A couple of months ago I started removing and updating all the broken links on my blog. Having broken links is bad for two main reasons: it's annoying seeing a link to something interesting when the link doesn't actually work, and the second reason is that they can have a negative impact on your SEO.
So, what are broken links?
It's simple, thankfully - they're just links that don't work anymore. This could be because the website no longer exists, the website owner changed the URL, they deleted the page you were linking to... there's a whole host of reasons.
How can you check your blog for broken links?
Again - it's simple! There are a few websites that check for you, and my preferred one to use is this free broken link checker. All you have to do is put in your URL and it starts finding the links for you, presenting them in a tidy list. I had thousands of broken links, mainly because people tend to leave their links in blog comments and, because I've been blogging for so long, a lot of these people had deleted their blogs or changed their addresses. Sigh.
What happens when you've got your list?
I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but... you have to remove or update the links manually. It's time consuming, but it's worth it - in the end, you'll have a cleaner, more current website and Google won't hate you anymore. Yay.
To make it a bit easier, the checker I use not only tells you which link is broken but it gives you a link to the blog post it's in and, if you click 'src', it brings up the HTML so you can even see which part of the blog post.
The thing is, not every link is going to be broken. It might just look broken to the link checker because it took too long to load. In that case, you'll have to use your own judgement on whether it's really broken or not - just click through and have a look to see if everything's as it was originally. If it is broken, you can remove the link completely or update it if there's a different one you could use, for example if a blogging friend changed their URL.
How many broken links do you have? Don't be ashamed, I had nearly 2,000...