Linking Protocol: An Activist’s Guide to Proper Link Usage

Link usage and link policy are subjects that we hold dear. Join us today was we give some tips on how link usage can help your activism train running smoothly. Don’t Link has always been vocal about activism and how link policies can stifle activism causes.  As we would love to continue providing important information for the good fight, here are a few tips on how activists can use links properly:

Anchor Texts

If you want to have a healthy Google score, your anchor texts must make sense. The keyword that you use must be in line with the Meta data that is being used or the point that you want to make the most. For example, it would make no sense to make the word “bike” a hyperlink to a site that talk about cupcakes.

From an editorial standpoint, it is an illogical move and Google’s algorithm will take your anchor text and the link it is direction into consideration as it builds your site strength.

Paid Links

If you have ever come across anyone selling links, here is a tip: STAY AWAY FROM IT. There are people out there that promise a boost to your site through massive backlinking. However, these people often do not take special care in thinking of what anchor text to use. Often, they stuff keywords one after another.

Such moves can and will ultimately hurt your site’s standing. When an activist’s website is deemed not credible, not only will that hurt the owner, it hurts the cause as well.

Dead Links

Do not make use of links from places or websites that have gone defunct. It would be wise if you go back to check your old posts every now and then to check the health of the sites that you have linked to. When you find that the links have gone bad, it would be in the best interest of your website to remove them. You can also update them. Just be mindful of not using the same anchor text as you move forward.

Link Policy

All discussions inevitably turn toward linking policies. Do not fall into the pit of strict policies when it comes to sharing your links and information. While it may sound like a good idea, there are ways in which you can have reasonable link policies that do not stifle those that want to share your findings.

Good Luck!

Real Talk: Are All Linking Policies Restricting and Outdated?

We have been going on at some length about linking policies. Does this mean to say that all linking policies are outdated and restricting? Read on to find out.

Don’t Link has given quite a bit of expansion regarding the topic of linking policies that some websites apply to their sites. We do this because some of these websites claim they have linking policies yet do not really have any. For example, Andrew Corporation has stated that it prohibited links to its site without explicit written consent. This is something that you get through their ‘link request form’. However, at the time of viewing, it does not even exist. How do they expect people to be able to link if there is no way to do so?

Other sites like Shell have the same policy. When you are trying to build a site that could be enhanced with information from other sites, how do you go about it responsibly? Does this mean to suggest that most, if not all, site linking policies are restricting and outdated?

Not Really

Just as there are sites that are quite restrictive when it comes to linking to them, there are those that carry a link as you please policy. Policies exist because they are trying to protect something. It would do no good to casually put your content out into the world and expect everyone to treat it with respect. There are those that simply exist to bring about discord.

Even websites that have a link as you please policy will still have some that are within the lines of reason. Here are some of their policies:

Rescind link policy

This is when they see that you link to their website and your site has details or content that is not in line with their values. If such a thing were to occur, they do reserve the right to ask you to take down the link or they will simply cut off your access to that link. This is not as unreasonable as it sounds.

For example, let us say that a wholly religious website finds that their content is being used on a graphic pornography 3rd party site as a joke or with the intent to offend. As the ideas clash with each other and there is basis for offensive usage of content, the rescind link policy kicks into action. This protects the religious site and its content from being abused.

Content limitation

Quotations are often a way of building articles. However, some websites (mostly publications) will ask that you keep quotations to at least below 180 words. This is to give other websites the chance to build their own take on a subject. They will also require proper citation. That is only fair, after all.

The online world is a community and we should all help to keep it healthy and positive. Stealing content is a no-no. Therefore, not all link policies are outdated or restricting. It just serves to keep everyone accountable and responsible.

Do Linking the Right Way: Responsible Linking Tips

As we have been doing deeper discussions regarding odd linking policies, it should follow that we should now be looking toward responsible linking. Join us today as we look at some tips that can help you link properly. This information is also helpful for activists who wish to build their online credibility over time.

When you are in the business of sharing information that people should be able to trust, it is important that when you share links, they should be above board as well. There are a lot of odd linking policies that have been cropping up in the net over the past 10 years or so. Thankfully some of them have changed yet some stubborn ones persist—oh well.

What is important is that we all take the good and use it properly. After all, there is no sense in just proving those people who subscribe to their stupid linking policies right. If you are going to link to a site, here are a few tips for you:

Check their linking policy

Yes, this is the first thing that you must do. There are just some sites whose linking policies end up biting you hard in the long run so it would be smart to just avoid those. You can always check out linking policies in the Terms & Conditions section of a website. This is normally located at the very bottom of every page of the website—that is correct, every page. You only need to scroll all the way to the bottom.

It might be a bit of a read but this is important if you want to stay out of trouble. It should also give you an idea of what sorts of website value the sharing of information and not controlling it. You should also check if the links are working. There would be no sense in studying up on a site’s linking policy if the link is dead in the water. This can end up penalizing your website as well.

Remember, Google does not like dead or broken links (especially those that associate with them).

