Have you ever been on a site and clicked on a link that only led you to a "404 - Not Found" error page? These are called broken or dead links. They come up more often than you realize and as a user, this can be frustrating especially when you're trying to access information only to be disappointed when nothings shows up on your screen. On the flip side, as a content producer of any sites, this can lead to many negative consequences like a missed opportunity to reach a potential customer or a chance for a new user to find your site. Your current customers may get frustrated and in turn, lose respect in your brand and your online reputation in the process as well. Finally, having dead links on your site also affects your website's rating with major search engines.
A recent survey (below) shows that even Fortune 500 companies run into this problem. They have an average of 2.4% dead links per website including Verisign, Cisco, Apple, HP, Sun and Oracle with more then 3% of all links broken.
To get you started on fixing any of your broken links, here are six resources that you can use to prevent broken links:
LinkTiger: their dashboard provides a quick overview of the status of all links on your websites with three pie-charts with the pages status, the link status and the error types of the dead link. The detailed reports include search tools, easy to use wizards, summaries on several accounts and configuration edits. This is a paid tool.
Screaming Frog: this allows you to quickly analyze, audit and review a site from an onsite SEO perspective. It’s particularly good for analysing medium to large sites where manually checking every page would be extremely labour intensive and where you can easily miss a redirect, meta refresh or duplicate page issue. There is a light version that is free or you can purchase an individual licence to get full access.
Google Webmaster Central: this tool is more comprehensive as it can help you increase traffic to your site, get data about crawling, indexing and search traffic and even receive notifications about problems on your site. This is a free service.
Xenu's Link Sleuth: it checks websites for broken links. The link verification is done on links, images, frames, plug-ins, backgrounds, local image maps, style sheets, scripts and java applets. It displays a continuously updated list of URL's which can be sorted by different criteria. A report can be produced at any time. This is a free tool.
IIS Search Engine Optimization Toolkit: the toolkit includes a site analysis tool which has a large set of pre-built reports to analyze the sites compliance with SEO recommendations and to discover problems on the site, such as broken links, duplicate resources, or performance issues. The module also supports building custom queries against the data gathered during crawling.
SEOMoz Crawl Test: This tool sends out a crawler (identified as RogerBot) to crawl the links on a given URL. Crawling each link on that URL, the bot crawls up to 250 pages and emails you a CSV report with data on each found URL. This tool is free for members and pricing may vary depending on the amount of links that you're checking.Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Anytime Intel releases a new server chip, it usually is a time for celebration. What this means for server customers is more power for their servers and new technology integration that creates additional avenues for improved performance and design. Earlier this week, Intel officially launched their latest Xeon E5 CPU platform, which delivers an estimated 80-percent performance gain over the previous generation of Intel's server chips. With this platform, server customers like Canadian Web Hosting have seen more than a 100x’s improvement in raw performance and processing power over the last 10 years. As a comparison, in 1995 Intel was just releasing the "Pentium Pro."
For Canadian Web Hosting customers who are interested in some of the technical specifications, with the new E5 Xeons each processor now has a maximum of 40 PCIe 3.0 lanes, with each lane running at a top level of eight gigatransfers per second — roughly equivalent to 6.4Gbps. The amount of power consumed by the chips has grown slightly, with thermal design power (TDP) for the E5 family ranging from 60W to 150W. A new feature targeted at high-performance computing and supercomputing, named, Advanced Vector Extensions, which essentially doubles the floating-point performance of all the processors. This is significant especially for customers with compute intensive applications like medical imaging, heavy database read/writes and customers working with heavy visuals.
One things we are excited to see, and this is a significant reason to upgrade, Intel is also improving I/O (input/output) with a new system called Intel Data Direct I/O. Intel says that with the E5, the I/O hub has been directly integrated with the processor. "With this integration, Intel has reduced the latency of data traffic by 30 percent, so data gets where it needs to go faster than ever before. With Data Direct I/O we have re-architected the system such that the process is the primary location for network traffic thereby reducing the latency between the processor and the network adapter.”
Another new capability is the new Trusted Security capabilities, which gives end users the ability to do full data encryption and decryption. Intel noted that previous to the E5, data encryption wasn't always possible for all workloads, as servers took a performance hit. "With E5 it is now possible to encrypt using the ANS instructions and can encrypt and decrypt with no performance impact," Intel stated. "Data can be encrypted both at rest and in transit." For Canadian Web Hosting customers looking for a more secure hosting environment this is another promising capability that works to protect our customers data.
With the new Xeon E5 platform, Intel also takes aim at making servers and the data centers they're in, more efficient. It is anticipated that end users will see a power consumption rate that has been reduced by as much as 50 percent. Does this directly impact web hosting customers? Absolutely, the more we are able to reduce our power consumption the lower the rack and power rates associated with hosting those servers becoming. In today’s day and age, it takes more than just “hosting’ a dedicated server to meet various business requirements. With enhanced power monitoring capabilities on the E5 you now have the ability to monitor CPU utilization. As such, if a CPU is not being fully utilized, the processor can throttle back when not needed, which reduces overall power usage. We can now even go a step further enabling our server administrators to dynamically see what utilization is to help optimize and balance performance and power requirements. Again, the more control you the various components of the server the better performance each web hosting user will see in their server performance.
If you are interested in getting a server with the new E5 platform, please give us a call and let us know at 1-888-821-7888 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.Matt McKinney