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relax with a cup of green tea

Preventing deep linking

There really is no reason to prevent links into your website other than to appease Compliance and Legal teams who are covering all options. Some sites have gone down due to high traffic loads when they have been listed on Boing Boing or Slashdot (not mine - not yet anyway) and that could be the reason why IT teams have got into flusters and the legal teams have tried to apply impossible T&Cs. I’m not talking content theft linking here - linking to images on your site or scraping content.

According to the W3C Technical Architecture Group, “any attempt to forbid the practice of deep linking is based on a misunderstanding of the technology, and threatens to undermine the functioning of the Web as a whole”. That’s pretty serious - but no compliance/legal team is going to listen to that when their job is potentially on the line.

Couple of good resources that got me writing this short:
The insane world of “No linking Policy” – what happened to the interNET? (was from but site now dead)
Links and Law: Myths

Edit - Jan 2015
As a postscript to this article - yes you would now want to prevent bad links coming into your website. It is possible to attack someones SEO ranking by setting up loads of backlinks from bad websites and thus reduce the sites SEO rankings. This is called negative SEO and is an increasing tactic at this time.
I still hold at this moment that seeking permission for deep linking is fundamentally wrong though.

by | 09 Nov 2010 |

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