Links Within Article Body

Should we allow active links within the body of the article?

To look at this issue from the author’s perspective, the answer is YES. More links to their websites creates more link currency value.

To look at this issue from our ad revenue based model perspective, it makes no sense to allow authors to put active links within the body of the article because you get paid for your article with a link to your website in the resource box.

Why then do we allow active links within the body of the article?

I’m not really sure why we allow that.

Seemed like the right thing to do when we got started.

Each day, it seems like the less smart thing to do.

Perhaps an author should have to earn the right to put active links in the body of an article.

One reason the brakes are coming on for this issue is that I’m realizing the importance of not allowing link spam to clutter our site up.

There are genuine times when an active link within the body of the article adds value to the reader, but in the greater majority of the cases, it’s a keyword anchor for the sole benefit of the author. These are the types of articles we intend to crack down on.

What are your thoughts?

What are the downsides to removing the ability for authors to get an active link in the body of their article?


Dennis Mellersh writes:

I am both a content creator and a reader and my reaction as a reader to an article filled with links is that it is primarily a sales pitch.

On the other hand, as an article writer and content creator I am creating material that would normally command a reasonable fee if it were commissioned work written for publication.

So, as a compromise, rather than links within the article itself,in addition to the resource box link, why not consider having the author’s name as an enabled link to go to their website?

Dennis Mellersh

Comment provided April 11, 2005 at 3:09 PM



When you click on the author name right now, you go to what we call the “Expert Author View” and every author currently can have a mini bio there with an active link to their home page.

In effect, we are already giving every author two chances for links back to their site.

We’re even planning on a 3rd strategy that will be released in a few weeks.

Curious: Isn’t it enough to have links back to your website in the resource box?

Comment provided April 11, 2005 at 3:26 PM


Megan writes:

I agree Chris. I my experience links within articles are generally used to promote related products that the author wants you to check out. Every author has the opportnuity to put links in the Resource box – away from the body of the article and with the specific purpose of providing resources.

For me, that’s where they belong.

Comment provided April 11, 2005 at 5:27 PM


Steve writes:

I also agree that not having links in the article body is better, except for one thing. I think if the links lead to relevant content they would add extra information without disrupting the flow of the article. Kind of like the wikipedia.

Unfortunately, allowing links allows abusers.

Maybe you could add a relevant links box…

Comment provided April 12, 2005 at 7:35 PM


Mekhong Kurt writes:

Chris —

Until I read your posting, I hadn’t really thought of this issue, at least not in this context.

Like another contributor here, I am both a content creator and an avid reader. In my case, from both perspectives I feel links within a resource box are sufficient, especially if the writer has been paid.

There are 2 exceptions I can think of off the top of my head.

First is if an article or posting is explicitly about an external resource. For example, if I am writing about in another venue, and if I think it a valuable resource for my target audience, then it makes sense for me to provide a link directly to it within the body of my article.

Second has to do with non-commercial sites. My site generates no income, but is meant to provide information to visitors. I don’t think it unreasonable of me to want to put my link below my name when I’m posting (for example) to discussion boards. This is particularly true with web sites which I have given a free text or banner link, something I routinely do, in the belief the other site may be of value to at least some of my visitors. Of course, should I ever recast my web site to be an income-generating one, I’ll certainly have to modify my expectations.

My two cents’ worth . . .

Comment provided April 13, 2005 at 9:18 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Well I suppose if the full intent on writing the article is to sell something. However I am retired, not really trying to sell much of anything these days, yet often I have links to research papers or thoughts in the article, which help the reader get the point. The reader in this case may choose to click on the link to see what it is, then understand the content and click back to the article and continue to read it. In this case I think that the links if they are not too self promoting, should be allowed and the EzineArticle business still wins. Also anyone who picks up the article also wins as it makes them look good too. If it is too salesy everyone loses. Readers are turned off, click out, lessen their value in the Ezine and the article writer and draw suspicion to the whole process. My two-cents, not sure if there should be any change coming back from the transaction however?

Comment provided April 28, 2005 at 9:51 PM


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