Is Linking Something That You Should Have To Pay For?

    March 11, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Should you have to pay to link? Sadly, it’s a question we keep having to ask, because organizations and lawmakers keep giving us reason to. If you’re a longtime reader, you probably already know my stance on this: the web is based on pages freely linking to each other, and when barriers are set up that impede that, it makes for a broken web.

Should any person, organization or aggregation service have to pay to link to content for any reason? Let us know what you think in the comments.

In October, we ran an article with the very title: “Should You Have To Pay To Link?” Back then, it was about Central European News (CEN), a media organization that provides news, images, research, etc. to various media outlets, for money. CEN had sent payment invoices to The Huffington Post, simply because the site was linking to sources (such as The Daily Mail), which had paid for CEN’s content.

A couple years ago, there was the whole thing with News Corp. blocking search engine/news aggregator NewsNow.co.uk from using/linking to its content. NewsNow founder Struan Bartlett had this to say at the time:

It also led to the creation of the “Right To Link campaign“.

A more recent example of some interesting linking policy would be this one from Lowe’s. They require sites that link to Lowes.com (I’m not sure what the legal grounds here are) to fill out a form and get permission first. This is done by fax. Yes, fax.

The latest incident comes in the form of proposed legislation from German lawmakers, who reportedly seek to enable content creators to charge aggregation services for using snippets, for as long as lone year. The Register points to an official document about the proposed law (in German).

It’s unclear whether we’re only talking about the actual snippets, or if that includes the titles. According to the Register’s report, aggregators may be forced to pay license fees, but if if the titles (which are essentially links), aren’t included, aggregators should be able to display titles/links without snippets, without having to pay. If such a law goes into effect, it would probably make more sense to do this, for most aggregation services, though user experience could be damaged.

Of course, there’s one news aggregation service that we know is all about user experience (at least at the PR level) – Google (and Google News). Would Google pay to provide snippets? If titles/links are included, that’s a whole different ballgame, and in fact is really where the bulk of this threat to the web comes in.

If we’re talking about titles, which are essentially links, we’re talking about having to pay to link to something. Even if this is only at a news aggregation service level, it’s a dangerous precedent to set, given that the web at large is based on linking. There are no clear lines when you’re talking about the subject of news aggregation – particularly in the age of user-generated content and social media. I mean, what if you create a Twitter list of accounts from news agencies, and share that with your friends, for example?

For that matter, the lines between what should actually be considered a news source are pretty gray too, when you’re talking about blogs, social media and citizen journalism. Laws like this would have to be governed by interpretation, and any interpretation – right or wrong – could have tremendous effects on the web, and really, society.

And let’s not forget, that while a law may be designed to govern the people and companies of a country, the web is worldwide. Linking knows no geographical boundaries.

When you’re talking about how an aggregator like Google News delivers results, how is it any different than how Google itself delivers results. It’s still about snippets and links. Such government control could not only jeopardize current news aggregation practices, but how search, as we know it, works.

Matthew Ingram, who writes for GigaOm these days writes a lot about this kind of stuff, and often makes great points about the state of journalism, and the whole citizen journalism/traditional media debate. As he presents it, aggregation and curation are synonyms, for all intents and purposes, and I agree. But curation can not only come from a system like Google News or a Techmeme. It can come from a news publication itself. It can come from a single person using any publishing format on the web. That means it could be a blog, a Google+ account, a Twitter account, a Twitter list, a Facebook account or whatever. Facebook even has a new interest lists feature.

The point is, it’s all about the following you have, as to how much that contributes to content being consumed by its audience.

So laws like this could jeopardize how we use social media too. But more than that – they could jeopardize how people use the web. It’s why the publishing world wants the paid app model (like The Daily) to succeed so well, but that model will never pan out to its full potential as long as that pesky web is around – a tap away via your phone or tablet’s browser. Perhaps news organizations should start lobbying for the death of the web browser. That would go over well.

Links are the web. The web is links. Links are what keeps the web alive, and are the reason we have not all been completely consumed into closed app ecosystems (though we certainly spend more of our time there than ever).

