SEO. A whole different language. A big language. Every bloggers nightmare huh? The amount of
hours days I have spent trying to get my head around SEO isn’t even worth bearing to think about, but it’s a lot. The most recent SEO term I’ve come across? Broken Links. Aahhh the joy I’ve had with this one.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with broken links, these are links that appear on your website that no longer work. Either they have been keyed in wrong, the page no longer exists.. the list goes on. I had heard of this term before, but I didn’t think it would really apply to me (lol – big mistake) as I’d only had my blog since March, so how many links could possibly be broken? I don’t even use that many links?! WRONG. 73 – Seventy Three – S.E.V.E.N.T.Y T.H.R.E.E WHOLE BROKEN LINKS ON MY BLOG. Who? What? Where? WHY? When?
The website I used to check for any broken links is www.brokenlinkcheck.com. A very handy tool for us bloggers! It was really simple to use, all you do is enter in your URL and some security numbers, and hey presto it searches your site for all those pesty broken links sitting in your site! Cool okay, so I’ve got a whole 73 broken links on my website. Ace. Now what…?! After hours sitting staring at a page I didn’t really understand, countless google searches and many frustrated tears, ya gal worked out how to fix these broken links. Sarah – 1, Broken Links – 0 (or 73, but I’d prefer to forget that).
This is what your page will look like once you’ve pressed ‘Find broken links now !’. As you can see above, on the right hand side of your listed broken links, there is a ‘Page Where found’ section, and ‘Server Response’ section. (For security reasons, the website I have used I have blanked out- these sections will be filled in once you enter your site URL). These buttons are your best friend! If you click on ‘url’ button shown in blue, it will show you which page the broken link occurs on (src also shows you where in the coding it is, but I’m not smart enough to use that bit!). The Server Response shows you what the actual problem is. If you click on the problem (in this case, where the 404 appears), this will bring up a box like the one below showing you a list of what it means, and how your link is broken. Hallelujah!
The two response codes I received within my broken links are ‘404’ and ‘bad host’ – so they are the ones I will elaborate on and explain how I fixed them! The first one ‘404’, I checked the URL of the page using the button mentioned previously, and found which post the link was broken on. I opened up wordpress, opened up that particular post and found the link. When I clicked the Link (I had tagged another blog in My Liebster Award, who I believe has now deleted their blog as it is nowhere to be found) the link no longer worked! As I couldn’t find the new blog, I deleted the link altogether although if you can find a replacement page, you can replace it with a working URL. Hey Presto – no more broken 404 link!
The next one was slightly more tricky. ‘Bad Host’ Indicates that the link doesn’t exist. I had 71 of these, and they all came from bloggers who had commented on my posts and incorrectly entered their URL. It’s crucial that you don’t spend too long in a burning rage at these bloggers as I’m 100% sure they aren’t aware that they’re leaving a broken link – after all they have taken the time to respond to your post! But please, be my guest at taking a good minute raging at yourself before moving on to the next step.
Take a deep breath. This part requires patience! I will use my blog name as example whilst explaining this stage. Take your first broken link. You will see the blog name you need to find within the broken link. Find which post your broken link is on (again using the URL button explained earlier), and find the comment through your website. EDIT THE COMMENT. Make sure the link included in the comment reads http://www.sazsinclair.com !!! A lot of people who had left comments had missed out ‘www.’ before their blog name, which meant the link was broken. Annoying, right? Change them all. You will find that there are numerous broken links corresponding to one blog name, which would indicate they have left a number of comments on your blog. Go through each comment and make sure there is a full URL for each one. To test I had corrected the URL, I copied and pasted into a different tab and if the person’s blog came up I knew I had corrected the link. If it doesn’t work, just delete the link from the comment. You’ve tried, but there’s nothing more you can do. Bye Felicia.
If I haven’t explained this clearly enough, please message me and I will personally talk you through the last stage!
Andddd you’ve done it. You’ve fixed those broken links. You’re one step ahead on the SEO ladder. Give yourself a pat on the back because my god you’ve earnt one. I’m going to be checking my broken links every few weeks or so, and I’d recommend you do the same as it was quite a long process since so many had built up.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP OTHER BLOGGERS?
If you leave a comment on other people’s posts and leave your blog link, try to ensure you are leaving the full URL – including ‘http:www.’ before your blog name. I’m pretty sure I haven’t being leaving my full URL on posts.. please forgive me!! From now on, I’ll be aware of the URL I’m leaving so I don’t have to put any other bloggers through this tragic process. We could be making other bloggers lives much easier by doing this!!
If you’ve made it this far, then congratulations because that was one hell of a long, boring wordy post but I hope somewhere in all my ramblings, somebody can overcome those broken links on their website.