Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, is one of the largest reference works in the world, with over four million articles and 14 million monthly active users. Inevitably, there will be some outdated information on the site, which means there will always be room for improvement.
Many users on Wikipedia are very active, which means they’re constantly improving the quality of content by engaging in discussions and adding new materials. This, in turn, makes Wikipedia a living, breathing organism that is always changing and growing.
Despite its massive size and popularity, Wikipedia isn’t perfect. One of the areas in which it falls short is in the area of dead links – webpages that link to another, but the latter doesn’t exist any longer. Finding these dead links can be very time-consuming, as you’ll have to trawl through countless articles looking for the ones with broken links.
Thankfully, the vast majority of these can be avoided with a bit of searching upfront. The goal of this guide is to teach you how to find and fix the dead links on Wikipedia so you can save the links on your own site.
The Most Effective Way To Find Dead Links
As you’d expect, the most effective way to find dead links on Wikipedia is via a search engine – namely, Google. Entering “SOMETHING INASIMILANIACSOMETHING” into the search bar and pressing enter will bring up a list of results that link to outdated material. It’s also a great idea to type “SOMETHING INASIMILANIACSOMETHING [dictionary]”, where dictionary is replaced by any of the popular dictionaries (like “OED” or “Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary”) for additional results. Doing this can help you narrow down your search to more specific results that are relevant to your search term.
From here, it’s a case of assessing the Wikipedia article and determining whether or not it’s worthwhile keeping the link, as it will almost certainly point to outdated information. If you do decide to keep the link, you can then find a way to replace it with a more current URL. (You’ll learn how to do this later on in the guide.)
Navigate Directories And Reference Tools
Directories and reference tools are another great source of information on Wikipedia, and they can be accessed via the main menu on the site. To access the Directories, click on the three dots in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and select “Directories”. This will open up a menu like the one below.
There are a number of directories available on Wikipedia, all accessed via this same drop-down menu. The first is “Geography”, which will give you links to places all over the world, as well as flags to show where the place is located on a map. For instance, if you enter “Germany” into the search field, you’ll get a list of cities in Germany, as well as a map with the country on it. Similarly, if you search for “New York”, you’ll get a map, a place directory, and a list of neighborhoods in New York.
The tool that I like to use when searching directories is “Refine your search”. This is a great tool because it allows you to specify specific dates, as well as genders and languages, which can be very helpful when searching for information on Wikipedia. For example, “Refine your search” for “New York” will bring up a list of articles that contain the names of famous people or places that are associated with or from New York. This can be a great way to find info on an obscure subject or topic that you’re not familiar with.
Be Careful What You Click
Another thing to keep in mind when using Wikipedia is that you should be careful what you click on. It’s great that so much information is available for free, but that doesn’t mean that everything is accurate and up-to-date. People use Wikipedia for multiple purposes, so if you land on an article that seems dubious or potentially dangerous, it’s a good idea to move on to the next page, or leave the page altogether and come back to it later.
For instance, if you click on one of the references in the Geography section of the above-mentioned menu, you’ll see a page full of maps that link to terrorist organizations, militant groups, and more. While it’s great that this information is freely available, it’s still not appropriate for children or naive adults who don’t know any better. Similarly, if you enter “Al-Qaeda” or “ISIS” into the Wikipedia search bar, you’ll end up on a page that praises these groups and their efforts, which can be very misleading. It’s always a good idea to be wary of what you’re reading and who you’re getting your information from.
The Importance Of Being Selective
Finally, another crucial point to make is that you should only use Wikipedia for the purpose for which it was intended – as a quick encyclopedia or reference work. If you try to use it to access an entire course or product’s information, you’ll end up with an information overload that will make your head spin. The same goes for commercial sites like Yelp and YouTube, which can be extremely problematic if you try to use them as a full-fledged encyclopedia. These sites were never intended to be used that way; their main purpose is to provide consumers with information about businesses and products, and they almost always recommend at least a few businesses and products that are associated with cancer, heart disease, and other health problems. While there is no denying that much good can come from these sites (especially when used in combination with other sources and tools), it’s still not wise to solely rely on them for important information.
For these reasons, it’s imperative to be selective about what you use, and how you use it.
How To Fix A Dead Link On Wikipedia
Once you’ve found the link to an outdated page on Wikipedia, it’s a simple matter of taking a few steps to get the link redirected to the current page. Begin by pressing the menu button on your keyboard and selecting “Edit”. A small editing box will pop up, where you can make changes to the page. If you don’t want to make changes to the page directly, you can also “Preview” the page before doing anything. Doing this can help you see how your change will look on the page and ensure you don’t make any mistakes while editing.
You’ll see two icons at the top of the screen when you’re editing a page. The first is the “Preview” button, which you can click to see how your page will appear once you make changes. The second icon is the “Save” button, which is located at the very top of the editing box. Clicking this button will cause your current edits to be saved and the page to be refreshed with the updated information. In most cases, this will be the newest version of the page, which will be very useful if you want to keep track of the latest changes to an article.
In some cases, you might find that the link is broken because the original page has been deleted by the site’s administrators. In these cases, all you need to do to get the link fixed is replace “oldurl” with the new URL. To do this, click on “URL” in the lower right-hand corner of the editing box and then paste in the new URL in the space provided. If you made changes to the page, clicking the “Preview” button will cause the page to be saved with your new URL. In some cases, this might not be enough and you’ll have to enter the full URL of the new page in the “New URL” box (URL is case-sensitive).
If you ever used WordPress, you’ll know that editing a page is extremely simple – you just have to click on the “Publish” button to make your changes visible to the world. Once you’ve done this, just click on the “Save” button to save the page, and you’re done. You can also select the “Preview” button to see how your page will look once it’s been published.
A Few Things To Keep In Mind
If you’re looking for an easy way to find the best links on the web, you’ve come to the right place, because here are a few tips to keep in mind when using this tool.