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Broken link checker

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Broken backlink checker / lost link recovery.

The broken backlink checker is designed to help you identify broken link pointing to your website. Enter your URL and the tool will (1) check if there are external backlinks point to pages that no longer exist & (2) Check if links that where pointing to your website have been removed.

Broken link checker

How do broken backlinks occur?

These are probably the 5 most common reasons why broken backlinks occur. (1) A product goes out of stock and the product page itself is no longer available for visitors and search engines. (2) Changing the URL structure of your website can have a huge impact and can quickly result into thousands of 404 pages if you don’t have the redirects in place. (3) A typo can generate a backlink pointing to a non-existing page. For example this URL will result into a 404 page → while this URL will lead you to the correct page → (4) An external link pointing to your website has been removed. (5) The web page pointing to you has been removed or redirected to a new location.

What is broken link building?

Broken link building is a link building tactic focused on recovering backlinks that point to non-exiting pages on your website. This is a very effective strategy because the link is already there and you just have to recover it by recreating the page or by redirecting the URL to the correct page.

How to recover a broken link?

You can recover a broken link by (re)creating content for a page that no longer exist or you can use a 301 redirect to automatically point visitors and search engines to the right page. When using a redirect, it is recommended to use a a permanent 301 redirect, because this will transfer a pretty big amount of the authority from the old page to the new version.

Be specific with your redirects. When possible redirect to relevant pages or categories and don’t just redirect all your (old) URLs to your homepage. Google will, in most cases, ignore the link value when redirecting pages to your homepage.

According to John Mueller form Google:

So the 301 redirect from all pages to the home page, that would be something that we see as a soft 404s.

The available metrics returned by this tool

  • Total number of broken backlinks.
  • Percentage of Follow backlinks,
    because this should probably have your priority and eventually I would try to recover all interesting relevant links.
  • The URL of the backlink which is pointing to a specific landing page.
  • The landing / destination page (in most cases this will be a 404 page).
  • Anchor text / link text.
  • Page Authority,
  • Total number of nunique landing pages with broken links / lost links
    To give you an indication of the strength / authority of the backlink.
  • The date, since when the backlink has been detected as a broken link.
  • And finally an overview of the URLs (404 pages) that are receiving backlinks sorted by count.

Related tools

Tool limitations

  • Sometimes websites block bots during a complete website crawl. This can cause this tool to falsely label a 404 pages as lost link or broken link.
  • It takes time to crawl the web and because of this crawlers prioritize their crawl budget. This means that links from smaller sites and changes to these sites will take longer to be detected in comparison to high authority websites.
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