MOREnet combats ‘link rot’

Originally published in MOREnetworking Vol. 1 No. 1, Oct. 1, 2002

Link rot (n.) – an Internet disease with symptoms of broken links, caused by relocated directories and discontinued hosts, considered incurable.

After only 20 months, fully 18.8 percent of the 515 links two researchers from the University of Nebraska incorporated into their distance learning course curricula had disappeared, according to an April 24, 2002, Wired News article.

Over 11 percent of the dot-org links, 18.4 percent of the dot-edu pages and 42.5 percent of the dot-com addresses failed in the 20 months of their study.

Broken links are not only frustrating but a time-consuming part of using Internet resources. No site is immune. However, MOREnet uses a number of tools to maintain its website’s health and combat link rot’s annoying effects.


LinkLint is an Open Source Perl program licensed under the GNU General Public License. MOREnet uses this combination link checker/statistics tool to analyze the MOREnet web space and provide a weekly report of broken links across the entire website. MOREnet Communications staff and content providers review the LinkLint report and fix internal problems regularly. While MOREnet cannot repair broken links on others’ websites, LinkLint reports that information so staff members can either work with webmasters to restore broken resources on other sites or find alternate sources to replace links that have totally disappeared.

Regular Content Review

By policy, all webpages on MOREnet’s public website are reviewed at least once each year (in many cases, more often) to ensure that their content, including links, remains current and accurate.

You Can Help

We may have missed a few broken links in the LinkLint reports or failed to transfer a few pages in the redesign. If you receive a 404 error page, please use the customized reporting features on it to notify MOREnet Communications of the problem. Simply verify the broken link URL and the URL of the page that sent you to the page that generated the 404 error. Add your e-mail address if you would like to receive a personal response. Then click Submit to send a message that helps MOREnet combat link rot.

hendersonl | Tuesday, October 1, 2002 | |


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