Linking To Content You Cannot Link To

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, August 05, 2010 at 03:41 PM with 3 comments

screenshot of a hyperlinkBelieve it or not, there are times you want to directly link to something from your Web site but you cannot. Despite this, there are ways you can still promote what it is you want to link to.

What Possibly Are You Talking About?

The following are a few scenarios where you cannot directly link to something on the Web.

  • The publication’s Web site does not post its articles online
  • The publication’s Web site requires registration or payment to view the article
  • The article is no longer on the publication’s Web site

There are all real-life scenarios and have happened to clients as well as myself.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Whenever you are referencing content belonging to someone else on the Web, it is always a good idea to get their permission. In some cases you may not be able to mention specifics, such as a company or publication name or even the title of the work or article, but you’ll want to find out as much as you can about what you can mention.

Here’s a real example, and names have been changed to protect the innocent. A client of mine wants to link to articles she writes for a cooking magazine on her Web site, and in some cases she even wants to republish full or partial copy from the article. The published does not post articles online, and does not want her to post any of the articles on her own site. However, she can mention the name of the magazine, issue date and number, article title and page number. She can even show a thumbnail of the magazine cover. In this case, we posted all of this information, plus the photo, with a link to the magazine’s Web site.

If, for example, the article is available online but only to online subscribers, we can still link to it, and below the link we can mention this is behind a login which requires signup and payment. This brief disclaimer will show goodwill to the magazine, all the while promoting the fact the client wrote in it.

Striving for the Win-Win

In-bound links to a Web site are always desired and welcomed by a site owner. Depending on your business relationship with a Web site may dictate how you can present a link to promote yourself with their name. If the situation arises, seek out the method where you can present the most you can, and as a result creating a win-win situation.

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