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Link Rot

Entry Categories: State Epubs  

LINK ROT - What a great description for the disappearance of urls from web sites!

It seems to us that certain Nebraska state agencies (who shall remain nameless) completely revamp their web sites about once a year. While that can be wonderful on many levels, it is frustrating if it causes our NebraskAccess links to an agency's terrific services to become compost. Decomposed links in library catalogs are another unpleasant side effect.

The results of the 3rd annual Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive "link rot" analysis affirm the importance of our downloading, scanning and archiving of Nebraska state agency publications.

The 2010 analysis reveals that nearly 28 percent of the online publications archived between March 2007 and March 2008 have now disappeared from their original locations on the Web but, due to the project’s preservation efforts, remain accessible via permanent archive URLs. During the three years that the URLs were studied, link rot increased from about one in every 12 archived titles in 2008, to one in every seven titles in 2009, and finally to about one in every 3.5 titles in 2010.

The analysis also explores the prevalence of link rot among top-level domains, showing content at state-government URLs ( to be at a significant risk for link rot, compared to resources posted to government (.gov) and organization (.org) Web sites.

The Chesapeake Project was launched in 2007 by the Georgetown University Law Library and the State Law Libraries of Maryland and Virginia as a collaborative digital archive for the preservation of important Web-published legal materials. A detailed summary of the study is available at

[ views are those of their author and not necessarily of the Nebraska Library Commission ]

I don't have a problem with link rot because I don't have any! I don't re-design every year, don't move files around and don't change the domain name. Links which worked 12 years ago still work. More than 10 thousand websites link to our content which gives us huge rankings in Google.

You want pretty and you don't want anyone to find you? Just re-design changing your file structure. Add re-directs when you re-design you say? Do you really care about your customers?

If you have to re-design, use 301 (permanent redirects) so Google will not drop your ranking.

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This page contains a single article from What's Up Doc created on May 10, 2010 12:00 PM.

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