Resurrect own page from abandoned site?
June 22, 2005 11:41 PM   Subscribe

Back in 1994, I wrote up a web page on a famous mathematical puzzle; it was the second page to appear on it. It got wide noteriety, it's cited and linked widely. But two years ago I changed my ISP.

...and I didn't arrange for redirection. 'Cause they would have charged me for it. It had been the #1 link on Google for the problem, all the links to it are now dead.

I didn't really do anything about it at the time, thinking that, hell, I hadn't updated the page in years and I might as well let it die. And it was also one of those things where I was proud of myself for it, but at the same time sorta embarassed that I was. So, I thought, hey, let it die.

But I've changed my mind. I got a specific domain for it, and resurrected the page. Oh, a few months ago. (Although I'd made it available on my personal domain in response to a discussion of the problem last year).

One thing I thought I could do would be to Google for everyone that links to the (dead) page and email them with the new URL. Is that a good idea? Will it annoy the people I email? And it's probably unlikely that it will ever be Google's first link again, isn't it?

Does anyone have any other ideas? And, I guess, I'm asking whether people think that I should just leave it alone.
posted by Ethereal Bligh to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I say go ahead and e-mail them. Pages change URLs all the time. Any self-respecting webmaster would hate to have broken links, so it would be helpful, not annoying/spammy, for the author to correct them with the new, proper one.
posted by Lush at 12:03 AM on June 23, 2005

The WebPrisoner's Dilemma. Just leave it on your personal domain, unless you don't want it to be known i.e. your personal domain. If you sincerely want some of the popularity back, go to Wikipedia and link it as an external resource. Over a year, if people click and like it, who knows.
posted by Gyan at 12:16 AM on June 23, 2005

Let them know. If they care about the topic (Monty Hall?), and of course if you're generous with linking back, they'll be glad you helped them. After they switch, it should be easy enough to get the top Google spot again.
posted by pracowity at 12:34 AM on June 23, 2005

I've gotten an email or two like this for a list of resources on a particular topic that I maintain. I was rather grateful, since it's something that I don't have a lot of time to maintain, and this way I didn't have to look around to figure out where the new site was. So I think (but maybe other people are different) that people who maintain similar lists for whatever topic your site falls under would be grateful to hear about a change in location for it.
posted by advil at 1:03 AM on June 23, 2005

If I were linking to a useful and interesting site, I'd want to know about any change in url and I wouldn't find an updated link annoying or spammy. Keep it simple and brief, and I reckon that most people would be pleased with the heads up.
posted by triv at 3:03 AM on June 23, 2005

I'm always glad to be told about new links to replace ones that have gone dead.
Um, but like triv says, keep it simple and brief...
posted by languagehat at 6:50 AM on June 23, 2005

If you sincerely want some of the popularity back, go to Wikipedia and link it as an external resource.

Expect that to last about a day, though. Wikipedia is not a repository of links, and using it to generate traffic to your own site is considered abuse.
posted by mendel at 10:01 AM on June 23, 2005

What is the problem and where is the website? You've piqued my curiosity!
posted by aspenbaloo at 10:41 AM on June 23, 2005

Response by poster: someone upthread guessed.

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm going to make a very concise, obvious email informing people of the URL change.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 11:18 AM on June 23, 2005

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