Guidelines:Commercial links and advertising

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
This page documents a guideline, on the Spotting World family of sites, regarding:
the acceptance of Commercial links and advertising within pages.

Guidelines are accepted as 'appropriate' by a consensus of active editors, but are not mandatory: if found inappropriate they should be interpreted with common sense.
Guidelines are subject to change, see Guideline for further details.

Commercial links

Spotting World is a community of like-minded people creating a resource to enhance their hobby or interest, for fun and pleasure. It is not an encyclopaedia, neither is it a link farm. While commercial links[1] are welcome when they are relevant and when they add value to the page concerned, they should have relevant explanatory text, and generally be limited to one link to one site per Spotting World page.

It is good practice to use {{Commercial links}} as a sub-heading in the External Links section both to show that the links are commercial, and to categorise the page as one containing commercial links. It is also deemed fair to all for the links to be listed in alphabetical order.

Whole pages about commercial organisations

If there were a "Fred Smith's Spotting Emporium" there would be no objection to the eponymous Mr Smith (or a person independent of Smith) creating a page describing the emporium and the benefits it brings to Spotters everywhere. But we would be unhappy if the article were not factual, were all trade puffery, and were to be written in poor taste. We would be equally unhappy if Mr Smith or the emporium felt that they then had any proprietorial rights over that page.

A matter of taste

Taste is subjective, yet, in a community such as this, many subjective opinions build a consensus tending to objectivity. Thus "good taste" is something indefinable, but created by the mass of editors all moving towards a common end – the end that the community creates for itself. It is "obvious", for example, that references to sexual matters are inappropriate on Spotting World, and thus clear that such references would be poor taste.

However, it is not obvious where the line should be drawn for Mr Smith and his Spotting Emporium. It is unlikely that embedded video of the "Roll up, roll up, come and get your spotting requisites here" would be in good taste, but it is likely that his March offer for special spotting scarves could be in good taste.

Thus the guideline is open both to development and to interpretation.

Google Page Rank is not passed

Spotting World does not allow linked pages to inherit GPR or equivalent with other search engines. The HTML attribute rel="nofollow" is used in every external link from the group of wikis.[2]


  1. A commercial link is a link that appears to be solely for the commercial benefit of the site linked to, adding little or nothing to the Spotting World page it is linked from.
  2. This attribute is documented well in a Wikipedia article.