Please keep the number of 404 errors and broken links on your site to the minimum, or none if possible, says Google. The basic idea is to help the robots index content more efficiently from websites and help index relevant information.
Both you and me would have number of 404 errors on your blogs and websites, now in order to align yourself more towards the league of good guys who follow the standard guidelines, let’s see how we can detect and avoid the number of broken links on a website.
- Making use of Google Webmasters
Google Webmasters is a wonderful tool that can help you in detecting and getting rid of broken links (or all those errors) from your site.
Join in using your Google ID at Webmasters and add your site to the account.
For this you have to,
i) Add your website by providing the URL
ii) Verify that you are the webmaster by uploading a file or adding a meta tag to the files.
iii) Submit the XML sitemap
After submitting the XML sitemap, you have to wait for the nest successful indexing to happen. This depends on your crawling frequency.
- Finding out the errors
Soon after the next successful indexing is done, while you visit the Webmasters dashboard, you will be greeted with all the errors possibly found on your website. And this includes broken links, http errors, 404 errors, broken sitemap files etc.
- Trace the broken link
Click on the “Linked from” page to get a popup that will give you the URL that carries the broken link.
- Find out the URL from your website and delete it.
It might be from one of those articles you linked to, which is no longer existing or a dead link. Most of the time Google will tell you the exact URL that’s suggesting the broken link. So just get rid of it.
- Now, rebuild your sitemap and resubmit to Google through Webmasters
Wait for a fresh new indexing. If you have successfully deleted all broken links you should not see that yellow, annoying icon in your dashboard !
Keeping your site clean off broken links and http errors are a sign that you are a “good guy” to search engines. It’s just a simple ignorable thing but technically, will pass lot of value to you.