Site Rot Quantified

July 20, 2022

There’s weird page rot. That was a feature of MySpace and GeoCities. Then there was link rot. That was a feature of my original Web site when I retired. I just stopped remediating dead links. I did not want to do the work myself and I allowed the majority of my team to find their future elsewhere. Ergo, dead links. Too bad, Google.

Now there is site rot.

10% of the Top One Million Sites Are Dead” explains the process of figuring out this number. There are rah rahs for tools and scripts. Good stuff, but my interest is a single number:


Several early morning thoughts (July 16, 2022):

  • The idea that a million is not a million illustrates the inherent ageing and concomitant deterioration of Internet “things”; namely, Web sites. Why are sites not sites as defined in the write up? Money, laziness, inconsistencies engineered into the information superhighway, or some other reason?
  • Locating sites on the Wayback Machine or whatever it is now called is an exercise in frustration. With sites rotting and Wayback delivering zero content, the data void is significant.
  • The moniker “million” when the count is smaller is another example of the close-enough-for-horse-shoes approach which is popular among some high-tech outfits.

Just remember. I don’t care, and I wonder how many others share my mind set. Good enough.

Stephen E Arnold, July 20, 2022


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