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How Arweave solves link rot

The current web is ephemeral. We examine how Arweave can solve link rot and content drift.

24 Jan 2024
Clock 3 min


As we discussed in the previous article, as vast as the internet is, it’s as ephemeral. 

While this dynamic nature has its benefits, it has given rise to two pervasive issues: link rot and content drift. Link rot refers to the phenomenon where hyperlinks lead to web pages that are no longer available, and content drift is the subtle alteration of the content of a webpage over time.

Prevalence and impact

Anyone who has used the internet extensively has likely encountered the frustration of clicking on a link only to find a 404 Not Found error. But less obvious and equally troubling is content drift. Imagine referencing a webpage in academic research, only to return later and find the content altered, making your citation misleading or incorrect.

Both these phenomena have significant implications. Studies show that a large portion of URLs cited in scholarly papers either become inaccessible or have their content changed within a few years. For students, researchers, and professionals, this instability poses serious challenges. Moreover, as web pages disappear, we lose chunks of our digital history, undermining the very integrity of the internet.

Take, for instance, this link that was actually referenced in a Supreme Court decision.

Link Rot

Imagine the implications if more important references like this were to vanish! Websites go down, domains are bought, and valuable content can disappear overnight. As we rely heavily on online resources, ensuring the permanence and reliability of data is all the more important.

The Permaweb fixes this

In contrast to the current temporary web, the Permaweb offers a solution in the form of static web pages that are stored permanently on the network and cannot be altered.

The Permaweb ensures that links never go offline, a game-changer for numerous sectors. Academia, for instance, can rely on references staying valid, ensuring the longevity of scholarly work. Journalists can cite sources with the confidence that they won't disappear. Industries that rely on long-term documentation and references can place their trust in a web that truly remembers.

In essence, the Permaweb offers a solution to preserve our digital history, ensuring that the efforts of content creators, researchers, and professionals are not lost to time.


The emergence of the Permaweb and static web pages signals a transformative shift towards a more stable and reliable digital experience. By ensuring that digital content remains accessible and unaltered, we are not only preserving information but also maintaining the integrity of the web.

Addressing the dual challenges of link rot and content drift, we're moving towards an internet that doesn't just remember, but remembers accurately.

If you don't lie, you never have to remember anything! On the Permaweb, everyone remembers everything - so you can't really lie…

As we look forward, it's exciting to envision an internet where link rot and content drift become problems of the past. The possibilities of the Permaweb extend far beyond merely preserving content. Its immutable and permanent nature is opening doors to entirely new digital landscapes.

Curious about how dApps are getting a permanent upgrade on the Permaweb? Dive into the next article of this series.

The Arweave miniseries

This article is part of a miniseries designed to help readers discover Arweave. Each piece explores a different aspect of Arweave, from what inspired the project to its practical applications. Use the list below to navigate through the other articles in the series:

Winston the elephant


We, Arweave's true inspiration?

The Permaweb 

How Arweave solves link rot 📍 You are here

Understanding Permanent dApps

Arweave is Censorship Resistant

Arweave’s Universal Data License

Arweave’s Atomic NFTs

How to archive with Arweave

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