Hello, readers. This article gives you information on how to find broken links or dead links of any website using MS Excel. But before I proceed further, let me explain to you the importance of broken links for beginners.

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Importance of the broken links for beginners

In this section, I am going to discuss in detail the importance of broken links for beginners. But before I proceed further, let give you brief information about broken links.

Furthermore, I am also going to tell you how Google or any other search engine treat dead or broken links. In turn, I am going to discuss the SEO impact.

Moreover, I will also explain in detail about user experience for the dead link and end up with the information about some popular paid tool that is used by many professional bloggers and/or digital marketers.

Let me clear that finding and fix the broken links is not rocket science. In other words, It is easy to find the broken links of any websites, But it is not going to easy for you to fix it with updated information.

The above paragraph does not mean to feel you hard. Rather It is to make you aware that today many bloggers have started to fix the broken links by web cache links.

Therefore, You must've to go for fixing those links which require a major content update. And It requires a thorough study and passion. Because even the tool that I've created is not going to tell you this information.

What are the broken links?

Broken Links

As the name states, Broken links are the links that have stopped functioning. Furthermore, Dead links are created when a linked external or internal content is removed.

Moreover, If the webmaster doesn't implement the redirect to the new address is also results in broken links.

Sometime, If free content links turn into premium content and require a password to view may also, in turn, become a dead link.

In addition to that, If the server is under any error then also the link will turn into the dead link. Also, see the following codes which differentiate the error which caused the dead links.

  • 301 - Permanent redirect
  • 302 - Temporary redirect
  • 403 - Access is forbidden
  • 404 - Not found
  • 410 - Page Gone/Removed
  • 500 - Internal server error
  • 503 - Service unavailable

For more information on the response status code, visit the article by Mozilla developers on HTTP response status.

How Google treat dead or broken links?

By this, I am going to tell you the impact of broken links on your site ranking.

So, When a visitor clicks on a link that you have mentioned on your web page, It may return 404 error in a two way. Either it returns 404 error with a page set for it or by Google soft 404 error.

Moreover, Google soft 404 error will be triggered for the dead url if the 404 error page for a website is not set.

Now, coming back to our topic, It does not have a high SEO impact.

But, One thing must be considered here that It may reduce your DA (Domain Authority) score if you have a long list of broken URLs of your website.

Don't worry much about the Search Engine's perspective if the external link is dead. Because the dead links have a high impact on the user experience.

How dead links are bad for user experience?

User experience for the dead or broken links

On the one line, It has a high impact on user experience. But, not in all cases.

See, the serious error will be caused by the following reasons.

  • Page not found or removed or gone
  • Server not found or internal-server error

Bad user experience due to page not found

Suppose, a reader is reading one of your pages and on that page, in which you've mentioned a link. The link is anchored by text which represents the information from the different concepts. Hence, when a reader clicks on it and it end-up with no content.

This may leave a bad impression on the reader's mind about your website. And, I think

First Impression Is The Last Impression

Although this is not going to be true in every case it does have observed by many analyzers.

Now, let's think about the server error.

Bad user experience due to server error

Suppose you've mentioned the external link of different pages of the same website on a page and after so long time, the server is unavailable. What will happen next?

All of your links will be considered as broken links. And now re-think that a visitor is reading your page's content. And the reader has clicked on the first link and found it broken. But, because you are lucky or reader's trust, It will stay your page and click on the second link, and again found it dead.

What will be the reaction after that?

The reader will think you are not committed to your work. And you will not only lose the visitor but also the trust for lifetime.

Paid tools available to extract the dead or broken links

And many more tools.

All of the above tools are paid tools. You have to pay monthly or yearly. Many of them also offer a free trial period.

But, I will not recommend any of these tools if you are beginners. Because, As a beginner, your earning may near equal to nill. And these tools are so pricey.

Hence, I recommend the tool ThanalysisLinkScanner which is nothing but an excel macro-enabled file that I have created for you. If you are a beginner then you must use it for getting backlinks.

ThanalysisLinkScanner is completely free for you and always will be. I created this tool because Paid tools are not in my budget. And, To get backlinks is very important as Brain Dean twitted the information, a very-important-information about Backlinks and many factors that Google considers.

And, this page is the only official page for ThanalysisLinkScanner.

