Broken Links on our Site

If you’ve used our public records site, you’re probably aware that we offer over 55,000 links to free online databases.

How did they all get there?  One at a time.

Since 1997 we’ve looked for available public record databases on the Internet at the national, state, county, and city levels.  When we find a database, we test it and write a description for that link explaining what you can input and what the database provides.  Then we put that up on our directory at SearchSystems.net.

Along with accumulating databases for our directory, we also regularly test the existing database links using special software that detects broken and redirected links.  On average, about 250 links in our directory go bad each week.

This isn’t our fault – this is due to the government agencies that control these databases.  They often change their URL structures or redesign their sites and interior pages.  Sometimes their databases go offline for maintenance or other reasons.

So fixing broken and redirected links is a full-time job here at Search Systems, and a natural part of URL database management.  We rely not only on our link-checking software, but also on users like you to report problems with the databases.  This is why you’ll see a small blue link titled “Report Broken Link” after every database description in our directory.  Click on that and you’ll arrive at a page like this one where you can report to us any problems, such as a link that goes to an error page or non-useful page, a database listed under the wrong category, or a database that simply doesn’t produce results.

While we test the URLs, we don’t have the resources to run test searches on all the databases in our directory.  So if a link gets you to the right search page, but you are not able to get any results from that database, please let us know.  Use the Report Broken Link feature, or send us an email using the Contact Us feature.  We can’t fix an outside website’s database, but we can try to contact them.  If we conclude that their database is not functioning properly, we might remove that resource from our directory and place it on a temporary hold until the database is functioning again.

There are instances where a user reports a broken link to us and we find that it works.  This may indicate that the link was down temporarily and came back online by the time we tested.  Or it could indicate that the database works better with certain web browsers.  We encourage users who submit broken link reports to include their email address so we can check back with them to find out which operating system they are using, and which web browser.  Sometimes that can help us troubleshoot the problem if the database itself is not really broken.

So if you stumble across a broken link while using our directory, don’t despair.  Send us a notice and typically we can fix it quickly.