Talk:Link rot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Internet (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Internet, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of the Internet on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Computing / Websites (Rated C-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
C This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Websites (marked as Mid-importance).

How-to problem[edit]

Is it me or is the middle section really more of a how-to guide than an encyclopaedia article? Thryduulf 12:46, 2 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's not you. I've been trimming it over the years, but it has been resurrected. I trimmed it more recently. - DavidWBrooks 13:40, 2 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I think the link to Zangelding in "See also" should be removed since the article it points to is under consideration to be deleted and the topic is intended to obvuscate, not inform. Fmccown 12:55, 1 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Move to Wikibooks[edit]

Can someone please explain why this article has been moved to Wikibooks? What would make this a proper "encyclopedic article"? Fmccown 16:11, 14 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm guessing it's because the "combatting" sections were how-to information, which is frowned upon by many wikipedians. The cleanup method is uncertain though, see Village pump. I'll just remove that section, and then remove the tag. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 10:55, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have added back the sections that you deleted because I thought they contained very useful and pertinent information. But I reworded it so it sounded less "how-to". Fmccown 15:30, 7 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Notice of import[edit]

A copy of this article was moved to wikibooks using the Import tool (with all revisions). If this article was marked for copy to wikibooks or as containing how-to sections, it can now be safely rewritten.

If contributors are interested in expanding on the practical information that was in this article, please do so on the wikibooks side. For pointers on writing wikibooks, see Wikibooks:Wikibooks for Wikipedians. --SB_Johnny|talk|books 10:55, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it would take away from the article if we failed to mention the work being done to combat link rot (the practical stuff). Hopefully the way I've re-written it is more acceptable to those who dislike how-to's. Fmccown 02:01, 12 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Internet Archive[edit]

This page should contain a link to Internet Archive.

Laurusnobilis 15:53, 15 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I added a section on web archiving which includes a link to the Internet Archive. Fmccown 14:20, 18 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


About 10% of the links on Wikipedia are broken, if anybody feels that it is useful to the article. --Marumari 18:16, 13 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That would be very interesting to note. Is there an authoritative place where this information is listed? Fmccown 21:13, 14 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. On the link above, it is:
Number of (300 + 301 + 303 + 307 + 400 + 401 + 402 + 403 + 404 + 406 + 410 + 423 + 425 + 500 + 501 + 502 + 503 + DNS broken) error links / total number of links on Wikipedia
This works out to about ( 259051 / 2836608 ), or 10.05%. This number is probably a bit low, as it considers 302 (temporary redirect) links to be working, when a good deal of them don't, because they redirect back to root pages or link farms. --Marumari 06:00, 15 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I can't tell if the article writers are trying to be ironic, but isn't the first external link in references suffering from link rot? 00:00, 11 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, I doubt the original article writers were trying to be ironic. The issue has become moot, because the first external link in references no longer suffers from link rot! --FeralOink (talk) 08:52, 15 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The first in the external section now works; however, it's even worse that the academic article listed first in "Further reading" is unavailable..
Not to worry. Or not until more link rot of the future sets in! The academic article listed first in "Further reading" is now available. --FeralOink (talk) 08:52, 15 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Adding an extra ironic fact : anno 2019 the first website mentioned to combat linkrot in this aricle is victim of linkrot itself : WebCite or at least is gone for about two weeks now. Jansegers (talk) 21:44, 26 June 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moved From Article[edit]

 (Is a soft 404 compliant with web specifications, i.e. the HTTP spec?) (talk) 15:14, 13 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

merge with:dead link[edit]

The topic is virtually the same. Tcp-ip (talk) 23:25, 13 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

{{copied|from=Dead link|to=Link rot|diff=permanent diff}}

TOC - why on the right?[edit]

Why is the article's Table of Contents on the right? The "normal" position is on the left, according to Help:Magic_words#Behavior_switches. -- Bricaniwi (talk) 02:36, 10 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

citation needed[edit]

This section is listed as citation needed... "Some news sites contribute to the link rot problem by keeping only recent news articles online where they are freely accessible at their original URLs, then removing them or moving them to a paid subscription area. This causes a heavy loss of supporting links in sites discussing newsworthy events and using news sites as references."

I'm not sure of a good citation example, however, an excellent example of this is the Associated Press releases on Yahoo News. They typically disappear after a certain amount of time, probably due to licensing restrictions of using the AP articles. This is the most visible example of this that I know of. (talk) 04:50, 7 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Spending about .5 seconds in any search engine looking for news articles should do the trick. The citation is 'common sense'. Seriously Wikipedia? -- (talk) 10:46, 15 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"The best one"[edit]

In the section Combatting, the phrase "Typing left of a broken link in the browser's address bar and pressing enter loads a ranked list of alternate urls, or (depending on user preference) immediately forwards to the best one." doesn't seem to have anything quantifiable verifying it. For now, I'm saying citation needed. Capcom1116 (talk) 07:12, 18 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Link Rot and the US Supreme Court[edit]

A number of interesting items linked at

I'm tempted to just throw it into the "Further reading" section, but, then link rot will claim its contents... (no time. placing here for now). –Quiddity (talk) 22:07, 24 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This link opens fine. I noticed your User Page shows you are "often frustrated by Ubuntu". Have you tried Solus ? It's very stable and rolling release :) --Aku-PDF-Finder (talk) 16:25, 11 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


   The simplest and most common reason is that the website it links to doesn't exist anymore.
   The most common result of a dead link is a 404 error

