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Webmaster’s Dream

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With almost 19,000 posts in just over two years, I shudder to think how many dead links we have festering in our archives – imagine trying to fix them all.

This sounds like a blogger’s dream come true:

    Peridot, developed by UK intern students at IBM, scans company weblinks and replaces outdated information with other relevant documents and links.

    It works by automatically mapping and storing key features of webpages, so it can detect significant content changes.

    The students said Peridot could protect companies by spotting links to sites that have been removed, or which point to wholly unsuitable content.

    ….Peridot alerts web administrators not only which links are broken, but also where the original page has gone.

    It can also tell which links have changed and the degree of change in content.

    ….The web-based Peridot tool registers webpages – either on an intranet or on websites – and follows link targets to compare them to webpages it has previously seen.

    “The way we identify the content is through a process called fingerprinting which allows us to take representation of document like a fingerprint,” explained Andrew Flegg, IBM software developer and technical mentor for the Peridot team.

    ….Peridot’s innovation is that is detects more substantial changes and has adjustable levels of autonomy, according to the researchers.

    It generates a report on a website and it can automatically e-mail admin staff with appropriate information.

    Staff can either review the changes and accept or ignore, or they can rely on its apparent accuracy and choose to be alerted after the tool automatically updates a link.

    ….Peridot is a green gemstone which, legend has it, was used in ancient cultures to help people find what they had lost.

    It was also believed to possess mystical powers including helping dreams become a reality, attracting wealth, calming anger, and dispelling negative emotions. [BBC]

Due to the constant forward motion of the Internet, it is very difficult to keep track of and maintain the past; but since everything published exists in the perpetual here and now of search engines, the past remains the present. This tool could be a lifesaver for webmasters intent on keeping their sites functionally current – go green!

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About Eric Olsen

  • Tim Hall

    “The students said Peridot could protect companies by spotting links to sites that have been removed, or which point to wholly unsuitable content”

    That’s something that really pisses me off. Whenever a domain doesn’t got reregistered, too often it gets taken over by hardcore prOn sites, or worse still, those scam sites filled with endless popup ads, and which try do download crapware like premium rate diallers. I hate these guys as much as I hate spammers.

  • Lenny Campello

    Can I hear an “Amen!” somebbbodie…