Link rot and redirect madness

In the long, slow process of giving this website a makeover, I made the mistake of browsing some old posts. It’s not that my prose isn’t timeless, but the number of expired links I found within it surprised me.

And it wasn’t just the broken links. It was the vast number of redirects all over my site.

I’ll soon upgrade to HTTPS here. Doing so isn’t a penalty anymore and it can even improve your search ranking as providers now encourage the move to SSL. Which’ll probably be the only SEO I’ve ever attempted.

Since everyone else seems to have performed the same upgrade over the last few years, I expected to see URLs in my pages moving from HTTP to HTTPS. And there were some.

But the majority, the other redirects, were just strange. Entire site organizational structures have undergone revolution. Especially at big media portals. For no benefit that I can fathom.

Maybe some editor there got a wild hair up their ass after learning about mod_rewrite. Who knows.

And I found The New York Times adding cryptic query strings to their old, relatively stable, .html URLs. Possibly more paywall foolishness.

Wikipedia was particularly squirrelly. Changing the page names of almost half of my many links to that site during the last few years. Even while I was in the process of updating one of them. I probably got in the middle of some adolescent editing war.

Of course, I didn’t have to update all of these links since, technically, they’re properly redirected. Three or four times in some cases. Go figure. But, full disclosure, I’m anal-retentive about this kind of thing. Yeah, a shock.

One thing’s for certain. The next time I take inventory on URLs, I’ll automate the process of finding and fixing them.