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.
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.
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.