What will cause my link to be blocked?

What criteria do the DZone Links Moderators use when they decide whether to approve, bury, or block a link?

ehagan gravatar image By ehagan 16 asked Dec 03, 2010 at 10:45 AM
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Glad you asked! There are several reasons why a link might be blocked. You wouldn't believe how many links are blocked everyday just to keep spam from engulfing DZone Links.

Why We Block Links

Developer Focus: The page you link to must contain some content that is relevant to a software developer audience. While "Cool Wallpapers" or "Healthy Foods" might be interesting in general, they are not appropriate for DZone. Make it clear in your headline or description that your link is related to developer interests in some way.

Marketing: Links should never be blatant advertisements. It's ok to link to a tutorial on using Oracle DB, for example. It is NOT ok to link to a page that is basically just an advertisement for Oracle DB. We will reject any "blog" posts that are really just pure ads for some company. Visitors don't want people trying to sell them things on DZone Links, so don't try.

Linkjacking: This is when a user posts a link to a page that contains little to no text and then has a link to the real content. These links are annoying to users because the process is redundant. It just means that the user has to click through more pages to get where they want. Make it easy and link your DZone link directly to the original content. Doing this will also prevent having several links about the same story or resource. It is sometimes ok if your blog compiles a large list of useful links that would have been hard for someone else to compile. Still, we would rather have you post each of those links individually to DZone links.

Vote Gaming: DZone moderators have a notification system that allows us to see if the same group of users are voting for the for the same blog/company's links to get them high up on the top links list. Since burying these links will not remove them from the top links list, we will block them if we have evidence of vote gaming on a link. It's okay to have 3-5 friends vote up your links, but more will cause your link to be blocked.

As an example, vote gaming is easily noticeable when the same set of users always propel a company's blog to the top links.

Cracked Software Links: We do not allow links to pirated software or tutorials on how to crack software. Developers like you probably worked very hard to build that software, so give them the compensation they deserve.

Jailbreaking tutorials are perfectly fine! Jailbreaking an iPhone, for example, is not illegal.

Foreign Language Links: Unless your link title, description, and content contain at least 95 percent English writing, we will block it. Our moderators and most of our audience share English as a common language. We want our audience to have a standard language in which they can view all of their content on DZone. Our moderators can't understand links with titles or descriptions that are not in English, so they cannot properly moderate. These links will be blocked.

Blatant Spam: This will result in your account being banned, swiftly!

Here are a few other simple things:

  • Blatantly promoting something, even tech-related, is a no-no
  • Very vague or really short content (usually in combination with tons of ads)
  • When in doubt, look at the amount of ads around the content: too many ads is a block
  • Reject reviews if there is no personal opinion. if it is just a copy/paste of the product description then block.
  • Reject "blog" posts that are really just ads for some company.
  • Links to cracked software
  • Most SEO related
  • Things that are not developer related
  • Wordpress that is not code related. Templates, pictures, fonts, formats.
  • Web development stuff that has been seen on the site before. Sites of pictures, photo-shoped stuff, fonts, logos, all will be blocked

NOTE: If you consistently post links that are blocked by moderators, your account will be deactivated automatically. If you post just one link that is blatant spam, you could be blocked immediately.

Why We Bury Links

Here are some reasons why your link may be approved, but then immediately buried:

Duplicate Content: If your link contains the same content as another link, the link that was posted second will be buried. Even if there are many reports describing one event we will start burying some of those links if we already have several different stories on that event. Each new report should bring a different perspective to the story.

High Ad Density: Avoid posting links from sights with so many ads that it becomes hard to find the actual content. If a site has really annoying splash, or moving window ads, or popups, don't link to it. Some domains are universally blocked because of this.

Very Little Content: If the page you link to has a paragraph or less of content, it had better be funny, or be very useful. Otherwise, it's just taking up space on the Links page.

Reviews: Software reviews should be unbiased in their presentation of facts and should also provide a personal opinion/assessment. Don't just copy/paste a product description and call it a review.

mitchp gravatar image By mitchp ♦♦ 377 answered Dec 03, 2010 at 10:49 AM
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asked: Dec 03, 2010 at 10:45 AM

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Last Updated: Mar 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM

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