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:

This policy may change over time.

The original policy was based on the nofollow-policy of John M. and the  nofollow-policy by JLH.

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