Tips and Tricks for Hunting Reds
Robozilla Reds are sites which do not work for some reason. Hunting Reds refers to the art of finding the new location of these sites.
This page contains some of my favorite techniques for succesfully hunting even the trickiest Reds.
The first step is to check the URL. Does it work now? Was it incorrectly marked as red? This may seem obvious, but it's often overlooked.
Next, I look at the URL, and check that it is a logical URL. Does it start with http:// as it should? Did somebody make a typo and list htp://example.com/ or htttp:/www.example.com/ ? Is there an obvious spelling mistake or typo in the URL? http://example.com/contents/newsite/index.htlm may be fixed by changing the index.htlm to index.html (or removing the index.htlm completely).
Following that, if the server is responding, removing directory after directory, looking for one that returns a useful page, and then following on-site navigation to the page you are loooking for often works. For example, if the URL is http://example.com/people/friends/jdoe/, you may try http://example.com/people/friends/, http://example.com/people/, and http://example.com/).
Another thing to check is that if the URL starts with www. you can try removing that. If the URL doesn't start with www. you can try adding it. Also, there are sometimes many subdomains in the URL such as http://foo.bar.example.edu/. In this case, you might try http://bar.example.edu, http://www.bar.example.edu/ and http://www.example.edu/ and then following site navigation to the new location of the content that has moved.
If you can't even get the server to connect, you may want to check the whois entry for the site. Visit http://www.betterwhois.com/ for .com, .net, and .org URLs. http://www.allwhois.com/ is helpful for other top-level domains. You are looking for certain key pieces of information - namely, contact email addresse(s) and the expiration date of the domain name.
In the following sample output, I added emphasis on the contact email and the expiration date.
Registrant: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (EXAMPLE-DOM) 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330 Marina del Rey, CA 90292 US
Domain Name: EXAMPLE.COM
Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Billing Contact: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) iana@IANA.ORG IANA 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330 Marina del Rey, CA 90292 US 310-823-9358 Fax 310-823-8649
Record last updated on 29-Nov-2000. Record expires on 15-Aug-2010. Record created on 14-Aug-1995. Database last updated on 28-May-2001 10:43:00 EDT.
Domain servers in listed order:
VENERA.ISI.EDU 188.8.131.52 NS.ISI.EDU 184.108.40.206