Link rot

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 20 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

I was looking through my archives yesterday and I noticed a lot of dead links. When I link to an article I generally hope that it will still be on the web several months or even years down the road. Otherwise, I end up with a condition known as link rot, where my site links to pages that no longer exist. I hate that because then my readers (that means you) read my blurb, click a link, and then poof, they get a dead end. So I decided to do a couple of things about this problem.

Last night I spent a couple of hours fixing the link rot. I found all the links that were dead and redirected them to another page. This page explains what is going on, what link rot is, and then lets the user click through to the original link, just in case they want to try and find the page themselves.

I also made the decision to stop linking to sites that don’t keep archives of their stories. The biggest culprit here was Yahoo News. Every article that I had linked to on Yahoo that was a few weeks old had been removed. So I’m going to stop linking to Yahoo.

If you have a Web site, let this be a lesson to you. If you remove content or frequently re-arrange it, people will stop linking to you. Now Yahoo probably won’t even notice the tiny drop in traffic, but unless you have a multimillion dollar ad budget and a well-known brand, you will.

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Adam Kalsey

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