One thing that continues to baffle me, is that so many publishers and news organizations are still so opposed to how the web works. Links gain you more exposure. There are legitimate points on the other side of the argument, but the fact is that links give more people more opportunities to read your content, and if they’re not reading your content, they’re just going to read someone else’s – someone that has figured out a better way to monetize their content – perhaps someone that doen’t care about monetizing their content. Regardless, it’s not benefiting you.

Of course, all efforts to see “aggregators” paying to link aren’t being driven by governments. News organizations (The AP, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gazzette, McClatchy, and numerous others) have banded together to form NewsRight, a collaboration designed to find ways of getting aggregators to pay. I haven’t heard a lot of success stories about that one yet.

Do you think news organizations should be charging “aggregators” for linking? Even snippets? Let us know what you think.

By the way, if you’re a content creator, curator or aggregator, and you feel your audience is or could be interested in this topic, please feel free to link to this article. As a bonus, we’ll even let you throw in a snippet.

  • http://www.bureau24.net Keenan Daniels

    Seems to me the web will police this itself. If people want to be paid to link to their content then over time they will attract far less links which will result in lower search results for their content and lower traffic. What if Google devalued such sites too?

    • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

      It’s those entities like the New York Times or Governments, that don’t understand business or are to arrogant to face reality, that seem to always be looking for every last way to “nick a penny” anywhere they can. They fail to understand that it’s them that is the failure. It’s their content, their business model that constantly keeps them in “the red”. Going after the links for payment is just one more example of their ignorance.
      Those that want payment for links will find that they slowly fade from the web and the Governments, in their pockets, will slowly find evermore displeasure with the citizens of the world.

    • Jack R

      People / Webmasters think google has too much power, the reality is they are a wimpy scraper site 100% depended on free website content, if worlds top 100 websites block google bot, google is history.

      If worlds top 100 websites block google they will still get traffic and they will be able to make more advertising revenue becuase they are unique destinations.

  • http://www.zoomtanzania.com Kirk Gillis

    This is the first I have heard of this, and I have to say I’m a bit confused. Why would any website want to prevent linking. I can understand their not wanting other companies to make money of their content by including snippets, there is some logic to that. But why wouldn’t they want aggregators or others to promote their content with a title link. It drives traffic to their site. Trying to charge aggregators for “Promoting Their Content” seems insanely short sited and quite stupid. But perhaps I am missing something here and there is means to their madness that I’m not getting.

    Seriously, forget for a moment the large impact on the web at large, and consider this from nothing other than the business perspective of the websites trying to charge for links to their content. Sure, maybe they will generate a new revenue stream, but wouldn’t they really force content aggregators to abandon their sites and choose to provide links to other sites of similar content. And wouldn’t this then have cause a decrease of traffic to these source sites who are charging, and more importantly, stop the content aggregators from introducing NEW VISITORS to the site who might not ever have otherwise heard of the site.

    Seriously, what I am missing. This seems monumentally stupid from a business perspective, but I assume that these sites must have considered all this and still believe it to be in their best interest. But, we all know what happens when you “assume”.

    • Jack R

      It is not about one site linking to another, but scraper sites like google who make money with free web content, why shouldn’t the webmasters ask for a share of profit.

  • http:/www.Identifind.com Lauri Johnson

    No I don’t and won’t pay for links. If someone is following a link, they’re doing a favor to the website they’ve linked to. On the other side of the coin, I keep getting requests for reciprocal links which I won’t do. Same thing.. I’ve lost that customer if they click on it. All I have on my site is inbound, internal links to my other pages. I don’t feel I should lead people to another site, because then .. I’ve lost them!
    The only benefit to linking to something is to substantiate something you’re referring to (perhaps in an article), so people can see all the facts. But, when you’re trying to sell something, as I am, I don’t care to lead people away from my site!

  • http://many J.T.

    I think it depends on the situation. The value of the link certainly comes into consideration. Paying for worthless links is not something that’s going to be of benefit, however it’s like any other advertisement, it it brings good traffic and business it’s worth doing. I think that the market will adjust itself. It always has, computers or not.

  • http://www.buy-titles-of-lord-register.co.uk lordregister

    As you point out, communication on the web between sites should befree and relevant.

    Perhaps a little more integrity could be used, or is that being too
    old fashioned?


