I received some emails from people asking about what other sites besides the StarTribune.com are link unfriendly.
Here is a list of the Top-10 sites I’ve linked to in the past who’ve broken the links I’ve given them:
www.rakemag.com (update: The Rake changed platforms [and with that, story URLs] but did a great job with redirects. See comments.)
I’ve linked to photos of dogs on the Humane Society website. Those pages have been removed rather than updating the status of the dogs. Adopted or dead? Who knows?
The Pioneer Press didn’t make the list because I hardly ever read that site. And if I don’t read it, I probably won’t end up linking to it. It doesn’t help that I keep having to log in to read the news. I imagine they’ve broken more links than just about anyone due to their domain changes over the years from pioneerplanet.com to pioneerpress.com to twincities.com. I’d like to a TwinCities.com story about the changes but that’s not possible. Instead, here’s an Entrepreneur.com story on the issue:
Knight Ridder’s St. Paul Pioneer Press operates twincities.com, but in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune labels its site simply startribune.com.
Same locale, same market. What happened?
In 1995 St. Paul started with pioneerplanet.com to demonstrate the site’s intended reach beyond its franchise. “We wanted it to be more than the newspaper on-line, but all our research indicated consumers still thought of it as such,” says Site Director Mike Peluso. “We even considered renaming it pioneerpress.com.”
A year ago, as part of the Real Cities strategy, the site was renamed twincities.com.
“The name could not be better,” says Peluso. “We include things you would not find in a newspaper, such as an extensive annotated directory of local web sites and more entertainment listings than the alternative weekly. You put that together with the newspaper and you have a package that is the best way to extend what the newspaper provides in local news and what the national site can offer.”
I predicted the Minnpost dead links. They’re all from MinnPost’s pre-launch site where they created a bunch of press release pages and later threw them away creating dead links. Dumb move, considering that MinnPost’s pre-launch press releases were getting quite a bit of press.
Mainstream media sites tend to be the worst offenders. Apparently, they don’t think their news has any value after a week. If they’re in the ad delivery business, they should make it easy for people like me to send traffic to their ads.
Notice that no blogs made the top-10? The highest ranking blog was MNPublius, which appears to have changed blogging platforms without updating their CMS system to redirect their old URL structure to their story’s new locations. It’s a problem that could be fixed with a little work (301 redirects).