A search engine requires a number of key elements to be successful; one of which is the websites/links it sends people to are valid and useful!
The NIHR, a large UK-based research funder and publisher, moved to a new URL structure a while back. Initially, this wasn’t a problem as the old articles (and old URLs) still worked. But that has recently changed. We have over 1,000 articles in our index from the NIHR and around 50-60% suddenly became broken. So, we’ve rushed through a fix and everything is fine for now. But while it was the NIHR this week it might be another publisher the week after.
It’s a constant battle.
In 2011 we introduced an automated system which initially worked very well but over time we’ve come to appreciate that it’s only a partial solution. So, with our next upgrade (due early January) each article will have a new ‘broken links’ link:
The ‘broken link’ link (underlined in red) will be activated by a user clicking on it. This will then cause our broken link system to be activated and hopefully swift action to correct it.
Trip, trying to improve every day.