broken link tool to identify them. Fixing problem links is usually something that gets pushed down on your to-do list…way down! Then it becomes a nagging chore that roll your eyes at every time you look at your project management software. Well, if you want to keep your clients happy, and potentially your job, it is in your best interest to bump this issue up a notch or two.
Let’s be honest, broken links on a website are an unsightly sign of neglect. Like the detritus that collects at the bottom of your fish tank, it’s a sign of abandonment. Just as nobody will want to look at your dirty aquarium, nobody will want to spend time browsing your disorganized website. Remember, time is an important factor too! Users who spend more time on your site are consuming more of your content, and are more likely to become clients, customers, etc. Not to mention that time-on-site is a major factor when determining if your content truly is “relevant” from an SEO standpoint. The truth is, if you don’t care enough about your site to fix the broken links, why should anyone else care about it either? On the other hand, if you create an environment for seamless navigation and enhance your users’ experience, they will reward you for it by returning again and again!
There are several technical aspects to fixing broken links, beyond the basic user experience. It becomes very difficult for search engine spiders to find and index your pages without proper organization. Remember, these are the same spiders that are searching for relevant content so your site will show up as an organic search result. Unless your goal is to have fewer visitors, you need to fix your broken links. These spiders will also check for updates to your site. Addressing broken links is technically content revision and will register with the spiders as such.
Addressing broken links is especially important if you manage sites for smaller businesses. Their websites can and must be able to compete with larger companies, who undoubtedly employ people to ensure that their website is up to snuff. The Internet is a wonderful thing, in that it allows people to compete on an equal playing field…theoretically anyway. If you and your clients wish to compete at a higher level, frequent link checks must be incorporated into your routine. Whether it’s a daily or weekly exercise, find a good automated link checker scanner and start using it! It may seem a daunting exercise, especially if you’ve been neglecting it just like your fish tank, but it will prove to be time well spent. It will become easier and easier as time goes on and as you become familiar with the exercise.
I personally haven’t found a better services than Link Tiger’s. For more information or to start scanning for broken links right now, go to www.linktiger.com
Author: Andrew Gunn
(Senior Developer at Adroit Technology)