What is ThanalysisLinkScanner

ThanalysisLinkScanner - Find Broken Links using MS Excel

In this section, I am going to tell you about ThanalysisLinkScanner in detail. ThanalysisLinkScanner is a tool that I have created to find the broken links for my websites as well as other websites.

Moreover, This tool is completely different from the other tools available in the market. Because, In this tool, You have to upload the sitemap of any website.

One more thing I forgot to tell you that you also have to provide a class-name for the website. And, I'm going to explain everything later in detail. So, don't worry and read further parts of this article.

ThanalysisLinkScanner is created using Microsoft Excel. Hence, It can be run on any platform that supports MS Excel. Furthermore, You don't have any extra file or anything extra to run this tool.

All you need to have is an office installed on your machine. Furthermore, I have created this tool on Microsoft Excel 2013.

Because of that, You are recommended to use the 2013 version or later. Although it will run on any version.

In addition to that, It may have a problem with the Mac platform, As the functioning of the tool is carried by VBA code. So, the macro may not function fully as it is on the Windows platform. It's just my guess because I've not tested it on Mac.

See the below video which gives an overview of ThanalysisLinkScanner.

Version History

Latest: RedAnt

RedAnt version is the latest version of ThanalysisLinkScanner. And It is the first official release of this tool.

Date of Published: 23 May 2020

Introduction to the terms of ThanalysisLinkScanner

The following are the terms for ThanalysisLinkScanner.

  • TL - Total Links
  • LM - Date of Last Modified
  • DF - Total DoFollow Links in the Base URL
  • NF - Total NoFollow Links in the Base URL
  • Base URL - URL of the domain from which the links is being extracted
  • Target URL - External URL linked to the Base URL
  • Status - Response status code like 200, 404, 500, 501, etc.
  • LC - Link Category ( for ex. Document, Image, etc.)
  • LT - Link Type (DoFollow or NoFollow)

See the following infographic to familiar with the tool's layout.

Introduction the icons of ThanalysisLinkScanner

How to use ThanalysisLinkScanner

This tool is developed based on two-stage.

  1. Upload the sitemap and process it
  2. Extract the broken links

Hence, In this section, I am going to describe both steps in detail. But, before explaining these steps, I would like to explain to you how to get a sitemap of any websites.

You may have a question that why I am asking to upload the sitemap instead of submitting the URL of the website like other tools.

The reason behind this is very simple and clear. I considered the scenario in general. You will understand later why I've mentioned this statement here.

Well, All the people that are using or will be using this tool does not need to have high specs machine. There is a full possibility that the majority of people might be using the machine on lower specs.

And, The tool I have created is run on Excel. As per the fact, Excel runs on a single thread. Consequently, This tool is also going to run on a single thread.

Now, If I implement the process to first crawl each page by URL, may slow down your machine. Moreover, the second step is designed to crawl the links by visiting each page, hence again it may hang your machine.

Because of these reasons, I've eliminated the first step. So, this tool relies on the sitemap data, not like other tools available in the market.

So, next, see how to get the sitemap of any website.

Get the sitemap of any website

It's not hard to get the sitemap of any website. You can use one of the three ways mentioned below.

  1. By URL of a sitemap of the website
  2. By finding the sitemap link from the website
  3. Generate the sitemap using any Sitemap Generator

Get the sitemap of any website by the URL of sitemap of the website

In this step, I am going to discuss how you can get the XML sitemap of any website by typing the URL of sitemap for that website.

So, You have to type one of the following URLs in the web browser to get the XML sitemap.


See, every website platform has a different implementation for the XML sitemap. But, most of the websites have a sitemap with any of these URLs.

If a website is hosted on Google Blogger then the sitemap will be downloaded directly instead of displaying all the URLs listed on that sitemap.

But, If a website is hosted on any platform like WordPress, Wix, etc then you will show all the list of the URL on the web browser. Furthermore, the second URL will work in the case of sites hosted on the platform like WordPress.

Now, replace the word "websitename" with the website that's sitemap you want to get. For example, If you want to get the sitemap of my website then replace "websitename" with "thanalysis" and do a search in the URL bar for "".

As my website is hosted on Google Blogger, The sitemap of my website will be downloaded directly. But, the site hosted on other platforms involves one mechanism for that.

For example, website which is run by Harsh Agarwal is on the WordPress platform. So, In this case, The second URL will work instead first.

