Remove Dead Links From Your Blog To Improve User Experience

After blogging for a while, you will notice two inevitable trends.  One, other bloggers that you used to link to, or leave comment on your blog with links to their site stop blogging.  And two, some of your advertisers — specifically affiliate advertisers — stop running their program.  In both cases, when your visitors follow these links, they are either going to a dormant web site or a parked domain — both of which contributes to bad user experience.

If you follow these bloggers, or if you get a notice from your advertisers, there are a few things that you should do.  In the case of other bloggers, I don’t generally go through these steps until the blog is completely dead; specifically, I’ll keep the links as long as the site is up.  Here are the steps that I go through:

  • Clean Up Your Blogroll — First, if the blogger is in my blogroll, I’ll remove the blog.  It’s also a good idea to periodically go through your blogroll to see if you are linking to any dead sites.
  • Clean Up Your Posts — Second, I search my posts for the dead blog.  In WordPress admin menu, click on Posts > Edit and do a search — i.e., “”.   Then I go in and either remove the link noting that it’s no longer around, or completely delete any reference to that blog.
  • Clean Up Your Comments — Third, I do a similar search in the comment section, and remove the dead URL from comments.

This used to be tedious, but WordPress 2.7 made this easier with “Quick Edit” function.  Now you may ask if this is worth the effort.  Personally, I think it is.  First, it shows that you care about your blog and your are keeping it current.  Second, your user are not visiting parked domain, or worse, domains that have been turned into spam sites or Made for AdSense sites.  Third, if you are concerned about SEO, it will cut down the number of unnecessary outgoing links.

One of the free tool you can use to detect dead links on your site is Xenu’s Link Sleuth (TM).

Do you go through your blog to clean up dead links?  Do you think it’s worth it?

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6 Responses to “Remove Dead Links From Your Blog To Improve User Experience”

  1. patrick says:

    I haven’t done this yet, but I know it’s something I need to do. I’m sure my comments are rife with dead links… ugh. But probably worthwhile. Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  2. Mike says:

    Thanks for posting this, I’m about to download it. Thanks to Patrick for helping to motivate me! 🙂

  3. Ron says:

    It seems that most of mine are either dead Technorati links, incorrect links from commenters, or Flickr links that don’t work.

  4. Pinyo says:

    @Ron – And they are all worth cleaning up. I think I cleaned out over 100 links on my blog and I am going to do this monthly so it’s not such a big job next time.

  5. Thanks for the tips! Running this as I type this. so far the only dead links i’ve found are in the comments. darn commenters

  6. Pinyo says:

    @BMM – Yep, that where most of my dead links are. But I do occasionally find them in content as well.