If you are not checking your website every 30 days for broken links and URLs, you are probably taking a major hit with your SEO. Why? Google caches old and broken links, and if searchers click on one of these links they will get the dreaded “Page Not Found” 404 error. Broken links are especially common if you change the URL of a page, change the site navigation, or edit page titles and auto-generate the page URL from the title.
How do you find out if you have broken links on your website?
The easiest way to determine if you have broken links is to use Google Webmaster Tools. It’s free and easy to install and provides a treasure trove of valuable information on your website. Inside Webmaster Tools there is a link that generates a report of all the broken URLs. Once you’ve identified the broken URLs, the next step is to create either a 301 redirect to the correct page URL or to create a page with a URL that matches the broken URL.
If you’re having trouble creating and updating 301 redirects for your site, you may want to evaluate your website hosting platform and consider using a content management system with built-in redirect capabilities. For example, Drupal’s 301 redirect module has robust 301 redirect capability that is very easy for non-technical users to update.