Brush up on Google’s policy

When it comes to sharing links on your website, it is important to stay on the right side of Google’s policies. This will ensure that your site will remain in the search results and traffic will not get cut off (it has been known to happen). The thing is Google’s policies change all the time—which is why it is doubly important to check in on their policies and adjust your strategies accordingly. If one of their policies state that you should not overload on links, you should follow it.

Putting in too many links in a single article can be suffocating and damage your website’s credibility.

Why is responsible linking necessary?

For one, it keeps you out of trouble. It also helps build a better network of sites that do not go overboard with their linking policies. Putting it into your articles that the websites that you link to allow proper disbursement of their information can help other people as well!

What’s the Hullaballoo about Homepage Linking Preference?

With the whole discussion about linking policies, one of the common points that crop up is the preference of homepage linking. What is behind this particular policy? As always, Don’t Link is your resource for relevant discourse about linking policies and activism.

The past few months we have discussed the concepts of odd and unfair linking policies that hamper the freedom of sharing information from certain websites. It seems that a majority of the websites that have odd linking policies often prefer that users link to the homepage rather than other parts or sections of the website.

What is the homepage?

From a website standpoint, the homepage is the face of a website. A website’s health is predominantly determined by the traffic or activity that it gets. Google tends to base their rankings on the activity that a site’s homepage gets.

Why prefer the homepage as a link?

One of the reasons why a lot of websites have linking policies that only allow third-party websites to link to their homepage is because of site traffic. When people click the link from 3rd party sites that lead into other parts of a particular site, the extra points that drive up traffic and site ranking are given to the 3rd party and not the source website.

With websites coming up with revenue from ads and whatnot, it is critical that they have a lot of traffic. The higher their traffic ranking, the better the chances of more revenue coming in for the site owner! Yes, it all boils down to money in the end.

Content usage control

If it was not for the revenue, they are after controlling the way their information is presented or used. One of the reasons why some sites prefer that only their homepage is linked is because of quality control. There are some websites out there that write damaging reports or even counter what is presented.

Mind you, this discourse is not about boosting the importance of link policy, this is simply a peek at why some websites feel that they should have linking policies. Protecting the image of your brand is good. However, it is when certain linking policies go overboard like asking for personal information that these policies need to be reviewed.

Sites like the one is the American Stock Exchange have been known to prohibit unauthorized hypertext links to their site. There are others like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange that had previously demanded a written license agreement. It is when websites penalize or even threaten of “further legal action” when their linking policies are violated is outright ridiculous.

So while it is understandable why some websites would prefer that 3rd party websites link toward their homepage, it does not follow that they should also try to impose unreasonable rules on those who merely want to refer back to them as a source. In order for information to be fluidly processed by readers, the details should be streamlined. If you are talking about a particular subject, it makes no sense to link to a site that does not support or emphasize the subject that you are tackling. It makes the message disjointed. In the end, not only do those websites with absurd linking policies hurt other sites, they invariably hurt themselves as well.

Stupid Linking Policies: Ways in Which Certain Sites Restrict Information Sharing

We are back this month with more discussions about linking policies and how they restrict users and frankly make very little sense. Once again, linking policies are the rules that websites impose on users regarding the use of their ‘links’ or content. Today, we will be looking into the ways the way sites restrict information sharing through link policies.

There are a variety of ways in websites can impose their rules. Here are a few ways how:

No “Deep Linking”

If you are not aware of the concept, ‘deep linking’ refers to linking to a particular page in a website that is NOT the homepage. In a regular website there is the homepage or often the landing page that greets browsers. If you were to check other information like the “about” page or a particular article on that website and use the URL from those pages as a link, that can land you in trouble.

For example, Kyle has his website named Frog and David wanted to use Kyle’s article on “10 best ways to feed your Frog” as an emphasis to a point he was making on his own website. If Kyle’s website does not allow deep linking, David cannot use the URL of the article he found so useful or interested.

Another example, would be an injury lawyer in Fort Worth looking to have people find his page about his personal injury services to the local Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex. As you can see this link goes directly to an internal page which is considered deep linking.

Request forms

One of the more ridiculous linking policies that still exist today, there are certain websites that require users to fill in a request form that list their full legal name, their physical home address, and many other details just to link to the homepage. And even if you do decide to go through this process, the websites can reserve the right to withdraw your permission without prior notification.

What makes this so sketchy is the fact that these websites do not even say what they do with your information. If there is anything that anyone should protect, it is their personal information as identity theft is a very real occurrence. As these websites actually do not say what they do with your information, it is understandable why written request forms are one of the more dubious linking policies out there.

Written consent

There are websites that require users to wait until they receive express written consent in order to be able to link to their content. As bloggers and other webmasters require doling out fresh and updated content, having to wait for written consent can mean delays which invariably bog down a site’s traffic. When you are on the business of doling out information, being bogged down and waiting for written consent can be such a hindrance.

Such linking policies are devised to keep information monopolized until the pertinent timeframe has passed and the information is not longer urgent.

Some Final Thoughts

Certain link policies are understandable as the way content is reused should be subject to review by the original posters. However, carrying it over to the point wherein they go into asking for personal information without suitable explanation is going overboard. It is all quite ridiculous.

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.