Broken links can be problematic for webmasters in a number of ways. The most obvious is that links that are not working anymore will prevent visitors from accessing information that they want to access. This can turn a positive perception into a negative one or even make the visitor leave the website for good to never come back. Another problem are search engines which react allergically to broken links. It is generally assumed that broken links are adding weight to search engine rankings and a site's trust and authority.
Rarst reviewed the program AnalogX LinkExaminer yesterday which can verify all or only some of the links that are present on a domain. It starts by entering the main domain name or starting path. Several inclusion and exclusion filters are available to include or exclude links and parts of the website. It is for example possible to exclude external links completely or prevent that links with a certain phrase (e.g. tag or archive) are analysed by the software program. It is furthermore possible to use nofollow and robots.txt information.
The crawl rate and other related options like the depth of the scan or the maximum amount of links can be edited in the program's options. The speed depends greatly on the Internet connection. Rarst mentioned that the program was able to scan 10 links per second. My mobile connection was not good for more than 1.4 links per second.
The results can be sorted by url, http code, http message, nofollow, internal links, robots.txt, dynamic links, relative links, titles or depth among other parameters. These information can be very useful for analysing links in general, especially for SEO purposes.
Various reports can be generated in the end including plain text list of links, csv data, xml sitemap data or a detailed html report.
AnalogX LinkExaminer is a highly customizable link verifier that provides enough information to make it interesting for SEOs as well. WordPress users who only want to check for broken links can use the WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin as an alternative. A software with a similar set of features is Xenu’s Link Sleuth (read: Check For Broken Links on Websites)
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