I always love it when the first thing I see on Twitter in the morning is a gaggle of wingnuts, all retweeting gleefully that I’ve been “beclowned.” Apparently Breitbart.com “editor” Larry O’Connor has a devastating reply to my post pointing out that they’ve broken every single existing link to their “Big” sites, on every search engine and website in the world. Here’s one of the wingnut tweets:
— Flora Duh (@FloraDuh1) March 22, 2012
This is where it starts to get hilarious again — because the link they’re all gloating about leads to … this:
Yes, really. A broken link! And not only that — you can see from the URL of the broken link that Larry O’Connor actually misspelled the word “falsely” and the word “failure” in his own headline:
Amazingly, one of the geniuses over there apparently noticed these obvious misspellings, and deleted the post — again, without redirecting to anything. It’s hard to express the sheer quantity of fail in this kind of fumbling.
But wait, it gets better — the mysterious vanishing article has reappeared! Now on the Breitbart.com front page: Liberal Non-Entity Falsely Proclaims Breitbart.com Redesign ‘Failure’.
Because isn’t that what every media site does — post articles ranting about “non-entities?”
What was the problem? Did Johnson not like our new color-scheme? Does he have an issue with the new comment section being too hard for his trolls to infiltrate? It turns out, not surprisingly, Johnson and his once readable website were claiming that Andrew’s hand-picked team had ruined his site by re-directing traffic to our main URL and thus killing all of our traffic.
As evidence of our failed strategy he provided his 17 readers with a graph to show how our traffic had tanked. According to the expert on Internet traffic (HA! more on that in a moment) Johnson proclaimed: “Alexa’s statistics are not the most accurate, but their graph of biggovernment.com’s traffic shows what happens when you totally screw up all incoming links to old articles.”
Now, let’s think this through for a minute… our traffic is in the toilet because we have re-directed all traffic from the “Bigs” to our main URL as evidenced by a graph showing little or no traffic going to BigGovernment.com. But, if we have re-directed that traffic, doesn’t it mean it went somewhere else?
Apparently, O’Connor believes I’m a non-entity with an invisible army of infiltrating trolls, planting ugly racist comments on every post at his sites.
But consider his excuse for just a moment. Larry O’Connor isn’t even trying to deny that they’ve broken ALL existing links on every website in the world — in fact, he’s admitting they did this deliberately!
It’s simply not possible to fail any more than this in web design. One of the first things any web developer learns is that if you change URLs you set up 301 redirects, so that search engines and existing backlinks will not break. This isn’t rocket surgery — it’s Web Design 101, and it’s extremely trivial to do.
But at Breitbart.com, they see those millions of broken links as a good thing.
For just one small example out of a huge number, see for yourself what happens when you search Google for articles at “Big Government” containing the word “Obama:” Google returns 91,900 results — and every single link leads to the front page of Breitbart.com.
O’Connor continues by claiming that their traffic is just soaring. But according to Quantcast’s “directly measured” statistics (which means the Quantcast code is in their pages, in order to get the best measurement possible), their traffic has completely flatlined since the redesign:
That’s a graph that would strike fear into the heart of any decent web designer. But the geniuses at Breitbart.com say it’s good. They meant to do this.
I try not to use this acronym, but … LOL.