URL trends from 2013

Internet

I’ve been working at importing more content from old services I no longer need to keep around. There’s no guarantee these sites will be around indefinitely, and plenty of anecdotal evidence that they’ll vanish one day with all our data with nay a peep or warning.

It’s been fun seeing how much you can grok just from URLs. Here’s some stuff I learned looking at links from 2013:

  • Mobile-specific sites, usually with a “m” or “mobile” subdomain, were still common, especially with newspapers.

  • UTM tags hadn’t started their widespread URL pollution yet, but there was inklings that people were thinking that you could track people with get request parameters.

  • Compared to earlier lists from 2009 etc, there were even fewer addresses that ended in an extension, like html or asp. I endeavour one day to resurrect my CGI site again with .pl, just for fun. I blame Hales.

  • There were still a lot of http sites in the mix, instead of https. I still think the widespread adoption of TLS was a mixed blessing, but that’s for another time.

  • There were already a lot of URL shorteners. My scripts tried to follow as many of these as it could, so my archives reflect the original site. Most no longer resolve, like SgLinks that I mentioned yesterday.

  • Sites are mostly, and unsurprisingly, not built to last. Newspaper sites tend to be robust, but most 2013 IndieWeb stuff I linked to is long gone. It’s a bit humbling to think the only records of these sites existing are in the sites of schmucks like me, and the Wayback Machine. Me and the Wayback Machine sounds like a ELO cover band.

Author bio and support

Me!

Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite cloud infrastructure provider.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or buy some silly merch. Thanks!