There is a great blog article over at one of my favorite article directories, EzineArticles.com, about how they have begun to implement an invalid URL link detection system. Now that gets me really excited! So if I sound a little geeky, let me explain why it should matter to you as well…
As you dive into your article marketing, you will notice how articles from two, three, five years ago still bring you a steady stream of traffic. Of course this depends on if you have written a good amount of information rich “evergreen” articles, but that’s another story. The point here is that articles can continue to bring you traffic for as long as they are published and live somewhere.
Sometimes though, we put urls in our resource or bio boxes or even in the body of the article (depending on what directory you are submitting to) that no longer exist months or years later, or they have changed page structure. This happened to me when I first converted my relationship advice site (GirlShrink) from an old html-only site to a wordpress one. The structure of my entire site changed, eliminating the (.html) at the end of each page. When that happens, readers will get a 404 error page. Boy was that a nightmare — and these were my options.
1. Try to remember every site I every submitted articles to with the old url. (Uh – not going to happen!)
2. Hope that they figure out where to go once they get to my customized error page. (A long shot, but put in place just in case.)
3. Change my .htaccess file so that all my old page urls are forwarded to the new ones. (This is what I ended up doing because I had a lot of files to change, but you have to be painstakingly correct when doing this. You might miss one.)
4. Have a directory that checks your urls either as you write or afterwards in an attempt to make sure that you have working, live links up. This is now what EzineArticles is doing. This is a good tool put in place by the article directory for two good reasons.
First, it ensures that readers of your articles will get to your intended final destination for them – your landing page, squeeze page, sales page, etc. Second, it’s best for the directory not to have any broken links for search engine purposes. So everyone wins.
Now not just EzineArticles is doing this, but autoresponder/newsletter company Aweber does this too. Every time I create a newsletter or autoresponder message, their system automatically checks to make sure my links are working. This is great while you are creating a message, because how many times have you mistyped a url? I know I have, and the system catches it in a matter of seconds.
So think about the articles and newsletters that you have written in the past, are all your url links correct and still working? Do you now push readers to a different squeeze page? Has your link structure changed on your site? Do you even own that domain name any longer?
At least you know of two places: EzineArticles and Aweber where you won’t have to worry about this type of thing happening. Remember that readers will only be disappointed or annoyed by broken links. You don’t want a frustrated reader, you want one that can easily seek more information from you.
Click Here to read more about the new invalid url link detector tool over at EzineArticles.