That doesn't make sense, if the most common reason is that the website doesn't exist, you'd get a NXDOMAIN.. Unless it's reregistered, in which case you *could* get a 404, either way, it feels like those two lines are contradicting each other. -- (talk) 11:45, 29 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not quite. Imagine, for instance, that there once have been a John’s site at Now, there’s no such site (even though the domain name still exists, and there still is a Web server behind it), so that attempts to use the URI above result in a 404 error.
Whether it’s more common for the site to go away with its domain name or without is another question.
Ivan Shmakov (dc) 19:05, 3 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Found a Great Tool (Save Page to Wayback Machine Bookmarklet)[edit]

This tool makes saving pages incredibly faster and easier. All you have to do is click on the big blue "save to wayback machine" banner and drag it to your bookmarks (they must be visible, which on chrome would make them under the search bar). Now when you click on the bookmark it automatically saves the page to the wayback machine, instead of having to copy and paste single links manually into a bunch of wayback machine tabs. Never again shall there be a dead link lol. WikiOriginal-9 (talk) 20:54, 3 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Avoid linking to PDF documents if possible."[edit]

Landing pages are generally more stable than PDFs. Because the latter are documents, they tend to be renamed or move around on websites. They can also be updated, potentially invalidating the reason for your original link, yet this won’t necessarily be indicated to you or your users.

PDFs are usually compiled while its common practice to generate HTML Pages on-the-fly, see Dynamic web page, which almost exclusively handles HTML. Since PDF is a binary format and more difficult to generate, they are usually kept as static files and therefore less prone to unnoticed changes, since they are able to contain useful modification times (On-the-fly generated resources have the current date in the "Modified"-HTTP-Header).

PDFs can contain copyrighted material, and linking directly to them might raise legal issues (more on this below). They may also be behind paywalls.

Containing additional Media is more common for HTML than for PDF (think Youtube Videos or Audio). This argument is actually in favor to PDF. Since PDF's are immutable once served (They don't have features like Javascript), they can't embed Paywalls, like HTML Pages on popular sites do (f.e.

Any Ideas? Can the paragraph marked as "dubious" or removed? Are there better sources? (talk) 19:52, 11 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Phenomenonal short description[edit]

Not sure about the new short description — "phenomenon" seems out of place for the highly predictable, cause-and-effect occurrence that is link rot. Lindenfall (talk) 21:26, 13 April 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why a target?[edit]

This article clearly gets way more than the usual dose of vandalism, and the application of pending changes protection by Ymblanter has proven to be a prudent measure. I'm left wondering, though, why this article? I'd kinda understand the attraction if the vandals were breaking links within the article to be ironic, but most of the vandalism is not that. The subject matter is pretty dry so this isn't vandalism as a response to controversy; it isn't about a K-Pop band, a kids TV show, or Brazilian footballer, so this isn't vandalism as a natural side effect of high page views. What am I missing? Cheers —jameslucas ▄▄▄ ▄ ▄▄▄ ▄▄▄ ▄ 17:06, 26 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

References identified as spam[edit]

MrOllie—I’m wondering if you could expound a little bit on how you came to determine that references you removed today were a form of spam. I am not convinced that your assessment is wrong, but none of the three references is setting off immediate alarm bells for me, so I’d welcome some additional notes on your diagnosis. For convenience, the removed references are these:

  1. Habibzadeh, P. (2013). "Decay of References to Web sites in Articles Published in General Medical Journals: Mainstream vs Small Journals". Applied Clinical Informatics. 4 (4): 455–464. doi:10.4338/aci-2013-07-ra-0055. PMC 3885908. PMID 24454575.
  2. "Hiberlink". Archived from the original on 29 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  3. Habibzadeh, Parham (2015-07-30). "Are current archiving systems reliable enough?". International Urogynecology Journal. 26 (10): 1553. doi:10.1007/s00192-015-2805-7. ISSN 0937-3462. PMID 26224384.

jameslucas ▄▄▄ ▄ ▄▄▄ ▄▄▄ ▄ 16:03, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See the contribs of
There may be others, I haven't done an exhaustive search. - MrOllie (talk) 16:09, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry if I’m being dense, but I’m not sure what I’m looking for. ArthurWeb added the first and third references, but I’m not seeing obvious signs of promotional intent. Do these journals have objectionable editorial practices or something? How do the other three editors fit in?
The addition of was part of a larger edit made by Leightonwalter. The edit is generally a poor contribution in terms of tone and formatting but appears to have been made in good faith, and I think the link leads to a legitimate source for additional research. Do you disagree? Thanks —jameslucas ▄▄▄ ▄ ▄▄▄ ▄▄▄ ▄ 18:36, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is a series of sockpuppets in which the only activity is to add citations to P. Habibzadeh, either without adding any new content or adding only minimal content - textbook WP:CITESPAM. The link was a separate addition, and I did remove that one by mistake. Thanks for pointing that out. However, now that I look at it it doesn't look like an actual reference to anything - a front page like that is rarely going to support any content. Still, it could be relocated to the further reading section. - MrOllie (talk) 19:01, 18 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should rotten links simply be deleted?[edit]

There are recurring issues in Wikipedia where link rot leads to removed references, which leads to challenged content as uncited (which isn't really true), which has even led to AFDs. There doesn't seem to be any guideline or consensus discusson on this.

SOFIXIT would suggest that the solution should be to automatically find archives of rotten links, rather than the normal modus operandi of simply deleting things. But the practice of link rot -> article rot continues unabated. - Keith D. Tyler 05:35, 30 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]