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2014-12-20: Using Search Engine Queries For Reliable Links

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Earlier this week Herbert brought to my attention Jon Udell's blog post about combating link rot by crafting search engine queries to "refind" content that periodically changes URIs as the hosting content management system (CMS) changes.

Jon has a series of columns for InfoWorld, and whenever InfoWorld changes their CMS the old links break and Jon has to manually refind all the new links and update his page.  For example, the old URI:

http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/11/15/47OPstrategic_1.html

is currently:

http://www.infoworld.com/article/2660595/application-development/xquery-and-the-power-of-learning-by-example.html

The same content had at least one other URI as well, from at least 2009--2012:

http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/xquery-and-power-learning-example-924

The first reaction is to say InfoWorld should use "Cool URIs", mod_rewrite, or even handles.  In fairness, Inforworld is still redirecting the second URI to the current URI:

curl -I http:…