To Make Links Count, Count Those Links

Kumiko over at CashQuests wrote a tip article today about, among other things, being very conscious as to how many outbound links there are on each page of your blog … especially the main or home page.  There are some very good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) reasons to do this … if you want to learn even more about those very important SEO techniques I highly recommend you buy and read Aaron Wall’s SEO Book … there’s no better place to learn.

But it’s easy to keep the most important part of the ink rule in mind … minimize the total number and allow no links that are not for a purpose and almost always make sure they point to something that leads to money.

How LinkCheck Looks in Operation

I bet you don’t know how many links are on this page you’re reading or even how many are on your own home page.  In addition to the difficulty of counting links, you may be surprised to find that some of them don’t work. (not surprised, eh? )   Something else to tear your hair out over?  Nope, Old Dave has an easy solution, a handy tool that you can install with a click, use with another click, and will count and verify the outbound links on any page.  The only “catch” if you want to call it that is that you must use the FireFox web browser.  According to the logs on the server here at www.retiredpay.com, more than half of you already are … for the rest of you … move to FireFox you will be so glad you did.  You can get it easily from the nice shiny button over there in the sidebar.

Now once you have FireFox installed you’ll quickly find that the real power of the browser comes from the huge assortment of plug-ins or extensions available.  A great guy name of Kevin Freitas made a super plug-in called LinkChecker … just click that highlighted link, follow the install prompts and you’ll have it.

Once LinkChecker is working in your installation of FireFox, just right click on any page and you’ll see the choice to “check Links”.  Select that and watch the magic.  LinkChecker will step through every link on the current page, and highlight it in green (see the sample screen shot above of LinkChecker working on one of my other blogs.  As it verifies every link it keeps a running total going in the lower right corner of your status bar at the bottom of the browser.  On the sample page above I guessed there were about 35 links or so … turns out there are 75.  All the links highlight in the green shown, so they are valid, but I had no idea there were 75 on that page …time to take a closer look … which is exactly what FireFox and LinkChecker can do for you/