A Link Checker is a program that checks the links on the pages of a website. Such programs can locate incoming, outgoing, and defective (or broken) links of a website and output it in a report. There are paid and free link checkers. Link checkers are often offered as a function within SEO tools. Such a program should not be missing in daily SEO work, because it not only helps to optimize for the future, but also in analyzing existing problems and eliminating them.
Link verification is an important aspect of on-page optimization and should be regularly carried out by any webmaster. If there are a lot of broken links, it may appear to the search engine that the site is not adequately maintained. This may adversely affect ranking. For a perfect crawl, it is advantageous that all incoming and outgoing links are maintained and do not direct into a void. Evaluations with several link checkers save you having to do manual analyses and defective links or dubious links which may mean a bad neighborhood for a website can be located.
The task of link checkers is to automatically find any existing links and clearly display them. There are different types of link checkers that can perform the following functions:
- Broken link checker
- Backlink checker
- Link checker for outbound and inbound links
- Link checker for add-ons
- Anchor text finder
Backlinks can also get checked with the Google Search Console or with the Bing Webmaster Tools. It is recommended to always use multiple link checkers to check links since one tool by itself does not always find all the links.
Link checkers in practice
Analyzing and listing all incoming internal links and backlinks with a link checker is only part of the work. This is often insufficient. It needs to be analyzed in order to derive consequences for future action.
An important application of link checkers is a failure analysis. If a penalty has been levied on a website and it dropped in the rankings for a particular keyword, the link checker may be able to provide information concerning this penalty by Google & Co. If the analysis tool shows that the link text of the inbound external links is almost exclusively based on a single money keyword, it can be assumed that the website has become a victim of the Panda update. One consequence of this analysis would be to either have the relevant link text modified, to remove the backlinks, or build many new links, which offer more varied link text without the money keyword.
Link checkers are likewise indispensable in the area of monitoring. Has a partner deleted a link? Are unnatural spam links directing to my site? Are there new natural backlinks which might explain a jump in ranking or a new traffic source? These are questions that can be answered only by a link checker.
Link checkers can also be of assistance in developing a keyword strategy. Thus, link targets within the site can be identified accurately and a correspondingly structured linking scheme can be established. One objective would be to use only one keyword for a webpage and accordingly have all links refer to a specific landing page with one keyword only.