  • http://www.TheBuyersBroker.com Nick Rioux

    Paying for links…!! If this became a reality, then it would totally destroy the original reason and purpose of the World Wide Web, www which was a spin off of the government’s private research network (web) where individuals shared research, white papers and relivant information freely. If the BIG corporations and world wide media are so worried about somebody stealing some of their content or information or infringe on their copyright article(s) – don’t post it on the FREE to Post anywhere on the www. And, see how quickly people and consumers (most corporations bread and butter) will soon find that you are no longer relevant to them and will go elsewhere for the information they seek.

    I believe this is being discussed because the Big corporations and world wide media are just looking for, yet another ‘Revenue Stream’ to fill their pockets with another source of income at the expense of the once FREE World Wide Web.

    BTW, if you want to protect your content, just post it as a Jpeg or any of the other types of images used in today’s world that are difficult to copy text…

    • http://dental-spy-implants.blog.ca don muntean

      Well stated…

  • http://extremesportsx.com/ Laura

    I think it’s getting a little crazy and in the end these sites that are charging people to link to them will be no more. I mean don’t they understand that links are good for their search engine rankings and by charging for them they will lose not only rankings but possibly their current visitors too. Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me.

  • http://Talkic.com David Katz


  • http://richinwriters.com Steven

    I think if a person or a business owns a website they have a right to do whatever they want with their website. If someone is looking for something they will eventually find it! That’s my belief. I also believe in Transparency but I think it’s a businesses right not be transparent however I do feel that if a business is not being transparent we the people can shed light to this. I think the age of transparency is nearing and it’s just a matter of time before businesses and news organization are forced to be transparent with everything! I don’t think this is that big a deal!

  • http://www.fengshui-consultants.co.uk Tom

    I think that you should be able to link freely (albeit accrediting providers – like you do with paper extracts and copyright). However the news media might well end up scoring an “own goal” if they persist in demanding payment for linking to their content. They no longer have a monopoly on providing news content, so the free content (e.g. from the likes of Twitter) will get linked (and read) and the paid content will become marginalised!

  • http://www.campfirecontent.com/ Charlie

    If we have to pay for linking, many will just not bother using links. So, the web will become a place just for those with the means to pay, I guess; because without the ability to freely use references and resources and other supportive materials, I think it will begin to shrink and shrivel right before our eyes.

    Those who cannot afford to pay might as well pack it in and go home, right? Without linking, everything changes, as we know. It is almost impossible to imagine not being able to use links freely, because, as Chris says: “…the web is based on pages freely linking to each other, and when barriers are set up that impede that, it makes for a broken web”.

    Furthermore, don’t the “linked-to” sites benefit anyway, with free linking? If I use links on my site or my content at article submission sites, I would think the sites I’m linking to would be pleased that I’ve “flattered” them enough to give them a “free referral” that just might provide some revenue (via their page ads?) for them. Hmmm…there’s that “greed” thing again. Let’s hope it doesn’t go the way of everything else, eh? I’m just sayin’…

  • http://www.guru30.com Rajesh (Guru30)

    Linking should never be monetized. Only I’m worried about those links which are unsafe. Maybe they need to be penalized. Otherwise the web is nothing but links, in its truest sense. Thanks @ChrisCrum.


    If you don’t want them linking to you, configure your server settings so they block hits from those referrers.

  • http://www.trafficconnection.com Lou

    My name is linked to my site. Now pay me. How ridiculous is this?

    The growth of the Internet is directly related to freedom. This whole issue makes starting new ventures on the net much more risky.

  • http://expatinthephilippines.com jan

    paying for using a link? how crazy do they think most website owners are? My blog has links to other blogs in the same niche and a few other usefull links. The moment I have to pay for those links I will remove them.
    But I think this will never happen. The reason the www exists is because of the linking to eachother and the search engines telling you where you can find certain information.

  • http://www.startrankingnow.com Nicole

    “You gave me free advertising… and now I am going to charge you for it…” That is what they are saying!

    In the first example of CEN.. so a site pays for awesome content… what we sometimes refer to as “Link Bait” … and then when the strategy is successful… someone actually LINKS to the content… the person linking is penalized/charged! What is the purpose of producing awesome content, other than to get natural links!

