There is no doubt that dead links are bad for your web site and its reputation. And that is much more than just an annoyance for your visitors. Search engines are known to punish web sites with lots of dead links through the rating penalties. For example, Google is very clear in its demand to the web site owners, the demand, articulated in Webmaster Guidelines: Check for broken links and correct HTML.
Google consideration is simple and reasonable: if a site is old and it has numerous broken links, it would be logical to conclude that it has not been updated for a long time and that it should be downgraded as a result.
Search engines (Google) take your efforts to keep your site updated into consideration, but fixing your site has double effects, as it not only improves your search rankings, but your conversion ratio.
Xenu's Link Sleuth is a handy freeware, which checks Web sites for broken links. Link verification is done on "normal" links, images, frames, plug-ins, backgrounds, local image maps, style sheets, scripts and java applets. It displays a continuously updated list of URLs which you can sort by different criteria. A report can be produced at any time.
· Simple, no-frills user-interface
· Can re-check broken links (useful for temporary network errors)
· Simple report format, can also be e-mailed
· Executable file smaller than 1MB
· Supports SSL websites ("https:// ")
· Partial testing of ftp, gopher and mail URLs
· Detects and reports redirected URLs
· Site Map
Developer website: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html
Direct download: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/XENU.ZIP