Goddess Gift’s linking policy
As an integral part of the web, this site provides links to other sites, and receives links from other sites as well. Google's search engine, in particular, will penalize in their rankings any site who come up with a paid link penalty, aiming to reduce the passing of page rank (Google's award of credit to sites who meet their standards which helps determine placement in their search results). They recommend the use of a page redirect or “HTML microformat rel=nofollow coding which was made to allow blog/site owners to stop the passing of value to 'unnatural' links/untrusted sites.
I'm ambivalent about all this. I, too, have distaste for those spammy link-ad covered pages giving little or no content relative to the subject at hand and appreciate their desire to keep them on the back pages of the search results.
But I also feel that a site manager is in a better place than a search engine algorithm to judge what is acceptable, or likely to be of value, to that specific site's visitors. I suspect that even though they're fishing for tuna, a lot of dolphins get caught in their nets.
What's a goddess gal to do? What would Athena, the Greek goddess of War and Wisdom do? Put on her breastplate and grab a spear? Or find a compromise?
Well, here's what we've decided to do:
On this site, use of style elements (color, underlying) and the use of the rel=nofollow microformat or redirection through a robot-blocked page at this site will be as follows:
Uses of style elements and/or the nofollow or redirection coding will be visible to users with modern browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE7+, Opera, etc).
All paid links that we have screened and feel to be trustworthy and relevant (on topic and/or of potential value to our typical visitor) with will be double underlined with a thick yellow/orange line. This is a Sample Link.
Red doubled underlining will be used if any link is off-topic, i.e. felt to be of low relevance to the content of the page.
In addition we feel strongly that the reader should be informed when a link is marked as being potentially untrusted (which does not mean that we think them untrustworthy, only that we are not verifying that they are.) Red doubled underlining and/or redirect coding or nofollow will be employed to indicate this.. Here is a sample nofollow link.
All links in any comments, including those left by visitors, will be displayed with that dashed orange underlining. In any site/blog/board posts the nofollow/redirect format will be used sparingly for links whose trustworthiness we have been unable to evaluate/recommend. If a URL appears to be not trustworthy at all, it will only be listed and not linked to.
Links that are obviously spam, inflammatory or otherwise deemed unfit will be removed.
An exception to the above rule are links to sites that we want to explicitly mark with a rel=nofollow or a redirect for personal reasons.
This policy may change over time.
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