Acunetix WVS has the ability to discover links to pages that do not exist. In a world where sites are updated on a daily basis, it is quite easy to remove a page and forget to amend all links which refer to it resulting in what are known as broken links. Besides being deemed as unprofessional to internet users, broken links also have a negative effect on your search engine rankings.
When scanning a site, Acunetix WVS informs you of any broken links it detects during the scan. The following is a screen shot showing the broken links detected on our test site.
These dead links need to be remedied as quickly as possible. To understand how Acunetix found these links, we need to take a look at the “Site Structure”. Taking the webpage called “/anotherlink” as an example, we can see Acunetix has marked it as “Not Found” in the Site Structure.
If you select the offending file in the Site Structure, the details window (on the right) will show more information on the specific file. Select the Referrers tab (from the bottom of the Details Window) to find all the pages that link to this dead link. If you do not see the “Referrers” Tab, you will need to click the left arrow that can be located on the bottom right hand side of the window (indicated by the Yellow Arrow).
You can now edit the pages that are linking to the broken link and remedy the issue.
Finding Broken Redirects that are Pointing to Non-Existent Pages
On occasion, we might have a web page, which links to a URL. The web server is configured to redirect requests (using “301 Moved Permanently” for example) to a second URL, however the second URL is a dead link. To understand where the redirected broken link originates from we need to take a closer look at the referring links in the Acunetix Scan Results.
In the Broken Links section, Acunetix WVS will present the link as a normal broken link, as shown in the screenshot.
When checking the Site Structure, the broken link (redirectdoesnotexist) is also shown as “Not Found”.
The page linking to “redirectdoesnotexist” (retrieved from the Referrers tab) is redirectinglink.htm.
Redirectinglink.htm is marked as “Moved Permanently” in the Site Structure, indicating that this is a redirecting link. The Referrers tab of redirectinglink.htm will show the page linking to the redirected site.
You now need to decide which link you need to arrange. You can either arrange the original page, or the redirection.
Broken links can give a bad image, and they’re very annoying. Acunetix WVS can provide a clear picture of all the broken links on your site, and further information on how to fix the links. Once these are broken links have been detected, they are very easy to solve.