I’ll admit it. I love links. I’m a connector by nature (some personality test told me that in college), so the idea of links fits great into this pattern of thinking. I once read a book about the beginning of blogging. The book highlighted some guy’s site that was one big tangled web of links (this was before you could post by days). If I could find that blog, I might end up wasting half a week checking out all the links. I often wish I could somehow build links into the pages of my journal, but since I’m still using old-fashioned paper, I guess that’s not a possibility.
One thing I don’t like, however, is dead links. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing those blue letters of promise, highlighting some interesting tidbit, clicking on it and ended up on a 404 screen or something like that.
Let me let you in on a little secret. Your readers hate that too. Dead links (or link rot) is bad for several reasons. Darren Rowse shares these in his workbook:
- Readability—clicking on a dead link can mean your readers can end up on error pages or being redirected to other irrelevant content. This can lead to reader frustration and give the impression that your blog is old and out of touch.
- SEO—I’m unsure of the technicalities or what the latest research shows, but from what I can tell, a dead link is unfavorably looked upon by search engines which means you run the risk of penalties.
So, how can you get up to speed? Darren lists several free programs that track down dead links (in the workbook). Check a few out and start eliminating those dead ends!