And, It is more likely that WordPress websites are using the plugins Yoast SEO or Rank Math to generate a sitemap for the website.

So, now it's a time to get the sitemap for One more thing I would like to tell you that only use the canonical URL of any website. Hence, I will type in the URL bar and press Enter.

As a result, I got the list of all the sitemaps available for Also, see the following image.

XML Sitemap for

As you can see in the above image that this is the index of the sitemaps. And it consists of posts, pages, and other stuff. Here, Our focus is on the posts. See the first two sitemaps are related to blog posts. So click on it to open it.

For instance, I am going to open the first sitemap - post-sitemap1.xml. By doing so, The 985 URL is shown as of today I am writing this paragraph on 20th May 2020. See the following picture also.

XML Sitemap for has listed 985 URLs.

See the above picture which consists of the following things about the article active on shoutmeloud.

  • URL of the article
  • Number of images as allows by Yoast
  • Date of the last modification

Download the sitemap as an XML file type only

Now, download this sitemap. Remember that you have to download it only in the following way. Because what you have seen in the above image is the HTML page from XML data. And ThanalysisLinkScanner wants XML data, not an HTML page.

  • On Firefox
    1. Press Ctrl + S
    2. Provide file name as you want
    3. Select "Web page, HTML Only" as a save type
    4. Save it
  • On Google Chrome & Microsoft Edge
    1. Press Ctrl + S
    2. Verify that save as type is XML Document
    3. Save it

Now, Also verify that it has an XML coding only. For that open the XML file that you have downloaded earlier in the web browser and open the Element Inspector or view the page source. It should consist of the following HTML tags.


Sometimes some big websites don't show the list of the sitemaps as Yoast and Rank Math shows. For example, I search for the sitemap of the most popular website using the second URL from the two URLs. Forbes's website didn't respond for the first URL hence I tried for a second, And it worked.

So by using sitemap_index.xml, I got the following sitemap which consists of the URLs of different sitemaps. Actually it is as same as other sites, But here it is displayed differently.

XML Sitemap for the Sitemap of forbes

In the case of, Yoast SEO has applied HTML+CSS design that made sitemap_index.xml different in terms of look.

Then I tested for one the sitemap and got the results. Here, One thing should be noted that the sitemap of consists of additional XML tags changefreq and priority. But, don't worry, It's not going to create a problem for you as ThanalysisLinkScanner will ignore such tags.

Get the sitemap of any website from the footer

It is one of several possible ways to get the sitemap of the website from the footer. However, This is recommended but on the second priority. Read next to know the reason for the second priority.

All websites don't have the link to the sitemap of the website on its website. Hence, It will be easy for you if the website you are going to search for has a sitemap link.

As earlier, I have mentioned the website This website has put the sitemap link on the footer of the website. So, for me it's very easy to navigate to the sitemap.

Furthermore, It is always a good practice to put the sitemap link on the website. It will help to navigate to both user and search engine. Because of this reason, I have also added a sitemap link to my website

So, go and get the sitemap link if the website has it else go for the next one.

Generate the sitemap using any Sitemap Generator

There are a variety of online tools available to generate the sitemap of any websites. I am listing a few of them below but remember that these tools are not free. And those who are providing free service for a limited period or for limited features are not going to work for you for larger websites.

In general, I don't recommend any of the tools, rather I recommend either first or the second way. But still, I would like to shows you a list of some of the tools.

So now you are all set to get the sitemap of any website.

Upload the sitemap to the ThanalysisLinkScanner

Here, This tool is not going to upload your sitemap to any server. By uploading means you have to select an XML sitemap file.

Before uploading the sitemap to the tool, you have to provide the class name of the div element from the website. The div element should be very close to the content. See next, how to find the div element from the website that is very close to the content.

Find the HTML class that is closer to the content

In this step, You are going to see how to find the div element that is working as a container of the content or in short working as an entry door. See the steps below to learn to find a content container HTML class.

A content container HTML class is the div element of the class which holds the contents of the article (like contents written within P, Span, elements, including images and others).

See the below screenshot of one of the articles of shoutmeloud.

Screenshot of shoutmeloud's website for better understanding of content container HTML class.

Here, In the above image, You can see that I've opened the elements inspector in the Google Chrome browser. From the element inspector, I have selected the div element of class entry-content. And the entry-content class contains all the essential elements for the content of an article like p, ul, ol, img, a, div, etc.

