What Does Dotsam Mean?

Dotsam is a slang term that refers to all the neglected areas of the Web that are still live despite not being maintained. Dotsam includes abandoned email accounts, and forgotten blogs, websites and social media profiles.


The term dotsam is a combination of “dotcom” and “flotsam.” It is also referred to as netsam.

Techopedia Explains Dotsam

Dotsam has seen a natural buildup as the cost of hosting and storing data on Web servers has declined. In many cases, allowing dotsam to remain live and accessible on the Internet costs nothing. For example, many online portals do not delete user profiles or blogs anymore because they take up very little space and, by keeping them classified as active, they help pad the official numbers of active users. This makes an online service appear more popular.

Search engines have been working to reduce the amount of dotsam in their search results by giving greater weight to fresh content. This helps newer, updated content rise above abandoned sites that have seniority and search engine rank due to being posted first.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.