One of my annual blog maintenance task is to find broken links using Screaming Frog SEO Spider. I scheduled this task in January and July.
The SEO Spider Tool has a free and paid versions. The freeware works fine although it has a crawl limit of 500 URLs. Otherwise, you can get the paid version for unlimited crawl.
Here are the steps on how to use Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Step 1: Enter URL in Enter URL to spider > Start.
Step 2: Go to Response Codes tab.
Step 3: On Filter drop-down menu choose Client Error (4xx) or on the right sidebar > Response Codes > Client Error (4xx).
The links with 404 (Status Code) and Not Found (Status) are the broken links that need to be removed or update on a blog post.
To view the page/post with a broken link:
- Click the link in the Address.
- Click Inlinks tab at the bottom.
The links under From are the blog posts that has broken link. You either have to delete it or update the link.
To edit the blog post with a broken link:
- Right click the From link > Copy From URL.
- Go to browser’s URL box > right click and choose Paste & Go.
- Find the Anchor Text in Screaming Frog SEO Spider to easily find the broken link in a blog post.
Having a schedule to fix broken links at least twice a year for a small website is important in keeping a blog clean.
I’m not sure how much it will affect the SEO factor of a blog. On the other hand, fixing 404 errors will keep readers happy, a goal worth achieving.
Resource: Screaming Frog