I used a Broken Link Checker plugin for this self-hosted WordPress blog of mine. I like the WordPress plugin from WPMU DEV mainly the bulk unlink feature, which was super useful in this exercise. From a total of 19000 internal and external links that are in my 4500+ blog posts written over the last nineteen years, the plugin found that 1100 outward links have become invalid. After the years, I had written about them, the endpoints in the servers have been removed due to discontinued products, dead companies, expired contracts and so on. There were hundreds of internal (within my blog) broken image links and references, which I fixed manually.

Even popular sites from Microsoft, Netflix & Wiki have so many dead links. In this age of near-free storage, other than personal sites, having these black holes in the World Wide Web seems unfair. In an ideal world, I would prefer companies, brands, and government agencies to leave those endpoints as they were and if they contain invalid information there can be a general disclaimer dynamically added – but these cost money and effort, which understandably companies don’t want to invest or do it partially and get themselves sued.

This cleanup experience of my blog led me to think. To me, it appears the soul of Hyperlink is lost, no one cares for URL stability. The obsession with SEO, Google PageRank and the broken system of incentives on the web are a few reasons – and not to discount ignorance and stupidity.

Broken Link Checker plugin from WPMU Dev

Broken Link Checker plugin from WPMU Dev

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