Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Link rot

Link rot is the tendency of links to go bad over time. This can happen pretty quickly, and I've been attacking it tonight. I found a good tool, Xenu's Link Sleuth, a no-frills link analyzer. It's small and simple. I like it better than the couple of others I've tried.

I've also taken down my old links pages (so 1990s!) and instead I'm migrating my links over to del.icio.us. I have a tagroll on my website as a visual aid and a link to them.

In a study at the University of Nebraska researchers found that "42.5 percent of dot-com addresses were lost since the study began."

By the way, researchers might benefit from using webcite. It's a free service that creates a snapshot of the citing webpages, similar to the wayback machine. I haven't used it, but it sounds like it could be useful.

To help combat link rot, when pages move the new location should be referenced with a redirect. And webmasters need to take responsibility for checking their links from time to time. Surfers could help by informing webmasters when they find bad links.

I hope the links in this post are still good by the time you read it!

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