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Link Checker: Manage broken links in your guides

In this article

The link checker provides you with a report of broken links in your:

  • Database assets
  • Link assets
  • Books from the Catalog assets

If you want the link checker to exclude checking certain links or domains (like your library catalog or any proxied links), add those links / domains to the Exclusions list! We recommend adding domains for any sites that require a login, as the Link Checker does not have any way to log into the site to verify that the link is valid, so it will always be listed as "broken" in your report (a.k.a., a false positive).

Here's what the link checker report shows you:

Link checker report overview

  1. Use the Actions column to dismiss a link or add it to the exclusions list.
  2. Use the Title column to filter/search for links by their title.
    • This is the title of the asset.
  3. Use the Type column to filter the report by type (Link, Book, or Database).
  4. The URL column will show the URL that was flagged as being broken by the link checker.
  5. The Owner column will display the owner of the asset.
  6. The Mapping Count column will show you how many times the asset is being used on guides.
  7. The Asset column will allow you to edit the asset.

Frequently asked questions

How often does the link checker run?

The link checker is enabled 24/7, checking for broken links every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour in all regions except the U.S. For customers in the U.S. region, the link checker is enabled between the following hours to optimize system performance:

  • Monday, 5pm - Tuesday, 8am
  • Tuesday, 5pm - Wednesday, 8am
  • Wednesday, 5pm - Thursday, 8am
  • Thursday, 5pm - Friday, 8am
  • Friday, 5pm - Monday, 8am (i.e. it runs all weekend)

What links are checked?

To optimize performance of the link checker, links are only checked on visited pages in published or private guides while the link checker is enabled (see above section for details). When a user views a page, it will be scanned by the link checker the next time it is scheduled to run. That page will not be scanned again for 30 days following its last scan.

Who can use the link checker?

Any regular or admin user can access the link checker report. Although regular users can see every link listed in the report, they can only modify links for the assets they own. Admin users, however, can modify every link because they have the ability to edit any asset in your system.

Why is the link checker reporting links that aren't really broken?

False positives can occur with the link checker for a few reasons. Unfortunately, all of these things are out of our control. :/

  • When the Link Checker pinged that URL, that server really was down.
  • When the Link Checker pinged that URL, that server was so busy serving other requests that ours timed out.
  • The company / organization who owns that server set it up to refuse any connections from spiders, crawlers, etc., to save bandwidth / resources.
  • The company / organization who owns that server incorrectly set up their server response codes, meaning the code returned was inaccurate.

It can also return false positives if it's checking links that require a password before the page loads. Since the Link Checker cannot log into that site to verify the page, it returns the link as "bad". Or the server it's checking might refuse the connection altogether, as noted in the bullet points above. Please add domains that require logins to the Exclusions list. 


Editing a link via the link checker

To edit a broken link asset directly from the link checker report:

  1. Go to Tools > Link Checker from the command bar.
  2. In the datatable on the Report tab, click on the Edit () icon in the Asset column for the asset that you want to edit. (Note: Regular users can only edit the links they own.)
  3. Edit the asset and save your changes. (Note: changes you make to the asset will be reflected the next time the link checker runs.)
    • If you would rather delete an Asset altogether, go to Content > Assets.
  4. Dismiss the link to remove it from the report by clicking the Dismiss from this report () icon in the Actions column. (Note: if you do not dismiss the asset, it will remain in the report, even though the link has been fixed.)

Editing a link from the link checker report


Dismiss a link from the link checker

Links can be dismissed from the report individually or in bulk. You may dismiss a link from the report after you have edited it ( and corrected the broken link), if it was a false positive that you can ignore, or for any other reason that you might not want to see it on the report. :) 

  1. Go to Tools > Link Checker from the command bar.
  2. In the datatable on the Report tab, you can either dismiss the links individually by clicking the Dismiss from this report () icon in the Actions column. Or you can dismiss multiple links at once by:
    1. Clicking on the checkbox for each link -- or selecting all links on the page by clicking the Select All checkbox.
    2. Clicking the Dismiss selected button. 

dismiss links from the link checker report

Please note: Regular users can only dismiss the links they own. Dismissing a link does not prevent it from re-appearing in the link checker when it runs in the future. To permanently prevent a link from appear, add it to the exclusions list instead.

