Friday, October 17, 2008

Google Webmaster Tools Helps Website Owners Fix Broken Links

Google Webmaster Tools features tons of great items to help webmasters. Today Google announced the addition of another great tool to help website owners find and fix broken links.

The new tool, the "Webmaster Tools Crawl" shows a list of URLs that when selected by a visitor show up as a 404 error or ‘file not found’. Webmasters can fix these broken links through Webmaster Tools Crawl error sources. Crawl error sources displays the source URL containing the broken link to their site -- no matter where it exists on the web.

Along with the addition of the "Webmaster Tools Crawl" Google a introduced a new "file not found" widget, (aka the 404 widget) which allows users to add a small piece of code to their sites that will change your typical 404 message to a page with a URL suggestion, search box, and links to existing sitemap and parent directory


  1. Anonymous9:19 AM

    I'm working on auditing my clients architecture. I found a lot of URL's that no longer exist on the site in the Not Found report. Two things:

    1. If they no longer exist don't I want them to be 404 correct? What command should I assign to them?

    2. Other pages are linking to them. Some on my site and some from other 3rd party sites. What should I tell them to do?

  2. Anonymous10:07 AM

    Found my answer

    Let me know if you disagree. It appears I just need to 301 them to whatever new page best suits them.

  3. I'd double check to make sure the links are actually broken links or the pages are actually gone. Then yeah I'd say a 301 redirect would be the easiest way to go.

    If there is a limited number of off site links then you could email the webmasters with new links, but redirecting would be a lot less hassle.


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