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Wayback Machine – Internet Archive

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Thursday December 27, 2007 )

Internet Archive is an online digital library of web sites, tracing back their history. It’s not only a wonderful tool for nostalgia, it can also help you in proving content ownership.

Founded in 1996, the Internet Archive has been gathering and storing data about web pages, offering a nostalgic glimpse of the way things looked back in the good old days.

Here’s a couple of examples:

Yahoo circa 1996

SitePoint circa 2000

New York Times circa 1997

Design has changed a lot hasn’t it? :)

Nostalgia aside, Internet Archive can also be of value in dealing with plagiarism. Recently I had to deal with a company who copied the design of a site I work with. Internet Archive basically had a full history of the site’s evolution, so I was able to send the company a link to an archive copy from 3 years ago, showing that the company I was doing work for were the legitimate owners of the copied design and content. This helps to get around the issue (should it arise) of the infringing party saying “prove it”.

The robot or spider that will visit your site to grab content for Internet Archive is called ia_archiver; so be sure that you don’t exclude this bot from your robots.txt file. ia_archiver is the same bot that the Alexa search engine uses.

Learn more about search engine spiders and robots

Checked for plagiarism lately?


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