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How-to 6 min read August 27, 2019

How to check donor links for server response codes

The server response code consists of three digits that the browser receives when the page is requested. Checking the server's response code is a must when purchasing links because otherwise the webmaster can buy links from low-quality donors and spend the budget inefficiently.

What are the link donors

Donor sites are resources that place on their pages an external link to acceptors, passing them the link weight and thus improving their positions in the search.

The verification of site donors is necessary to avoid buying external links on low-quality resources. Such investment doesn't at least accelerate the SEO-promotion of the acceptor. It may even threaten him with sanctions from search engines.

As a result, a mass verification of response codes is of particular importance when placing links. Donors must have the correct code to successfully pass the scan and send the link weight. If you don't check the response codes from time to time, then you'll get a situation where the budget was spent on links, but there was no result. It also puts the site at risk of being sanctioned.

In this article, we'll look at how to check donor response codes.

How to upload donor links

You can find some links in the Google Search Console. To do this, go to the panel and select the Search traffic section in the menu on the left, it contains the necessary report "Links to your site".
Links to your site in Google Search Console
The completeness of the report directly depends on indexing. This means that not all links will be displayed. You can obtain a similar report using, for example, Yahoo services.

To check all link donors, you need to upload them to a separate document. Go to Serpstat under Backlink Analysis → Backlink Dashboard. In the upper field, specify the link to your site for which the external links are checked.
Backlink analysis in Serpstat
To upload a list of pages, click on the "Referring Pages" report. When you go to the next page, you'll see a graph and a table that you can download by clicking the "Export" button in the upper right corner.

You can check for server response codes with the downloaded links.

HTTP Headers

When you need to check only a few pages, it'll be enough for you to use the extension for Google Chrome HTTP Headers. Go to the page of the site you want to check and click the button in the top browser bar:
HTTP Headers plugin for Chrome
A window opens on top of the site in which the server's response code for this URL is displayed on the second line. The places where you can see the code are red highlighted. This must be done with each link manually. If you find the code is not 200 OK but any other, then you've got a cause for concern and link removal. When it comes to hundreds and thousands of pages, manual verification is impractical, since it'll take too much time and effort. In such cases, you need to use other tools.


To use free Xenu tool, you must first download it to your computer. Afterwards, you should run the software which was installed. Then the algorithm is simple: create a file by clicking on the document tag and paste the URL of your site.
Status codes check in Xenu
Checking the URL address in Xenu
The result will be a table where the status of the code is highlighted in green. If the page is found, and its status is OK, this corresponds to the server code 200 (OK) response.
Mass response codes checking in Xenu
The downside of this verification method is the time which takes the service. You'll have to wait a bit. The tool tabulates the results of checks on links to the site. In the end, an HTML report will be generated.


To check donors of links for response codes, prepare a document. In this document, there will be links to these donors. You can get a report on donors through the Console and Webmaster panels, if we are talking about indexed external links, or using Serpstat if you need a complete list.

To test multiple donors, you can use the extension for Google Chrome — HTTP Header. There are many tools for mass checking of the server response code.

Verification is needed to:

  • leave only those donors that might benefit. But it's worth considering that this is not the main factor in determining the quality of a link;
  • check the previously purchased link for activity. It has to continue providing the link weight.

Donor analysis needs to be done periodically, and the more links you purchase, the more serious you need to be.

This article is a part of Serpstat's Checklist tool
Checklist at Serpstat
Checklist is a ready-to-do list that helps to keep reporting of the work progress on a specific project. The tool contains templates with an extensive list of project development parameters where you can also add your own items and plans.
Try Checklist now

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