bootScore & SEO: No Broken Links, please

A board concerning SEO

Search engines don’t like gos­sipy key­word­ing and love well-filled sitemaps. But they detest bro­ken links. So, we should pre­vent our­selves from destroy­ing the giv­en SEO friend­ly behav­ior of bootScore:

The clas­si­fi­ca­tion by seman­tic HTML tags and good per­for­mance speak for the rel­e­vance of a site. That is rea­son­able. How­ev­er, such mea­sures to improve one’s own rank­ing are under­mined by ‘bro­ken’ or ‘dead links’. They are no longer served, nei­ther by con­tent from with­in nor out­side. Once they reach such a link, the search engine crawlers can­not com­plete their work. From this, the search engines con­clude that such an ‘unmain­tained’ site will not be as impor­tant, as it pre­tends to be: What is annoy­ing for the read­ers, also annoys the search engines.

But bro­ken links are easy to find and fix:

[ en | de ]


  • Install the plu­g­in Bro­ken Link Check­er
  • Acti­vate it.
  • Go to Tools/Broken Links in your Word­Press dash­board.
  • Clean up each defec­tive link.
  • Dis­able the plu­g­in until the next check.


A link check­er plu­g­in is ulti­mate­ly a site’s own crawler. Like a search engine, it crawls all built-in links. Those who refer to unreach­able servers will be admon­ished, as well as those whom the respon­si­ble serv­er claims to be unable to serve.1 If you have a list of such links and the posi­tions where they occur, clean­ing them is only a mat­ter of crafts­man­ship.

The prop­er sources of the plu­g­in Bro­ken Link Check­er are host­ed on Word­Press’ own Sub­ver­sion repos­i­to­ry2 The readme file there­in says that the Bro­ken Link Check­er is licensed under the “GPLv2 or lat­er”.

There are occa­sion­al­ly warn­ings about this plu­g­in: It could degrade the per­for­mance if it works con­tin­u­ous­ly. How­ev­er, this can be eas­i­ly pre­vent­ed by acti­vat­ing and deac­ti­vat­ing it on a case-by-case basis.

In addi­tion to the Bro­ken Link Check­er, the Google Search Con­sole, and the Bing Web­mas­ter Tools also pro­vide infor­ma­tion about irreg­u­lar­i­ties. And there are exter­nal tools for this pur­pose, too. But I think it’s bet­ter to start with the obvi­ous.

By the way, the oppo­site of a bro­ken link is an orphaned page. If such pages exist on a Word­Press-based site, they are hard to find auto­mat­i­cal­ly because — by def­i­n­i­tion — there is no link point­ing to them. Here, the human look into the own sitemap is more help­ful. Orphaned posts — on the oth­er hand — do not exist as long as the stan­dard post loop is still called some­where.

And how does this …

… sup­port our migra­tion to bootScore? Well, if a web design­er must aban­don her cur­rent Word­Press theme, she needs a replace­ment. A free ‘off-the-shelf’ theme, she prob­a­bly wants to per­son­al­ize. First a bit cos­met­i­cal­ly, then in terms of the gray val­ue of her pages, mul­ti­lin­gual­ism and inter­nal ref­er­ence tech­niques and link­ing. Final­ly, she per­haps enables spe­cial foot­ers, a sec­ondary menu or a copy­right notice before check­ing the SEO fea­tures of the select­ed theme. This is a way that this post sup­ports too.

  1. Error 404 []
  2. GitHub offers a clear­ly out­dat­ed ver­sion. []
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