There are heaps of Google tips floating around the web a very importan Google tip would have to be that Google hates broken links. A broken link is an url on your blog that doesn’t go anywhere. It used to, when you first wrote the post, unless you mistyped something, but for some reason it now goes to a 404 Not Found. Imagine if you were lost whilst driving around and stopped to ask for directions only to find that the moron sent you on a wild goose chase costing you valuable time. You have to admit, that can be quite frustrating.
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Google Tip Google Hates Broken Links
That’s SEO Sam and he’s here to remind you to check all your links on your post, not only to keep your readers happy but to ensure that you’re on a good standing with the big G! This is important to Google because they want to give their customers a good experience which means not sending them on a wild goose chase by recommending sites with a sleuth of broken links.
I know you may be thinking that you’re probably OK because you only have one or two and how much trouble could that cause, right? I know because I thought the very same thing. That was until I got an email from Andy Bailey about his new CommentLuv Link Cleaner which is a free plugin. You only have to like his page to get access to it. I knew this would be a top plugin because Andy is the creator of CommentLuv Premium and that plugin rocks.
Anyway, this is a screen capture I got after running the plugin.
As you can see that plugin picked up 23 pages of commentluv comments and of those I was shocked to discover that literally hundreds of them were broken links! Apart from the first 4 pages which were pre CommentLuv they each contained 500 comments but you can set that anywhere from 5 to 1000. I just left it at the default.
The next image shows you what happens after clicking on one of the pages.
This image is from the last page which only contained one time out. I’ll be rechecking that later and removing the url if it still doesn’t load. As for those hundreds of other links I just had the plugin remove the urls. This is so much better than removing them altogether as it preserves the conversation.
Some of the broken links I found included internal links in the blog itself which I’ve now fixed. However, this plugin only find broken commentluv links within the comment section. I needed one that found crappy links within the posts itself so that I could fulfil this Google tip properly. The guys from my host, InMotion Hosting recommended Broken Link Checker. I took their advice and found another 500 or so broken links. This is BS but at least I now had the tools to fix the problem and who know, perhaps the next update will find me with a better PR.
What Causes Broken Links
I’m sure a lot od you are wondering what would cause broken links and there are several reasons for them coming about.
- Blog owners quitting: Yep, when they start they’re all gung-ho leaving heaps of comments but then get disillusioned and decide to look for greener pastures.
- Spring Cleaning: I’ve seen a few bloggers recommending that people go through their posts and deleting any old or posts of poor quality. Every time someone does that you have a broken link. If they’ve left 10 comments on your blog linking to that post then you have 10 broken links. Doesn’t take time to add up.
- Changing Blog Content: I had one blogger who changed his site from a blog to a sex site. Not only did I have broken links but his url went from a respectable one to a one that I’d be smart to avoid. There’s another Google tip, don’t link to unsavoury sites.
- Moved Blog Hosts: Yep, they’ve seen the error of their ways and have decided to move from a free hosting service to hosting their own blog but did not import the posts properly.
Of course there would be others, perhaps you’d like to name a few in the comments, but these are the most obvious. The important thing is not to be complacent about broken links and follow this very important Google tip as soon as you can.