In my continual war against 404 errors (I’ve cut out over 200 so far!), I’m taking the next step and shutting down my old LiveJournal and Xanga accounts. At one point I had my blog cross-posting every entry to those sites so people could subscribe to my content however they wished, and I really meant well when I set this up. In retrospect, however, it was a terrible idea. Not only was I creating competition for myself on search engines, but I have also discovered that cross-posting potentially creates an SEO nightmare. Now I’ve got 101 broken links left, and a lot of those are incoming from LiveJournal and/or Xanga to pages I’ve moved or deleted in the last several years.
Therefore, I decided to shut down those last two blogs to cut down on the errors Google is perceiving (because no actual people, to my knowledge, come to my site through LJ or Xanga–it’s just search bots that are running into problems), and in the process I discovered yet again why I ditched them.
First, I made sure that I could comment on people’s blogs on those sites without accounts, because Xanga/LJ used to require you have an account on their blogging service to comment. Now that they allow anonymous or OpenID commenting, it’s not such a big deal, so there’s no harm done in shutting down the blogs. LJ was a snap, and it was shut down within a minute of logging in. Xanga, on the other hand, errored repeatedly. Whenever I tried to cancel the account, it went into a redirection loop that timed out the browser. Being the tech-savvy user I am, though, I thought I’d contact them to let the know of the issue. Clicking on “help,” I was taken to a search page with lots of articles and absolutely no way to actually contact Xanga Support.
When I searched “shutdown,” I was presented with this: ((I received this error both on Ubuntu 9.04 running Firefox and on Windows XP using IE7, so it’s not an OS/browser thing I also think this error is separate from the earlier redirection/loop one I experienced earlier.))
Ah yes, the Xanga Crash. The unreliability of Xanga and LiveJournal is why I left them in the first place. Irony of ironies, it is also why I can’t cancel my account.
I’ll try again later, but at least the number of 404 – Not Found errors are on the decline. It hasn’t affected my pagerank in any noticeable manner, but it makes me feel better to know that I’m hunting down some of the bugs and broken links and getting those taken care of, one URL at a time.