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Legal to add links to your website?
Thread poster: Andrea Appel

Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 19:26
English to German
+ ...
Oct 23, 2006

Hello,

I was wondering if it is legal to add links to your website from organizations or associations, businesses, without the consent of the website owner.

It seems to me that it should not be a problem, as long as you are a reputable website with good intensions and of course without any misleadings.

And also, would this apply internationally?

What I mean by this is; is it okay if I add links from other countries to a website originated lets say in France.

Thank you very much.
Andrea


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:26
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Yes, usually Oct 23, 2006

Andrea Di Marco wrote:
I was wondering if it is legal to add links to your website from organizations or associations, businesses, without the consent of the website owner.


It used to be legal everywhere, but some countries are catching up to various issues.

For example, AFAIK in the USA you can be charged as an accessory to a crime if you link to a web site on which a crime is being committed, if you know of the crime. Therefore, linking to web sites that sell illegal software may land you in hot water even if you don't sell illegal software yourself.

And then there is the question of deeplinking, which in some countries (Belguim, I think) can have legal repercussions. If you want to link and you're unsure, simply link to the front page of the site instead of the deeper page.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:26
English to French
+ ...
Linking restrictions Oct 23, 2006

Hi Andrea! Long time no speak!

I have a very simple guideline for this. Linking is not illegal, but it is good practice to ascertain that owner of the site you link to will not be offended by your linking to it. There are two ways to do this. First, there are sites where the permission to link is already displayed on the site - often, you can even download banners, buttons and such to use for your link, which are sometimes optional, sometimes mandatory. If you can't find this type of authorization on the site, get in touch with the webmaster for permission to link. Usually, there isn't a problem.

From the search engine optimization point of view, make sure you don't link to too many sites/to sites irrelevant to the subject of your site/etc., in other words, make sure you don't overdo it. Some engines - I think Google is heading that way - will lower your position in the search results if you overdo the linking. Another thing to explore is sites linking to yours - the other way around. If you feel you are trying to link to too many sites, turn the excess links into sites linking to you for a good mix.

All the best!


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 19:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I guess it is better to play it safe. Oct 23, 2006

Samuel Murray wrote:

Andrea Di Marco wrote:
I was wondering if it is legal to add links to your website from organizations or associations, businesses, without the consent of the website owner.


It used to be legal everywhere, but some countries are catching up to various issues.

For example, AFAIK in the USA you can be charged as an accessory to a crime if you link to a web site on which a crime is being committed, if you know of the crime. Therefore, linking to web sites that sell illegal software may land you in hot water even if you don't sell illegal software yourself.

And then there is the question of deeplinking, which in some countries (Belguim, I think) can have legal repercussions. If you want to link and you're unsure, simply link to the front page of the site instead of the deeper page.



I am not yet in the position were I think of doing something illegal (-;

Unfortunately we do have to consider the worst what could happen so thank you for your answer.

Also lets say I would add translators associations and everything related to translation to my website ...even from other countries....could they charge me having their website linked to a competitor or lets say the same kind of business which in that case would be me. Huh, sounds complicated (-;


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 19:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Viktoria! Happy to hear from you as well Oct 23, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

Hi Andrea! Long time no speak!

I have a very simple guideline for this. Linking is not illegal, but it is good practice to ascertain that owner of the site you link to will not be offended by your linking to it. There are two ways to do this. First, there are sites where the permission to link is already displayed on the site - often, you can even download banners, buttons and such to use for your link, which are sometimes optional, sometimes mandatory. If you can't find this type of authorization on the site, get in touch with the webmaster for permission to link. Usually, there isn't a problem.

From the search engine optimization point of view, make sure you don't link to too many sites/to sites irrelevant to the subject of your site/etc., in other words, make sure you don't overdo it. Some engines - I think Google is heading that way - will lower your position in the search results if you overdo the linking. Another thing to explore is sites linking to yours - the other way around. If you feel you are trying to link to too many sites, turn the excess links into sites linking to you for a good mix.

All the best!


This is very interesting and I did not know that Google will actually lower your position if you overdo the linking.

My plan is:
To add as many "clean" informative links to a website
than contacting the website owner after that I did so with the question if they would like to be more visible through highlighting their link. I thought this would be interesting for the "linked site owner" because of search engine optimization.. or well at least because there is a directory which is interesting for people who search for some kind of a list.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
German to English
+ ...
Another view Oct 23, 2006

As far as I'm concerned, linking was what the World Wide Web was designed for. Publishing stuff on the Internet and then saying that people shouldn't link to it is like publishing a newspaper and then trying to prevent readers from flipping to the sports pages first.

And here's a link:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_linking

As for gearing your links to make your own pages more attractive to search engines, that's all part of the game. But then, a search engine is just one big unsolicited link machine, and worse: it copies material, stores it elsewhere, indexes it and keeps it on display long after the original publisher has deleted it. If Google had to get authorization for every link (it doesn't have to, of course, nor does anyone expect it to), there wouldn't be any Google.

Marc


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 19:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well here seems to be a go ahead- thanks for the link Oct 23, 2006

MarcPrior wrote:

As far as I'm concerned, linking was what the World Wide Web was designed for. Publishing stuff on the Internet and then saying that people shouldn't link to it is like publishing a newspaper and then trying to prevent readers from flipping to the sports pages first.