The second reason why I have selected that particular class is because of entry-content contents directly found. In other words, You can see that all essential elements for the content are directly in contact with that class.

Hence, Whenever you are going to check broken links for any websites, You have to perform a similar operation.

Moreover, there is also another simplest way to find the content container element. And the procedure for that is explained below.

To find the content container element, Just open the Element Inspector of any browser. And Then, Click on the Element Selector. After, Select the first paragraph of the article.

Hence, It will display you a selected paragraph or span element in the form of HTML code in Element Inspector. So, You have to select the first parent class of that. And, that parent class will be the content container element.

Also, Remember that ThanalysisLinkScanner will not go beyond the selected class's premises. Hence, You are advised to make the proper selection.

Furthermore, Backlinks from the content have higher weight over the same found from bio.

Upload the sitemap and scan it

Finally, You have reached the point where ThanalysisLinkScanner will come in the picture to use.

In this step, You are going to learn how to select the sitemap file and scan it.

  • Step-1: Open ThanalysisLinkScanner.
  • Step-2: Click on the Launch button.
  • Step-3: Provide a class-name.
  • Step-4: Click the Sitemap upload button.
  • Step-5: Select the Sitemap file from your computer.
  • Step-6: Wait for the Process to complete.

Also, see the following infographic to get more help.

Infographic for the sitemap uploading process on ThanalysisLinkScanner

As shown in the last step of the above infographic, You can clearly analyze the following details for the particular domain using the sitemap scanner.

  • URL of the article
  • Total Links are given on the content
  • Total Dofollow and Nofollow links

So, This is the first part to find the broken links. Here, You will get an idea that which page more Nofollow links that you should avoid for low DA sites. If the website you are going to search for has high DA then I recommend you to go for it even if the broken link Nofollow.

If you want to export the data then you can. Hence, Click on the Export button to export the data to the excel. Remember that to save the excel file on which you have exported the data requires the ThanalysisLinkScanner to be closed.

But, don't worry, You can save it later also. There is also another way for it. I will explain it later.

Now, proceed for the next step without closing the tool.

Check the broken links using ThanalysisLinkScanner

This is a step you may have waiting for. In this step, You are going to check the broken links of the website. And, I think the crucial step for you.

So, without wasting time let's go further.

But, before that, I would like to tell you that there is a chance that You may have closed the tool to save the exported data to excel from Sitemap Scanner.

But, Don't worry, You can reopen the tool by click on the Launch button and go for the broken link search. Below is the answer to your query arose.

ThanalysisLinkScanner save the data to separate file for you, In case, If you've accidentally closed the tool, You don't have to re-scan the entire sitemap. And, This feature allows you to directly go for a broken link search instead of spending more time on re-scanning of the sitemap.

But, if you have not closed the tool then you can proceed further.

Well, In both cases of whether you have closed the tool or not, You have to click on the Search button to open the Broken Link Checker. Hence Follow the steps given below.

  • Step-1: Click the Search button.
  • Step-2: Click the Rocket button.
    • If you have closed the tool then
      • It may start searching if the Sitemap Scanner has saved the file properly that contains all data.
      • It will display error message in cases if you have removed the file or the file is corrupt.
    • If you have not closed the tool then
      • The tool will start the process of broken link search.
  • Step-3: Wait for the process to complete.
  • Step-4: Export the data to Excel.
  • Step-5: Close the tool.
  • Step-6: Save the excel file.

See the below image on how exported data of broken links look like.

Excel exported data of broken links

Sitemap Scanner's exported data is as below.

Exported data to excel from Sitemap Scanner

So, That's all for how to check broken links using Microsoft Excel. Next, see how to ask for backlinks.

See, Nothing is going to work for you in the first place in the case of backlinks.

To get backlinks, You have to work hard. In other words, You have to provide a better solution for it.

How to fix broken links and get a backlink

To get backlinks for the broken links, You need to provide a fix for it with updated information. And then you have to contact the author or admin. Read the following steps to ask for backlinks.

  • Step-1: Get the content of the broken links using the Cached View and Reverse Image Search.
  • Step-2: Update the information with the latest information and make the content link-worthy.
  • Step-3: Reach out to the author or admin on Twitter or through the contact email. And please ask for one time only, do not bombard.