  • http://corporate-images.com Alan Bagg

    I don’t believe links should have a cost attached to them if they “provide information”. The whole idea of the internet is to have a free flow of information. Where this gets sticky is when a link is for “promotion.” All media have commonly charged an entity to “sell” its goods, services or information.

    With the changing paradigm that the world wide web provides, this blurring of the lines between information and promotion will continue to be a thorny issue. Maybe the simplest solution is to make all links free unless they are obviously an advertisement. The site (medium) get’s to say if it is an ad or not.

  • http://www.tronixmartmall.com Dalton Crist

    This seems like just another battle between the “haves” and the “have nots”. Those who have millions of links and a presence on the web trying to limit those who don’t yet have them as if they are trying to penalizing you because you didn’t get involved with the web as early as they did. They certainly wouldn’t appreciate it if anyone would’ve imposed such a fee on them when they were trying to get established. But, as always, the established tries to squeeze out the competition by simply charging a fee in order to be able to compete with them instead of just trying to be better at what they do for their customers than their competition. It’s pathetic when you begin to think about it.

  • http://whining Boo Boo

    What is going on ?? Paying for links ? Listen, once a link is out there its there to be shared. If you don’t want it shared then don’t publish it online.
    If you don’t want music or movies shared then don’t be in the digital content business.
    If you don’t want e.-books shared, then don’t publish e-books.
    The web is about the sharing of eveything, when will these morons understand that ?
    Quit whining and either embrace the web or get off it .
    These people ,like the content mafia want it all ways as it suits them.

  • http://www.theakurians.com General Bobby Farrell

    Another PRIME example of KAK (“infinitely unqualified”) intrusion!


    Our freedoms will be restored the SAME WAY they were established … and every SOCIALIST should be required by law to wear a center-placed target to conserve ammunition! After all, ammunition is a part of our economy!

    General Bobby Farrell,

  • Doron

    Wtf ???
    HTML is all about linking , one can not and should not even try to change this.
    If they will try they will be banned from all Internet activities and become a drifting shell. They might find themselves with no links to them . Imagine what if Google decide to skipp it’s search of all German websites ?

  • http://thecomputergal.com Nora McDougall-Collins

    Well, I’m awfully glad you aren’t charging me to link to this article, because I just posted it on my Facebook page for my web development students to discuss!

  • http://www.alliance-team.com Eugene Quijano

    Hello People, this subject is very interesting and just in time for the situation we are facing now with our website. Definitly I dissagree with paying to companies for links. I am not a thecnician person about internet and the way it works, but I have common sense and this does not look ok to me. It looks like a very well organize net of “smart” people, who create to themselfs a way to live exploting others and by the way, poluding the ciber space with garbage, maybe that is the reason that now if you search for something on internet, you just got garbage information and by the contrary, now to “find” a guide on internet these days is very hard. the net is polouded of advertisement and bad reviews, so to find directions about something you need to be an expert and to know how to search. internet is these days kink of scary.

    I am sure this situation is no gonna be forever, somebody have to do something about it soon, and yeah to stop “smartes”” ones living at the expense of others. Internet is gonna be regulated soon.

  • http://www:electric-reviews.org Mark Demers

    Paying for links has got to be the stupidest idea I`ve ever heard. Links don`t accomplish much anymore anyway with the new G search engine algorithm change. All that matters is personalized search for some reason. If I have clicked a link in the past it shows in search now – why – I don`t know.

    If people would have to pay for linking to snippets and headlines then the internet usability and user friendliness would be gone and and the people short on money who are just trying to eek out a living online would have to fold up and then the net would be only for the rich like everything else.

  • netace

    If Kissinger and his Bilderbergers and their collection of Commie puppets had their way, we’d have no Constitution, no rights, no freedom, nada. They would get 98% of whatever you earn. They would decide when and if you can visit a doctor, and what drugs, if any, they could prescribe for you. They have already polluted our world with GMO foods, poisoned our air and water, etc. So stealing more of your money by taxing a link that you might click on to find out more about how your government is screwing you seems like a natural next step for them.

  • http://speedoflightenterprsises.com Max Keele

    As a professional search engine optimization consultant, it pains me to have to fight this battle. My focus has always been on quality content, written and organized in a logical, search-aware manner. But when you’re up against a hundred other SEOs that will do anything to improve a search rank, that’s not enough to be competitive. In order to improve the search visibility of my clients, I HAVE to acquire links. Still, I fully agree with Mr. Crum. SEO, in many ways, has ruined the credibility of search. SEO, in many ways, has damaged the usefulness of the internet.

