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Tracking Web Site Changes and Lost Web Sites

With the advent of RSS, page change detection sites have pretty much disappeared. However, here are two sites that can help you keep track of and find "lost" web sites.

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ChangeDetect offers a free service that tracks web pages you select, monitors content for changes, and sends an automatic email notification to you whenever your web pages are updated. (Ads are included in the e-mails, so be forewarned).

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Internet Archive

Internet Archive, a.k.a. the Wayback Machine, archives literally tens of thousands of sites on the Internet, tracking changes in the site's content over time. You can use it to find a lost article or web page, or to see how your favorite web site has evolved over time.

Use the Internet Archive as a teaching tool. Compare older and newer versions of a web site to show how attitudes -- and web styles -- have changed over the years.

Tools like ChangeDetect can be used to monitor student maintained web sites. Get a heads up as soon as new content is posted.

We use the Internet Archive to locate web sites that have suddenly moved.

Our trick is to find the last good version of the web page in the Archive, select 8-15 words of text from the page, and search for those words in Google,surrounding the word string in quotes.

Many times we've been able to locate "lost" web sites using this procedure.

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