There are several URLs one could use to get to a question. For example:

  • https://money.stackexchange.com/questions/124409/can-stocks-trade-at-negative-prices
  • https://money.stackexchange.com/questions/124409/
  • https://money.stackexchange.com/questions/124409
  • https://money.stackexchange.com/q/124409/
  • https://money.stackexchange.com/q/124409

When I am saving a question to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine (https://web.archive.org), which URL should I use to archive the question?

  • 4
    All of those links redirect to the same location on our site. So it really depends on how the Wayback Machine handles redirects. If it just records that it hit a redirect and doesn't follow, then all but the final URL would be useless. If it follows the redirect and archives the resulting page, then which one you use doesn't matter. That is a question for the Wayback Machine.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 2:52

1 Answer 1


It doesn't matter; the Wayback Machine will always follow the redirects and end up at the 'canonical URL', the first one: https://money.stackexchange.com/questions/124409/can-stocks-trade-at-negative-prices. This is what happens when you archive https://money.stackexchange.com/q/124409:

enter image description here

This does mean a question's history can get fragmented in the Wayback Machine. If you search for https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/99338/who-is-on-the-community-management-team-and-what-do-they-do now you'll only get one hit:

enter image description here
(blame Catija :P)

It's better to go to this URL: https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/99338/* (I don't see a form to navigate to it, but it will be suggested if you search for https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/99338/*); then you'll see all of its available history:

enter image description here

All of it? Nope; some of the older content here used to be hosted at the meta.stackoverflow.com domain. So in this case there's https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/99338/* as well:

enter image description here

with another three hits. Note that some main sites (e.g. programmers.stackexchange.com) have been renamed in the past as well.


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