I've really never understood news sites that "remove" old articles. Talk about breaking the way the web works. At Techdirt, we receive a good bit of traffic to our archives, and that's valuable traffic. Not only do such visitors actually tend to be more likely
to click on advertisements (regular readers have ad blindness), but they're like fresh "leads" to get regular new readers. And yet, so many publications ruin all that traffic by sending them nowhere. The Associated Press is particularly bad about this, forcing partners who pay the AP for content to remove it after a month. In those cases, visitors are just given an error page. But here's a bizarre one. Jake
points us to a story at The Guardian's website, where the headline and the little blurb, along with an image are left in place, but in place of the actual article is just a message saying, This article has been removed as our copyright has expired
. How annoying is that? Why do publications even agree to post stories that they will then be forced to pull down in the future? It completely kills the web experience. It breaks any links to the article. It kills off any discussion about the article. It's exactly how not to do things on the web, and it shows, yet again, what the traditional newspapers -- even one that seems to "get it" as much as The Guardian does -- still has a long way to go in adapting to the online world.