And here's a link:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_linking

As for gearing your links to make your own pages more attractive to search engines, that's all part of the game. But then, a search engine is just one big unsolicited link machine, and worse: it copies material, stores it elsewhere, indexes it and keeps it on display long after the original publisher has deleted it. If Google had to get authorization for every link (it doesn't have to, of course, nor does anyone expect it to), there wouldn't be any Google.

Marc


a article from the link provided by Marc

Web site owners wishing to prevent search engines from deep linking are able to use the existing Robots Exclusion Standard (robots.txt file) to specify their desire or otherwise for their content to be indexed. By not including a robots.txt file, it is implied that the content owner does not object to search engines indexing the site.

Thank you, but does this rule apply to links from other countries as well. Maybe I am just too paranoid. Makes sense that once something is published on the net it is there to use it.


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:26
German to English
+ ...
Legal to add links to your website? Oct 23, 2006

Andrea,

Andrea Di Marco wrote:

"Web site owners wishing to prevent search engines from deep linking are able to use the existing Robots Exclusion Standard (robots.txt file) to specify their desire or otherwise for their content to be indexed. By not including a robots.txt file, it is implied that the content owner does not object to search engines indexing the site."

Thank you, but does this rule apply to links from other countries as well. Maybe I am just too paranoid. Makes sense that once something is published on the net it is there to use it.


One: it is not clear whether it is a "rule": the article is somewhat ambiguous and it is not clear (to me, at least) whether this paragraph is a continuation of the preceding paragraph, in which case it reflects a ruling by the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court, or whether it merely reflects the opinion of the author of this particular Wikipedia article. I was drawing attention to the article in general (and only because it reflects my own opinion), not to this particular point.

Two: search engine indexing and hyperlinking are not quite the same thing. I can well imagine people objecting to their material being indexed by search engines who would have no complaints about hyperlinks to it. Anyone is free to link to my site, but I have reservations about search engines continuing to make material from my site accessible even after I have deleted that material. I accept it as a fact of life though.

Three: (in my own personal opinion) if something is published on the net, the publisher expects it to be read by users of the net and must also assume that other webmasters may link to it. That is not quite the same as it being there to be used: this use does not extend to copyright violation, for instance.

Four: I think you are worrying unnecessarily, yes.

Marc


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:26
English to French
+ ...
Just a remark on webmasters cautious of incoming links Oct 23, 2006

Depending on the type and size of a website, most websites have different traffic limits. This means that once you are past 1G, 10G, 50G, etc., of downloading (traffic) within a given month, the owner of the website has to pay for all additional traffic. So, in many cases, it's actually bad for a site owner to automatically accept incoming links to the site.

This is why it's a good idea to check with the webmaster if it's OK to link to the site. Think about how you would see this if you were the owner of a site. I don't think you would be happy to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month just because many sites link to one small piece of information on your site that many people are interested in.

This is why, even if it's not illegal, it's advisable to check with the site in question if it's OK to link to them.



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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 16:26
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
We always ask first Oct 23, 2006

Whenever we start working with new clients, we ask them to visit our company's website, take a look at our portfolio, and let us know if they're okay with our posting general info about the job. We always emphasize the fact that our goal is to provide information to potential clients who are considering hiring our services, so they may learn about our previous experiences in a given field, what language pairs we are currently working with, how well we comply with deadlines, and what is our general output.

Most clients give us the go ahead and think it's a great idea letting us publish their name, contact info, logo and, sometimes name their end-client. Some others are terrified of having their names associated with a translation agency at all. Go figure... I believe some of them end up being "translation brokers" whose end-clients have no idea they're outsourcing the work or big agencies that simply don't want anyone to know that they don't have in-house translators for this or that language pair.

Anyway, if they don't want to be associated with our website in any way, we don't mention their name and contact information, nor specific data about the contents of the project. For example, if we translated a letter sent to employees by the directors of a large chemical products manufacturer, that's exactly how we word it in our portfolio, without naming names and just sticking to the main info (field, word count, deadline & delivery dates...)

Hope it helps!

P.S.: It's always a good idea to make sure email addresses are not posted as a direct link (no matter if it's your clients' or your own email address anywhere on the web.) We're actually updating out database at the moment and our new webmaster is making sure there's always a space before and a space after "at signs" and dot-coms, like this: contact @ website . com. The only reason why we're doing this is to avoid anyone from automatically capturing email addresses from our website and start sending junk mail to our clients...

[Edited at 2006-10-23 22:56]


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Andrea Appel
Canada
Local time: 19:26
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you so much everybody! Oct 23, 2006

All of you have provided me with very valuable information. There are things which I do have to obey. This list or better links are not meant for my own site but for another website were the importancy of doing the right thing is much greater. This is why I want to be so careful. All of you have a good point and I thought of everything today. I do not want to step on someones shoe (-;

Also mentioning that the owner of the website has to pay for all additional traffic, and not posting e-mail addresses in its full html is interesting. I have never really investigated this issue before but yeah it does make sense.


Thinking of it again also is that asking the site owner for permission is polite and will be a better opportunity to create business.

Kind regards,
Andrea


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