    Here’s the bright spot: with Google’s focus on local, individualized search results, and with the advent of smarter and smarter algorithms, SEO’s days are numbered. I predict that the work we now do–content, page optimization, link acquisition–will be made completely unnecessary (and futile) within the next 10 years. I cannot wait.

  • http://www.evsroll.com EVsRoll

    No payment for linking! We pay enough for everything else the way it is!

  • joe

    Hell no! That’s ridiculous. It’s like saying I need to pay for directions to the library. Pay ME to link to MY site? Wow, I’d be rich … or have no links to my site.
    Does that include search engine results (which of course link to sites)?
    Put Google out of business …

  • http://www.puamanawebdesign.com Sharon Spilman

    Just as the corporations always seek ways to ‘monetize’ everything from links on the internet to the very water we drink, this is a trend that will continue as long as corporations rule the world. The solution, I’m afraid, is that eventually there will be a two-tiered web. The first tier will be the ‘commercial’ web, where the big boys will hold all the cards and all the bandwidth, and you will have to pay to play. If you can’t afford their prices tough titty.

    The second tier will be a ‘distributed’, ‘free’ web, where everyone will eventually move. Look at the way data mining has taken over both social networking and search. Privacy will be a thing of the past, and the only free spaces left will be outside the purview of the current, managed DNS system (open DNS will grow in usage).

    DRM has already become a draconian system whereby users and providers are penalized for ‘sharing’ openly ANYthing that has a copyright on it (copyrights which are never-ending, by the way) and the result will be a general crippling of innovation and creativity in the ‘commercial’ realm of the web.

    We have attempts to constrict and constrain information through SOPA, PIPA and ACTA-like legislation, which seek to protect an outmoded and dying paradigm of content protection for the benefit of large corporations. (While they claim to be ‘protecting’ the authors of content, the artists and musicians, in reality, they are only protecting the corporate model of control, and the individual artists and musicians are getting little, if any benefit. Think back, if you can to the lawsuits filed against the distribution of VHS when it first came out – in an effort to protect the vinyl record and movie theatre industries… it didn’t work then and it won’t work now, but they will keep trying to make it work, rather than use creativity to change their business model to fit a new environment.)

    The purpose is, as always, is control over the information the public at large will have access to. We have already begun to move away from corporate media as a source of news and information, and have migrated to the web for REAL content. This is bad for their business, so they have to do something to stop that trend. If people have a clue as to what is really happening in the world, through access (LINKS) to real information, then they will get very angry, and just might begin to revolt.

    I would look into ‘open DNS’ if I were you – it’s the future of the free web. If you are on on Facebook or Twitter and you are at all concerned about privacy and free access, you should think about moving to non-google products for email, and open source (non-commercial) avenues of networking like Diaspora*. I’m working on that transition, myself and frankly, it’s nice to be able to see a little freedom and privacy online again.

  • http://safetyincounsel.com/ David McCannon

    Why would I change anyone to link to my site? If someone gives me a referring link to my site and I make a sale because of it; it is a win win for me. This sound like something a search engine would do because giving referrals is how they make money. If pay linking was required all the little guys like me would have to shut down.

    • http://www.trafficconnection.com Lou

      This is all about money and control, not about what is best for the Internet or the public. Those that want to charge for others linking to their content just can not find a way to monitize their site.

  • http://www.editorsandmarketing.com Bruce Rogers

    No – it should be free to all – that’s what makes the internet work.

  • http://christianityetc.org Bob Sherbondy

    If the news agency wants the content of its publication to be easily seen by the public on its extensive platforms, like the Internet or Facebook, then it shouldn’t charge for links to those platforms or media. If they only want their news to be available to paying customers, they should only distribute it through media that only their customers can access. If they want to attract more paying customers to their products, they can do this by advertizing to get more buyers not trying to force members of the public to have to pay for their products that they totally display on public platforms. A lot of magazines and books are sold from shelves, but prospective purchasers don’t usually have to pay to glance at the covers or even flip through the pages before they decide to buy the publication in order to fully read it. The convenience of the Internet should not be hampered by forcing its users to pay for links to available products or services that are basically released to the public.

