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The link policy is damaging WW

no links or low quality links because people are over cautious

     
5:48 am on Dec 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This has been irritating me for a while, but the last example is in this thread:

[webmasterworld.com ]

Where Leosghost says:

a search on his name will bring up the "thread"..I'm not sure if direct links to Reddit are OK ?


So people are not posting interesting and useful links because they do not know what is OK. There is no danger of self-promotion here (I am pretty sure Leosghost does not own Reddit) but people still do not post the link.

It also hugely reduces the quality of links to any sort of technical information because people post links to low quality rehashes on mainstream media sites that they know are OK (like the BBC) that smaller websites, especially primary sources, with more accurate information.
8:26 am on Dec 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I am afraid that WW has been very seriously damaged (perhaps beyond repair) during the last couple of years through its inability to move with the times.
10:13 am on Dec 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for that. It's probably worth stating two things in response.

Firstly, we do allow links of interest and value. Suggesting we don't is something of a myth being passed around and is out of date. What we don't allow is any form of promotional and marketing links. Spam is unacceptable. I'm sure none of you want promotional links all over the place.

It's impossible to make a list of every site where links are ok, but, obviously, in most instances, any links to mainstream media, such as BBC (you mentioned) is acceptable, along with industry authority links. Somewhere, someone has interpreted that wrongly to mean we only accept those links to the BBC, etc. That is not correct. I'll admit, way back, we were more cautious, but those of you that participate here will have seen the more relaxed nature for some years, and the emergence of many different sources appearing, especially where it's breaking the news, technical or educational information. Our Terms of Service only state promotional and marketing, and that will remain so.

I'd also point out where linking can go wrong, [webmasterworld.com] too. That's why there should be some caution, although, that example is one that we won't permit again.

Generally, anyone with a history of posting here (that's you two) always gets different treatment to a newbie arriving dropping links.

Just so there is no confusion about this. Non-promotional links to educational, and original content, especially to industry authority sites, is acceptable. You know what sites are authority without me naming them. The moment it looks promotional, or you have your doubts, please report it to the Moderators to deal with.

BDW, please see [webmasterworld.com...] Yes, we would have liked it sooner. It's coming, and i'd encourage you to participate in that thread. Let's be positive and help us get it moving forward!

I'm certain there will be many excited by the changes, and there will be many that want everything just as it was. Well, the change is coming early in the new year.

I know i'm excited!

Thanks
Neil
10:32 am on Dec 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Good news.
2:53 pm on Dec 31, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One thing that remains prohibited, as I understand it, is no self-promotion. Some white hat sites promote the idea that it's a win-win technique to visit a forum, answer questions, then leave a link to one's own site for more "useful" information. The fact is that this forum and generally most other forums regard that practice as spamming. It's a poor practice promoted by certain white hat SEOs.

The change in policy has been in effect for a couple years now. I have been linking out liberally hoping to encourage others to do the same. If the web page is an authoritative source of news or useful information then go for it.
5:18 am on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@engine, in that case the problem is not the policy, but that people are unaware of the current policy. Leosghost and BeeDeeDubbleU do not seem to have been aware of it and I was unsure where the boundaries were - and we all post fairly regularly.

Perhaps you need a highly visible explanation of the policy on the site to ensure everyone is aware of it.

@martinibuster, I assumed that self-promotional links remained prohibited, and I tend assume that is strict (I do not post links to my own sites even if they are relevant and I honestly think they are the best link available). I am quite happy with that as I have seen other things (Linked in Groups in particular) ruined by promotional links.
12:58 pm on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I was aware of it ( current policy ) ..my hesitation was specifically because it was to reddit..reddit can veer into the territory of 4chan in a heartbeat in an otherwise "serious thread" ( witness the celebrities nude selfies" on reddit in 2014 ) ..at the same time as I made my post ,( which was to provide some background and "cred" re Mr Wiese for those who had not heard of him ) I also contacted the thread mod martinibuster and an admin, incrediBill for their opinions on a link to that thread in reddit..

I have no problems with the linking policy as it stands currently at WebmasterWorld..Normally I do not hesitate to link out to "relevant" and non commercial sites ( I didn't link to Mr Wiese's site because it is commercial offering his own SEO services ), the hesitating to link to reddit "situation" was very much a "one off"..

The spam is well controlled here, but, if one is around at odd hours, as I am, one sees that WebmasterWorld is still a target for spammers ( some have waited as long as 3 years as members before spamming ), the mods and admins do a great job dealing with it..

Given that those of us here probably have a larger than average "marketroid gene"..some sort of policy as regards links ( other than the obvious one about not linking to our own sites, even if it is to get advice on a "problem", because later readers will no longer see the "problem" ) has to be in place..

The only ways that I can think of that the link policy could be improved would be to actually "hard code" so that members with less than 100 posts could not post links..thus preventing "drive by spam"..and maybe that we ( all members ) should have to sign up here with an email such as WebmasterWorld ( the 3 letters w *m * w*, without the *s, not what the code has just auto-expanded back there ) @domainthatweactuallyown.tld , and not allow "free domain email addresses for members..

This would solve the spammers coming in with gmail or hotmail or yahoo mail addys..they'd have to register a domain , and have control over it's email addresses to be able to make such an email address "for sign up"..

That could be done with "new sign ups" and older or returning members could be given a message in their profile here to say that they would need to change their email to the above "type" within 90 days or so after reading the message..
4:44 pm on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld ( the 3 letters w *m * w*, without the *s, not what the code has just auto-expanded back there )

There's a humble captcha lurking in there, because only humans know about the auto-expansion. So you can express it as "WebmasterWorld[unexpanded]@etcetera".
4:52 pm on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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That's what I thought..thanks for putting it more clearly than I did L :)
5:09 pm on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Let's put this in your hands: How do you transmit this message without alerting the spammers? Please note, it has been discussed many times in various threads.

Oh, and yes, Leosghost, in any case, you were correct in the instance of that promotional piece on reddit. Sometimes it's link bait and not everyone spots it.
6:02 pm on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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How do you transmit this message without alerting the spammers?

Do you mean re making a specific format email like w *m* w@domainyouactuallyhavecontrolof.tld ? for all members current and future ?
6:11 pm on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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no, I mean communicating the linking ;)
7:36 pm on Jan 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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FWIW, we loosened up the linking policy over two years ago so I'm surprised this is even a topic.

We allow links to a lot more sites than we used to as long as it's quality content and not self-promo.

Members have posted links to blogs, other forums, etc. when it's relevant to the topic and not readily available on traditional news sites.

It boils down to using common sense as we all know what good links are and when it's being abused.

Posting links is sort of like chocolate. Too much can be a bad thing, rot your teeth and make you fat, but just enough is wonderful.