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Wednesday, January 12th, 2011 technology  research  practice

A Research Tip

  • Research & Writing

Things move about on the web.  Sometimes when you search you will get the dreaded message

ERROR: The requested URL could not be retrieved

Today’s research tip – read that URL!  Google, Bing, and other search engines provide the URL  for the search result that is coming up.  If a domain has changed or a site has been revamped, often you can find “missing” information by reading and translating the URL.  For instance, an error message when you click on this link

http://www.apuo.uottawa.ca/Info/arbitrations/
Chodos%202nd%20supplementary%20award%20May%202009.pdf

can be found at

http://www.apuo.ca/Info/arbitrations/
Chodos%202nd%20supplementary%20award%20May%202009.pdf

In this case, the path to finding out that the domain name changed was to navigate to the base URL when I got an error message.  Test this out with any URL by deleting everything to the right of the first / in the browser address bar.  Often there will be an automatic redirect to the new site which will help to determine what the new URL is, even when the navigation structure of a site has been altered.

You can also use Internet Archive’s  Wayback machine to look at older versions of a root site.

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