How to check your website for broken links

This article describes two methods for checking a website for broken links:

  • Google Search Console enables you to review any broken links and errors that Google's crawlers discover. This information is automatically updated every time Google crawls your site.
  • W3C Link Checker scans your site for broken links on demand. This method also provides the specific line in the HTML source file that contains the broken link.

Method #1: Google Search Console

To continuously monitor your site for broken links using Google Search Console, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Google Search Console account.
    If you do not yet have a Google Search Console account, sign up for one here.
  2. Click the site you want to monitor. The Search Console page appears.
  3. Click Crawl, and then click Fetch as Google. Here you can request Google to crawl specific pages on your website.
    This process is not immediate. It can take up to one week for Google to crawl your site.
  4. After Google crawls the site, to access the results click Crawl, and then click Crawl Errors. The Crawl Errors page appears.
  5. Under URL Errors, you can see any broken links that Google discovered during the crawl process.

To scan your site for broken links using W3C Link Checker, follow these steps:

  1. Use your web browser to visit the W3C Link Checker.
  2. In the Enter the address (URL) of a document that you would like to check text box, type the URL of the site you want to scan.
  3. To see only the relevant output, select the Summary Only check box.
  4. To check links on subsequent pages, select the Check linked documents recursively check box. In the recursion depth text box, type how many levels you want to check.
  5. Click Check. The results appear as each page is scanned.

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