A sound health is determined by how frequent you take care of it, and also is determined by the number of medical check-ups you give to yourself, as the saying goes ‘ health is wealth’.
I have come to realize that one’s source of inspiration and making money needs to be taken care of; and that is why its important to take care of your website maintenance and security seriously.
Recommended to read: How to be on first page of Google without backlinks
Recommend to read: Website Maintenance – 7 tips for WordPress blogs
In the context of our discussion, three issues on how to check for links will be discussed:
- Checking for links pointing to your website or blog ( i.e inbound links or backlinks)
- How to check for broken links
- How to check for low quality links, that is causing major drop in your organic traffic.
Kindly follow me as I explain in details the tool.s, strategies and guidelines to achieve this.
Recommended to read: Duplicate Content- Four free copyscape alternatives checker tools
How to check for links pointing to your website
The name given to links that are essentially pointing back to your website or blog is called backlinks or inbound links. Many reasons exist for checking on the type and quality of links that points to your site. Chief among this are:
- Ability to spy on your closest competitor, know their strength and the various links that made them rank high in organic Google search than you.
- Ability to know which blogger is linking to you, and of course to also know the bad links among them
Free tools to check for backlinks
JetPack plugin is an essential plugin to have in your plugin repository; Infact, it is an important plugin as it combines the work of about 10 plugins in one. The site statistics shows you your referrals ( search engines inclusive), links that are going out of your blog/website, keyword and terms from search engines that brought people to your blog e.t.c.
I highly recommend you use and install this free plugin from wordpress.com. After installation, check under the dashboard, you will see the JetPack icon, click on it and locate wordpress.com stats, click activate and it will start working immediately.
Ahrefs is another wonderful free online website that you can use to check for links pointing to your website. They are more detailed, as they will show you dofollow, unfollow links, links you have lost and new links gained.
The free version is though limited, but its still a good idea to use the free version.
- Open Site Explorer
This is a wonderful free tool from MOZ ( Rand Fishkin), I personally makes use of this tool, and I must say its good to check both on links pointing to your bog and also good for spying on your competitors.
MajesticSEO is a good free tool that can help check the number and types of backlinks to you blog; when used along the Opensitexplorer and Google Webmaster, it gives a near perfect result.
Highly recommend to try it.
- Google Webmaster Tools
Google webmaster tools remains the leading and most efficient sources to track and check for inbound links to your blog. The use of Google webmaster tools is an important and compulsory tool that every blogger, webmaster and publisher should have ( its absolutely free).
To use Google webmaster tools to check for backlinks, follow the below step:
- Sign up or sign in to the account at: https://www.google.com/webmasters/
- Make sure that you have verified your site or blog ( if not, check: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1142414?hl=en) or simply use this plugin from Yoast)
The only disadvantage to using this tool are:
- It does not give you daily or weekly stats of who links to you
- It does not tell you whether the incoming links are dofollow or nofollow
Because of this limitations, the second free tool from Google is a little bit better for this task:
Google analytics is by far the best free tool to use. It gives you up to the minute details of links pointing to your website. It’s rich features allow it to give you your daily, weekly, monthly link details of your site.
Its a must used tool, if you are really serious about the health of your blog, some of the advantages of using and taking adequate note of Google analytics includes:
- Google Analytics is the number one major factor that helps you know if you are being penalized; to do this, just study your analytics, and once you see a sharp drastic reduction of your traffic, then it means someone wrong has happen
- Secondly, it gives you the keyword that people are using on Google and other search engines to get to your site.
Simply sign up and under the dashboard ( after you have done the verification), click on acquisitions, then all traffic; from here, you will get all the full details.
- Bing Webmaster Tools
The Bing webmaster tools is another recommended credible way to check for links pointing to your site. To make use of the free services offered by Bing, follow the below steps:
- Sign up or login to the Bing website
- Verify your site/blog and if not you’ve not done that, check Bing’s guidelines to get it done
- Once in, go to your dashboard, under diagnostics and tools, click on Link explorer, insert your website address or specific URL of a blog post.
How to check for broken links
The presence of broken links leads to 404 error, and this can sometimes be due to the fact that you have moved a particular blog post, deleted a blog post, the linked URL address of a blog comment may no longer be working e.t.c..
Anyway, having too much of 404 error ( not found page) is not good, and as a general SEO best practises, it should be addressed and taken seriously. Though, Google stated that 404 will not affect your rankings, but from my observations, too much 404 error pages leads to a drop in organic rankings.
So, how do you check for dead links, broken links e.t.c? I have listed just three tools and method to use:
Broken link checker is a free web tool that scans your blog or website address for possible broken links, and not just that, it tells you the source, and how you can locate the presence of such broken links in your website or blog.
I highly recommend this free tool, far ahead the other two methods that are explained below.
- Install Broken Link Checker Plugin
On a personal note, I would not advise you to install the plugin, simply because too much of plugins adds more load and choke up resources on your server; however, if you insist, simply download the plugin, and install it on your wordpress website.
The plugin works great, it scans your entire website and notifies you of any broken link. You can get the plugin from the wordpress plugin repository through the link above.
GitHub is a respected open source tool, managed by professionals in the programming language, web designing niche; they have a free tool, however, you will need to download and install on your system or laptop to use it.
The tool can check links in web documents or even throughout the whole full website. You can give it a try, though, I’ve not personally use it.
Over to you – Feedback and Suggestions
Have I missed out on something? or is my discussion not valid? Please, kindly share your thoughts through the comment section below. Your input will be valuable to my esteemed readers.