Nice Web Site Link Checker: Xenu Link Sleuth

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.

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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.

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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.

Optimize Your Blog: Dead Links and SEO

Having recently moved my blog here to WordPress from Live Spaces, I’ve been cleaning things up, repointing internal links, retagging, etc.  I’ve found a couple of things that are useful and I wanted to pass them along.

One of the things that I wanted to do is to see if I had any dead links in any of my posts.  I found this nice tool: http://www.dead-links.com.  Free and easy!  It’s not perfect — it showed me that quite a few links lead to 404 errors when they were just fine — but it’s a great, quick way to see if anything you consider important isn’t working right.  If you find something missing in someone else’s site and even the search engine caches are dead, consider trying the Way Back Machine to see if you can find an earlier version to link to or copy content from (not forgetting attribution, of course).

Another goal is to increase visibility and traffic to my blog (Search Engine Optimization or SEO), and Joel Olsen’s post entitled Ranking Your Blog – Managing and Gaining Popularity has great step by step tips on how to get the major (and many of the minor) search engines to notice your blog faster and more often.