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Websites change URLs for many reasons such as a new design for the site, withdrawing out of date content.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  So, as well as grabbing new guidelines we should automatically remove ‘withdrawn’ guidelines.