For more than 5 years, the Internet Archive has been archiving nearly every URL referenced in close to 300 wikipedia sites as soon as those links are added or changed at the rate of about 20 million URLs/week. And for the past 3 years, we have been running a software robot called IABot on 22 Wikipedia language editions looking for broken links (URLs that return a ‘404’, or ‘Page Not Found’). When broken links are discovered, IABot searches for archives in the Wayback Machine and other web archives to replace them with. Restoring links ensures Wikipedia remains accurate and verifiable and thus meets one of Wikipedia’s three core content policies: ‘Verifiability.’
Mark Graham, the Director of Wayback Machine at Internet Archive, announces: As part of the Internet Archive’s aim to build a better Web, we have been working to make the Web more reliable — and are pleased to announce that 9 million formerly broken links on Wikipedia now work because they go to archived versions in the Wayback Machine.