Google: No, You Can't Force Someone To Link To You Legally

Apr 17, 2019 - 8:30 am 9 by

Google Fist

Back in December we reported that Google updated their link schemes guidelines to disallow "requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement" to link to you with a do-follow.

The topic came back up when SEO personality Rand Fishkin said he thinks all websites should put a clause in their TOS requiring do-follow links when being quoted.

The guideline in Google's document specifically disallows this, it reads "Requiring a link as part of a Terms of Service, contract, or similar arrangement without allowing a third-party content owner the choice of using nofollow or other method of blocking PageRank, should they wish."

Danny Sullivan had to come in any clarify an early point he made in August 2018, before the link scheme document was updated, to say:

Here is what Danny said in August by the way:

My former colleague and friend Matt McGee got into it too with Rand:

Former Googler Pedro Dias has some thoughts:

Well, everyone in the SEO community have thoughts on this...

Don't you just love the SEO community.

In any event - I've said this numerous times since the nofollow attribute came out. Google keeps expanding and broadening their guidelines on how webmasters are allowed and not allowed to link out. I see both sides but it upsets me to see this stuff keep broadening and broadening. That do not cross line keeps getting pushed more and more.

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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