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I found a nice standalone link checker today called Xenu Link Sleuth. I’ve previously posted about dead-links.com, but it was giving me too many false dead links, so I thought I’d look for something a little better.
Xenu Link Sleuth is a little Windows app that will crawl your site and report on the validity of links. It has a few nice options that I like.
Right-clicking on a link lets you try to open the link in Google’s cache, the Wayback Machine, or Alexa. This gives you several ways to fix dead external links that you might want to keep. You can also validate the URL, which takes you to the W3C’s Markup Validation Service.
The output is in a datagrid, so you can sort and slice and dice a bit to get at the things that you really need to fix. For instance, you can ignore the Forbidden links because they usually aren’t really dead, but just blocking spiders.
Xenu will also generate a Google Sitemap File for you, which can be very handy in optimizing your site for Google using Google’s Webmaster Tools.
Give it a try! Thanks to Tilman Hausherr in Berrlin, Germany for this handy little tool.