  • http://www.ckeid.com Ckeid

    Sounds interesting but stupid . Who ll pay for linking. Ya, i believe my site right could have a solo, without links or may be i could have made a thousands… But b in mind that its ll b very difficult to successed if we pay for linking

  • ken brody

    absolutely not

  • Spamexterminator

    WTF They want you to pay them to advertise for them. OMG they are so effin stupid if I ever get a threat telling me I have to pay them for linking to them I WILL take them to court and make them PAY ME for the advertising of whatever is in question. They have to pay thousands of dollars for a 30 second commercial on the TV and now their bitchin’ because people are giving them free advertising. I can understand if someone takes one reporters news story and adds a few commensts and try’s playing it off as theirs but Lowe’s F*©$em Hope people stop shopping there because of them. It’s just plain stupidity and greed I think it’s time for anonymous to delete them jackasses.

  • ChuckT.

    Sure, let them charge, as long as a means is set up for me to block them. AND, I want them to receive notice each time they are blocked from being delivered to me. I want them to know by hit-loss count what they have served them selves up to.

  • http://www.jayseducation.com Tom Jay

    The idea is either so stupid that it is hard to find a good point in it EXCEPT a source of income for the person who wants you to pay. However since it is called greed, it is not good either.

  • http://dental-spy-implants.blog.ca don muntean

    No. Should I pay a fee when I tell someone about something I read? Our society is getting more greedy?

  • Paul

    I don’t think you have have to pay for links as with the current GFC compainies should be glad to link to other company websites in return for the se advantage, I my opinon this is we’re larger companies can help smaller ones and again I’m return, with companies falling by the wayside everyday all over the world a little thing such free linking websites my have help keep them afloat, as se of these services are priced so hi that even a large company struggling can’t afford to do it.

    So no it should be FREE

  • http://www.alshayb.com/ jaber

    شات الشايب دردشة الشايب شات صوتي دردشة صوتية صوتية  صوتي الشايب شات الخليج تعب قلبي كويت الحب بنت ابوي شات الفنر المها كول بوابة العرب وسن الصوتيه بانوراما الخليج شات الغلا كويت كام شات حبي لقيت روحي شات كوت الكويت شات كلام شات الكويت منتديات العاب صور يوتيوب توبيكات زخرفه افضل شات عربي افضل دردشة صوتيه عربيه اضف اعلانك اعلانات الصحف

  • http://www.cybervideogameworld.com Terry Hamilton

    In regards to the link services, if you are assessing the business aspects of your choice, it should be a pre-requisite to the overall agreement(s) or intitlements involving your package arrangement. Nothing could be more clearer.

  • chase

    Lol, unbelievable what the web has come to isn’t it?

    The cure for this whole mess is to let them charge what they want. $1 a link per day sounds good to me.

    ’cause I’m gonna start charging $5 bucks a day to those same people to have a link on my sites…

    So that gives me after the $1 per day to them, $4 bucks a day per link in profit.

    Yeah, I say let ‘ en go for it…

    Have ‘ en send me a bill… and the address to send mine.
    I’ll even except cash payments, and until they pay my bill, I hold payment on their bill as collateral.

    I’m going to like this!

    Well gotta go, Gotta post more link backs to them, means more money for me, Yippee!

  • http://ecoretteasia.com E-lites Electronic Cigarette

    Linking is free to everyone. Link exchange will boost your ranking on SE, and your traffic and sales. One way links to directories are free and if you find the right website they submit your website title, url and description to 100’s of directories. Link exchange is a bit more time consuming as it needs to be confirmed by webmasters and a little knowledge of Html code is neccesary.

  • http://www.cleverenglish.comze.com Gerardo Javier Gálvez Arellano

    What kind of crazy thing are you talking about? Of course no one have to pay anything for linking one Web site with another. Who in the world is trying to brake the Web? It even should be technologically impossible to do so. Or we should make it technologically impossible to do so.

  • http://www.crystalimagesusa.net Oscar

    Good quality links have value. The better the link the greater the value. It makes sense that owners of valuable websites can make money. Money is often used as a measure of quality.

