in Media, Rant

N&O loves broken links

Wow, I’m surprised this is still an issue. I’ve complained for years how the N&O loves to break links to its older stories whenever it updates its website. Surprisingly, the company still hasn’t learned.

I found links to the Officer Boyd column N&O Columnist Josh Shaffer wrote last February. The original link, no doubt sent around the world to thousands, now goes nowhere.

Nowhere as in 404. It’s dead, Jim.

Yet, the story still lives online at its new address.

What drives me nuts as a system administrator is that it isn’t too difficult to write a script that points the old links to the new links. Doing so preserves the links that millions have passed around. Not doing so means the N&O forfeits potentially millions of advertising page views that could be helping to keep the lights on over there.

I did some work a few years back on the website of USA Today. Did you know that links to USA Today content that’s several years old still lead viewers to the correct stories? It’s not rocket science, and any website worth its salt will work to keep their site from suffering link rot.

I first mentioned this five years ago. (actually six years ago). Some things never change, I guess.