Thousands of Sites that Ban you from Linking to them.

by rishil on March 28, 2011

I always enjoy reading stuff Malcolm Coles puts out. Today, he just dropped a really well written post:
15 more sites that forbid you from linking to them


Yes. It is. In this day and age more links means more more more rankings. So why are these sites not allowing people to link to them?

Legal Legacy

I blame the lawyers. Many of these statements used to exist in the days of iframes, when loads of people use to iframe other sites to make up their own. These iframes were seen as links, hence hundreds of legal teams just simply copied and pasted terms from one another, and to this day this outdated concept still exists.


I randomly picked a paragraph from Malcom’s post:

You are not permitted to create a link to any part of our Services other than the home page unless you have our prior written consent.

What does that give me?

Well of course Malcolm ranks first for it. But what about the rest? Lets look at them:

You are not permitted to create a link to any part of our Services other than the home page unless you have our prior written consent (and for the avoidance of doubt, such consent shall be deemed given in respect of widgets and embeddable media players which we may make available PROVIDED THAT you use them in accordance with these Terms and any further instructions published through our Services). We reserve the right to withdraw linking permission without notice. Our Services must not be framed on any other site.

You are not authorized to (i) resell, sublicense, transfer, assign, or distribute the site, its services or content; (ii) modify or make derivative works based on the site, its services or content; (iii) except for linking to this site’s home page, create Internet links to the site, its services or content, or (iv) “frame” or “mirror” the site, its services or content on any other server or Internet-enabled device. All rights not expressly granted in this Agreement are reserved by us and our licensors

You must not transmit, republish, copy, modify, frame, store (in whole or in part), pass off or link to any material or information on or downloaded from this site without our prior written consent.

However, you must not copy, transmit, modify, republish, store (in whole or in part), frame, pass-off or link to any material or information on or downloaded from this Site without our prior written consent.

I got bored after the first few proved I was right. However, if the theory holds, there are millions thousands of sites out there with this copy pasta  from lazy legal teams.

Lazy lawyers

Lazy lawyers


OK, OK, so I dramatised it a bit. There arent millions, but I would content thousands of sites… Thanks to Lord Manley and Matt for rapping my knuckles.  However, you need to run a number of variations of the original query, to find all of these sites… I only ran a few.

In Conclusion?

I have known this for a few years, funny how Malcolm spurred me to post this.

My Tip: Blame the Lawyers :) (and go and change these T&Cs on your sites!)

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Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile

{ 2 trackbacks }

SearchCap: The Day In Search, March 28, 2011
March 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm
Sites banning other sites from linking to them « Robert Wenger: A Web Designer and Computer Repairman
May 10, 2011 at 9:16 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Roie March 28, 2011 at 11:49 am

Lately i’ve seen an even stranger phenomenon, of legitimate sites blocking search engines all together for no apparent reason. Maybe it has something to do with them being religious sites. These sites enjoy fair amounts of traffic according to Compete. You can see an example when searching “challies”


malcolm coles March 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm

There’s definitely more than 28! There are a few different wordings sites use. They’ve all probably read
Even the Royal Mail still requires permission to link ( although everyone laughed at them last year:


Melanie Phung March 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I know lawyers write everything under the CYA principle (better to say they forbid everything, just in case) but when their ToS contain something so ludicrous as “you are not legally allowed to link to us”, you’d think that it could undermine the legitimacy of all the other (more important) stuff too. In other words, I would be less inclined to think ANY of the ToS are valid, if portions of it are clearly nonsense.


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