  • http://www.goyol.mn Mongolian Fashion Site

    Goyol is a Mongolian word which translates to Beauty synthesized into Fashion.

  • http://www.dieti.mk/ диети

    This is ridiculous.
    And if someone do not like to have my link point his content I will remove it. He is loosing…

  • VRodriguez

    This is an example of a bad idea taken to the extreme as it would essentially choke the web.

  • http://www.the-black-angel.com Dan Oliver

    Instead of fixing things that need to be fixed we’ll get yet another law nobody needs and that makes things worse. Besides, knowing it comes from the Germans, who have successfully managed to make life miserable for online businesses with several really stupid laws over the last years, I fear the worst.

    I can understand why governments want to restrict our free access to media and information, they have less control over the web than the censorship they can exert on printed press and TV (example: German president Wulff threatens Bild magazine and bans article publication about him).

    But journalists and news reporters should be opposed to this, because of ethical reasons, and also because they’re missing an opportunity to expand their business.

    If more laws like this come into effect over the next years, small and medium size companies will be outright killed and forced out of business. All we’ll have left in the long run are corporations that can do whatever they want and who barely care about their customers or anything other than the bottom line on their profits report.

    Twenty years ago, OCP from Robocop was clearly a work of fiction, but who knows if we will think the same way about it in another twenty years. Right now, that scenario seems very plausible to me. We better brace ourselves, small business owners.

  • http://wheretobuyipad3online.info/ tim

    worldwide web is all about freely and naturally linking content. Paid links are a no-no considering the above. One solution would be google lowering the value of those links

  • http://www.d-i-jonline.com/paypertalk/ paypertalk

    linking to other sites that have no ranking or traffic and paying is ridiculous,but if it is a high ranking website off course the website owner or organization would want some kind of payment

  • Martin

    Here is how Google could handle it, should they wish:

    “Dear XYZ company. We note your request for payment for Google providing you with a free service to promote the commercial interests of you and your clients.

    “Having given the matter due consideration we have decided that, in order to indemnify ourselves from any potential future legal complications, that we will remove in their totality ANY mention of ANY kind whatsoever of your firm and ANY of your clients from the Google search engine.

    “The effect of this will be to render you and your clients completely and utterly invisible to the 1 Billion+ people who visit Google every month.

    Have a nice day!

    Best wishes,

    the Google Team.”

  • http://www.LAokay.com Steve G

    I think those sites that are on the “pay me to link to me” bandwagon should have invoices sent to them by all the websites that they are linking to. I wonder if they then will think it’s a good idea not to let people link to them for free.

  • http://www.crushermaker.com/ Crusher

    “No payment for linking! We pay enough for everything else the way it is!”

  • http://www.Netcommercial.net Simon

    Let me be clear when I say NO! The Government has screwed enough things up… Please do not let them in to screw things up on such a functional business tool.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McZWgIFg604 Dev

    Why would anyone have to pay for links, where there are a bunch of sites out there that are more than happy to link to you for me?

    I don’t mean anything by, but this is nonsense, and out of question to pay for something that is already free:(


  • http://www.alda-architects.com Alan

    You are actually doing them a favour by linking as you are promoting traffic to them.

  • http://danatanseo.com Dana Tan

    Excellent post. No, absolutely not. News organizations shouldn’t be charging anyone for linking or snippets. Think about the implications of that. Would this then mean that everyone writing a paper for school, a research piece or a presentation have to pay their sources for the ability to quote their content? Am I going to have to pay a fee to the Washington Post when my 5th grade son writes a paper and wants to use quotes to back up his research. Ridiculous. I like your comment about praying for the death of Web browsers. I think that day is coming sooner than we all may think.

    Fortunately, since government tends to move at the speed of sludge, the technology will probably be obsolete by the time they actually write a law to address it.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/white-hat-link-building Nick Stamoulis

    “links give more people more opportunities to read your content, and if they’re not reading your content, they’re just going to read someone else’s”

    Couldn’t agree more! Why would I want to link to a site that is going to make me pay to do it? Even if I think it’s a good article/source, I’ll give my link to the #2 site that isn’t charging me.

  • http://www.yoursolargenerator.com Glen Jones

    No way should the links have walls set up to break linking to other sites or directories.

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