Picture the scene – you’ve gone to Trip and searched for an article to answer your question. You find a paper that looks interesting and click on the link – and it leads to a dead link. I appreciate the frustration – I really do.
Websites change URLs for many reasons such as a new design for the site, withdrawing out of date content. It’s a constant battle for Trip to keep up to date. Thankfully we have a new and powerful tool to help with the release of a broken link system. Here’s what it does:
- It detects that a user has clicked on a link that has led to a ‘dead’ link.
- After an hour we try the link again (sometimes sites – temporarily go down) and if the link still doesn’t work we remove it from the index and an email is sent to our content team.
- They can then understand the reasons for the failure and either put in a new link to that single article or instigate an overhaul of all links for that particular site.
While it is not perfect it’s a significant enhancement to the site.
Linked to the notion of quality we have just introduced a new system to grab guidelines from the American guideline.gov. This is a great site and our system broke when they changed their URL from guidelines.gov to guideline.gov! But – from now – the links should work fine. So, as well as grabbing new guidelines we should automatically remove ‘withdrawn’ guidelines.