I don’t know what’s going on here, but these 7 URLs from www.geocities.com are still alive. Zombie URLs!!! I feel like I’m in I Am Legend or 28 Weeks Later, and I just found the other survivors. At any rate, these zombie URLs are probably hungry for brains. Maybe it was a glitch that was just in time for Halloween. I dunno. But I’ve gotta give it up to these URLs for surviving Yahoo’s mass extinction event last Monday. It’s evolution in action – on the interwebs!
I know that Yahoo was giving Geocities users the opportunity to get their Geocities URLs redirected to a custom domain (btw, a domain that you could purchase from Yahoo and then host with a Yahoo webhosting account). Those 7 URLs are not being redirected. They actually return 200 OK in the header response.
Just so we have something to compare those zombie Geocities URLs to, here are a few Geocities URLs that have been redirected via 301 redirects. Could it be that Yahoo is learning some SEO? Welcome to the new millennium.
I was wondering what Yahoo would do with the millions of Geocities URLs out there. I thought they might use a 301 redirect for all URLs, but where would they redirect them? Yahoo.com? I mean, Yahoo is a PR9. They could use the link love. 😉 Also, Yahoo needs money. They should have sold the Geocities redirect. I wonder if anyone would have bid on that. Just imagine: You could buy the link authority of the entire Geocities domain. Of course it would be really easy for Google to discount those links, but it would still be interesting to see if someone would have purchased that redirect opportunity.
And don’t forget that even if the links had been discounted, the amount of traffic you would get from that redirect would be huge. I’m thinking affiliates would have bid pretty high for the Geocities redirect. I can see it now: all Geocities traffic is sent to a landing page with 5 banners – Porn, Viagra, Phentermine, Cash Loans & Debt Relief, and Dating. And then another Porn banner just in case someone missed the first one.
After checking some of the Geocities URLs, I have only seen ‘410 Gone’ in the header response. A ‘410 Gone’ response is harsh. It feels so final. Like an annulment. The relationship is over. The URL is gone forever. The ‘410 Gone’ makes a typical 404 sound more like a “maybe-we’ll-work-out-sometime-in-the-future-but-not-now” response. The 410 does not waffle. It’s not Brett Favre. The 410 Gone response is definitive. Game over.
Well, today is the day that the music died. Yahoo is shutting down Geocities. 2009 is turning out to be a big year for Yahoo. There was the announcement that Geocities would close. Then there was the Yahoo/MSN merger, where Yahoo announced that MSN would provide the natural search results for Yahoo at some point in the near future. Then Yahoo announced they were going to discontinue the Yahoo Paid Inclusion Program (Yahoo SSP). And today is the day that Yahoo will official shut down Geocities. It honestly feels like a piece of my childhood is dying. My first website was on Geocities. Awwwww….how cute.
In January of 1999, Yahoo purchased Geocities for $3.57 billion in stock. They spent $3.57 billion for an asset, and now it’s closing 10 years later. Sheesh. Do you think they made their money back? Ugh. What a downer.
BTW, anyone have any idea how DMOZ is going to react to this news? They are going to have a tough time removing/redirecting all those Geocities listings in the DMOZ directory.