App Review : Xenu’s Link Sleuth And LinkExaminer

> tools for technical SEO audit

LinkExaminer & Xenu

Today I offer 2 very nice desktop apps that are nothing less than must-haves for SEO: Xenu Link Sleuth and LinkExaminer. Both are very similar since they’re made for the same purpose, offering identical and/or complementary features: they will scan your whole website just as indexing bots would, and detect many issues your website may face – broken links, duplicate meta tags, page weight and loading time, etc…

How does it works?

When crawling your website tools will collect lots of data concerning each of its pages, and then display a scan report as shown below:

Xenu report

LinkExaminer

Thanks to this raw report you’ll get to quickly spot defects and improbable points concerning global site conception, internal structure, netlinking and more. By spending less time looking for errors and breaches you’ll be optimizing your pages more easily for both crawlers and users by simply correcting what’s wrong.

And each tool allows you to rearrange reports in order to make them more readable: ex. with LinkExaminer the View tab helps displaying only internal or external links, errors or redirects ; in Xenu the same tab only shows broken links ; in both cases you can sort results by clicking top of column title, just as you would do to organize your computer files.

Types of indexed elements:
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  • Website pages
  • External and internal links
  • Images
  • Style sheets (CSS)
  • JavaScript files
  • Favicons
  • etc…
Examples of information provided for each indexed element:
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  • URL
  • HTTP code / message (ex. 200 = OK, 404 = Not Found, 301 or 302 Redirects, etc…)
  • Status
  • Type
  • Weight
  • Title tag
  • Date of file creation
  • Level (= page depth > 0 for homepage, 1 for 1-click reachable page, and so on…)
  • Number of outgoing links, number of inbound links (in Xenu make a right click on a URL of the report and choose URL Properties to display URLs of both types of links)
  • Server info
  • NoFollow
  • Page loading time
  • Robots.txt
  • Page description

LinkExaminer even displays a “SEO” column which offers short but very useful indications such as “Keywords missing”, “Description missing”, “Description short”. Well, these are very helpful SEO tips to improve your pages visibility – nice!

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I’d conclude by saying it’s quite hard to determine which of these 2 little softwares is better than the other one: both are free indeed, and if Xenu is renowned in the eyes of SEOs, to me LinkExamizer appears to be a little clearer, easier to use too. In the end I’d recommend giving a glance at both when you need to give your website a scan – indeed these 2 tools give you different points to analyze, and both greatly fulfill their tasks.
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So now is time to give them a try and start playing, whether it be for a punctual audit or for day-after-day maintenance:
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Softwares specificities: for Windows only, in English, freewares, less than 1 Mo.
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