Don't wait for the response to come. Just find other broken links of your niche and try to fix it and continue so. See, everything is not going to work for you.

On some websites, You will get a backlink in a very short time, and on the same It may take a bit longer.


What is the price for ThanalysisLinkScanner?

See, ThanalysisLinkScanner is completely free and always will be. I am not going to charge anything for it. So, don't worry and feel free to use it. Even, It is created for beginners like me who do not want to spend money on searching broken links.

Which platform on which we can run this tool?

In general, this tool is going to work on all the platforms where excel VBA works. So It is going to work for Windows definitely. I've created this tool on Windows platform.

Mac users may have problems with macros. Furthermore, I have never tested this tool on the Mac operating system. Still, If you are Mac user and having a problem with a tool on Mac, you can contact me on Twitter @KunjeshVirani1.

Do I have to Scan a sitemap every time for checking for broken links?

Yes, You must have to

If you are planning to scan a website is different than the previously scanned website. Furthermore, I've also mentioned above in the article that This tool saves data to the file when the sitemap scanning is ongoing.

But, I would like to add more information to the above paragraph that This file is subjected to amend every time.

No, You don't have to

If you are going to scan the website which same as the previous one then don't need to repeat the task. You open the tool and click on the Search button then press the Rocket button. Thus, The tool will start to find the broken links based on the previous file generated.

Why my computer gets a slug during the process?

It doesn't happen every time. Sometimes some websites take a longer time to respond. And this tool works on a single thread of the machine. Hence, It may slug your machine.

In actuality, Your machine is not going to slug. This tool only slugs the thread on which it is running which means you can still access other apps than this tool without any problem.

Can I export the data to other formats than Excel?

From the tool, You can only export data to Microsoft Excel. And from Excel you can export to any format that Excel supports to export.

Why all the URL is not shown in the report?

I've mentioned at the beginning of this article that This tool will check every URL found within the premises of the given class. But, In the report generated, You will only be going to see the URL which supposed to return an error header.

So, don't worry, If you get zero URL in the report then don't be panic. Because that site will not have any broken links.

Can I break the search operation?

Yes, Definitely. You can break the operation anytime you want when the process is ongoing. Press the Tea button to break the ongoing operation.

Can I export data with the broken operation?

Yes, definitely. You can export the data If you have pressed the Tea button to break the operation. Remember that, If you've exited from the tool without pressing the Tea button then It may generate a corrupt file.

Should I have to proceed If I receive the security alert?

Yes, You've to proceed. For that click on the Yes button whenever you get such popup during the operation. Furthermore, see the below images which may slow down your query.

Security alert while processing the data on ThanalysisLinkChecker
Another security warning while performing the broken link search on ThanalysisLinkChecker

Does This tool consider all links of the page?

No, ThanalysisLinkScanner will not consider all the links of the page. It will only search for the links which fall under the premises of the provided class.

How much time does this tool take to finish?

There is no specific time. The time consumption is depends on the two factors as shown below.

  • Speed of the Internet you use
  • Length of the sitemap

Hence, It will be false to say about any specific time.

How many maximum numbers of links this tool can check?

No limit to check. Everything depends on the class you provide. But, I do recommend providing a class closer to the content rest there is no limitation like other tools.

But, remember that more links will take more time to finish. And also the speed of an internet connection makes account to it.

The solution of the different errors

An error occurred while handling the sitemap

You will receive this error, If the sitemap is not downloaded properly. See above on this article, How to download the sitemap as a valid XML file.

This tool relies on the XML data you provide. So, If you provide a corrupt file, It will not work.

An error found for the selected class

Generally speaking, This error is rare. But, Still if you are getting this error then maybe you are doing some mistake in selecting the valid class to check.

Does this tool consider the images?

Well, It is worth saying that this tool only considers the anchor tag. So, everything that falls under the anchor tags is considered with keeping the anchor tags falls under the premises of the given class.

Does this tool save the exported data automatically?

No, For now, This tool will not save the exported data. You have to manually save it.

Download ThanalysisLinkScanner

Click here to get to download ThanalysisLinkChecker. To download it, You have to fill the form, and then you will be invited to download the tool.

So that's all for this article. Don't forget to share your experience on Twitter and Facebook. Also, share your experience in the comment box below.