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Content Management Forum

Outbound link resources that go offline. Change link to archive.org?
Good idea to redirecdt old link to archive.org version of old resource?

 2:03 am on Nov 18, 2010 (gmt 0)

The outbound links on my sites are as valuable to visitors as the onsite content. At least, I like to think so.

So when I found that a recent site appears to have gone offline (possibly over a year ago, I am ashamed to say), I considered linking to the last indexed version of it at archive.org

But then I stopped and thought I'd see what you wonderful people here thought about it.

The site appears to be fairly well archived at the site, but I'm wondering if there are any downsides to linking to this. For example if the site was taken offline by the owner, then it may be that they simply don't want anyone to see its content anymore. Sure, they could have disallowed the IA spider and the content is far from controversial, but who are we to assume?

Any thoughts about this or any other aspect?



 8:51 am on Nov 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Unless it's some sort of private information or the site owner is an expert who thinks her site no longer has valid info, I couldn't care less whether the site owner no longer wants to see the information. Taking your site offline to remove the information from the web is roughly like an author trying to round up copies of her book and get them off the shelves.

That said, if you do a search can you not find better info that's still online?


 11:36 am on Nov 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

That said, if you do a search can you not find better info that's still online?

Sometimes. But in this case it's a unique solution to a problem, so has some academic interest.


 3:45 am on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

followup question: could your write a good, hopefully better article on the topic yourself?


 10:31 am on Nov 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would say what ergophobe says is what to do.

If this content is useful and not around on the net anymore, you would be doing a big service to your own site and it's users by rewriting it for your own site.

I can't see anything ethically wrong with doing this, particularly when contrasted with the content scraping and article spinning that's like a plague nowadays.


 11:26 am on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Good questions.

Yes, I suppose I could. But the article in question was linked partly as a source to backup another article, so it would take some reorganisation. In particular, the subject matter is somewhat... how shall I put this... out of my skillset. A bit like a builder linking to a technical article written by an architect.

And, actually, the whole site was pretty unique. It's a shame it has gone really.


 10:37 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Any chance of tracking down the original author and asking if you can "archive" the article yourself, on your site?


 1:54 am on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Actually, funny you should say that. I recently reconnected with an old friend who had archived one of my old pages for a long-dead site. He republished it (with attribution) and it pinged my wife's Google Alert or something.... anyway, now we're connected on Facebook and that old page has a home :-)


 1:22 am on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I possibly could try and track them down, but considering the site has been down for over a year I suspect it would take quite a lot of effort.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

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