Add links to the exclusions list

To prevent links from reappearing in the link checker, you can add it to the exclusions list. Links can be excluded from the link checker in two ways:

  • From a link that has already been flagged by the report
  • Manually from the Exclusions tab.

The exclusions list can come in handy for preventing false positives from constantly reappearing in future link checker reports.

Option 1. Exclude a link via the link checker report

  1. Go to Tools > Link Checker from the command bar.
  2. In the datatable on the Report tab, click the Add to Exclusion Lists () icon for the link in the Actions column.

exclude a link from the checker report

Option 2: Manually add a link URL to the list

Note:  Only admin account holders can manually add exclusions.
  1. Go to Tools > Link Checker from the command bar.
  2. Click on the Exclusions tab,
  3. Click the  Add Item button to open up the Add/Edit Item window.

add exclusion manually, part 1

  1. On the Add/Edit Item modal, give the exclusion a Title.
  2. Add the URL to be excluded from the link checker
    • Entering a full page link will only exclude that page (e.g., http://excludedsite.com/page.html). 
    • Entering only the domain will exclude all pages on that site (e.g., http://excludedsite.com).
    • Protip: Add an exclusion for your proxy prefix so the link checker ignores any of your proxied URLs.
  3. Click Save to add the exclusion.

add exclusion manually, part 2


Add an entire domain to the exclusions list

If you find that you're adding multiple links from the same site to the exclusions list, you can add the site's domain name to the exclusions list. This will prevent all URLs from that domain from appear in future link checker reports.

Full domains can be excluded from the link checker from the Exclusions tab.

Note:  Only admin account holders can manually add exclusions.
  1. Go to Tools > Link Checker from the command bar.
  2. Click on the Exclusions tab,
  3. Click the  Add Item button to open up the Add/Edit Item window.

add exclusion manually, part 1

  1. On the Add/Edit Item modal, give the exclusion a Title.
  2. Add the URL to be excluded from the link checker
    • Entering only the domain will exclude all pages on that site (e.g., http://excludedsite.com).
    • Entering a full page link will only exclude that page (e.g., http://excludedsite.com/page.html). 
    • Protip: Add an exclusion for your proxy prefix so the link checker ignores any of your proxied URLs.
  3. Click Save to add the exclusion.

add exclusion manually, part 2


Edit or delete exclusions

The Exclusions tab will show you all links and domains that are not checked by the link checker. Any items that are in your exclusions list will not appear in the link checker report unless they have been removed from this page. 

Admin and Regular-level account holders can view the Exclusions tab, but only Admins can make changes to the exclusions (adding/editing/removing exclusions).

  1. Go to Tools > Link Checker from the command bar.

exclusion tab overview

  1. Click on the Exclusions tab.
    1. Manually add new exclusions by clicking the Add Item button.
    2. Use the Type column to filter the list by type.
      • Link labeled exclusions are items that were dismissed from the link checker report. 
      • Domain labeled exclusions are items (individual pages or full domains) that were added manually.
    3. Use the Title column to filter/search for exclusions by their title.
      • Link exclusions will display the title of the asset.
      • Domain exclusions will display the title that was set when it was added to the list.
    4. The URL column will show the URL that has been excluded.
    5. The Added by column will show you who added the exclusion.
    6. Click the Edit () icon for an exclusion to make a change to the title or URL of a link that was added manually.
      • Links sent to the exclusions list via the Dismiss option on the report cannot be edited.
    7. Click the Remove from exclusions list () icon to delete the exclusion.
      • Links that have been removed from the exclusions list will be checked by the link checker once again.