500 and 404 errors are a bane of every successful SEO. In theory, Google does not lower the grade of your page just because it contains a couple of 404 errors. In practice, however, such links are unable to contribute to your "PageRank" and significantly lower your search traffic and link power – not mention that your readers are not able to access the valuable content that such link may hide.
Recently we have added the Lighthouse action that allows users to monitor their website's speed. Now we are expanding our monitoring actions roster with the Link Validator that will enable you to check websites for 500 and 404 errors.
Link Validator is relatively simple to configure and can serve as a standalone action in recurrent mode or a part of a bigger deployment pipeline. Simply, enter the URL of the website you wish to scan, and you are ready to go:
You can configure how thorough you want to be with your scan by setting its Depth. For example, setting it to 0 will only validate the links on the main page. If you want to scan the URLs on the pages to which those links are leading, you have to set the Depth to 1. The higher the number, the deeper you go. Here's how it looks in action:
If you want to exclude certain paths from being scanned, you can add them to the Ignored prefixes section:
Link Validator monitoring can also be used as smoke tests after the production site deployment. To do so, add this action at the end of your process. If anything goes wrong, you will be informed via the communication platform of your choice:
And there you have it, a simple and foolproof way of detecting bad links on your website! Make sure to follow our blog as we continue to expand our monitoring section with new tools and features.