Unchain the Links: Stupid Linking Policies

Welcome back to Don’t Link. Today, we discuss something that is quite near and dear to our hearts: stupid linking policies. We hope you stay a while and pick up a few tips regarding linking ‘laws’.

What is a linking policy?

These are rules that websites impose on people who would wish to make use of a link for another website. To be clearer, let us say that Kyle has a website named Frogs and his friend David would like to use a link from Frog in an article to emphasize a point. If Kyle’s website has a linking policy that allows that to happen, then David will be able to do what he plans to do.

However, if Kyle’s linking policy explicitly prohibits any sort of linking; David will not be able to do what he wanted. If David went ahead and linked anyway, it would be a violation of the linking policy and the link will be removed. There is even possibility of getting sued for ‘copyright’ violations.

This would kind of make sense if the information you are getting is something that may compromise national security of harm another person. However, some sites that are about food or food products have linking policies that prohibit people from linking to their actual website.

If you are a blogger and you wanted to write a glowing review, having a link to the product website would just be plain common sense. If that website has a linking policy that prohibits people from linking to their website, you can end up in some hot water. So you can completely see how linking policies can come off as well…stupid. By not letting people use links to something as simple as a product—unless the patent and component of how to build the product was there—it is pretty much akin to someone asking for directions and the only answer they can give you is “I know where it is but I am not allowed to say where it is”.

One of the reasons why the internet was so revolutionary is because of the ease in which information could be gathered and developed. If websites, particularly those in media, start putting in stupid link policies that prohibit people from freely disbursing information, what good is it? In the next few months, we will be sharing more details and information regarding stupid link policies and how they can affect everyday users and webmasters.