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Clarity on guidelines please

Feb. 20, 2015

My latest article was just flagged with the reason of "affiliate links". The guidelines say "If you're found to be posting spammy content, content written for promotional purposes using affiliate links (including content on the topic of "making money online") or anything that doesn't add value to the WordPress community community, your account will be suspended or removed. "

Pretty sure the article that I spent hours on isn't spammy, and does add value to the community. Yes, there are a couple of affiliate links in the content, but ... really?

Comment
7 votes   Flag
Tim Nash

I think who ever flagged it was probably being harsh, though on my screen your table stops on the page fold in just the wrong place so on first glance could appear to be the end of the article so maybe they didn't spot it continued.

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Tim Nash

Actually having logged in to see who flagged it, I suspect because that particular user has in the past been flagged for mainly containing affiliate links in thin content he was trying to be helpful.

It's worth remembering they are exactly what they say on the tin, guidelines and ultimately anyone is welcome to flag content it still get's manually reviewed before its removed. So it requires at minimum 2 folks to agree.

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Vladimir Prelovac

I am glad that you brought this up Donna. As Tim noted flag does not get something removed, everything is manually reviewed.
Personally I tend not to read articles if I notice affiliate links in them (which is usually the first thing I check if they are new to me). Bloggers still need to make money, so this is perhaps a start of a good discussion.

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Donna Cavalier

Maybe it's just a wording thing then. In the email that gets received when a post is flagged, perhaps the email could mention that a user has flagged the post, which will then cause the post to be manually reviewed by the admin staff. It might be less alarming. Or who knows...maybe the email is clear enough to others, and I just misunderstood it. That's always possible too. It is interesting that you don't read articles with aff links in them. I mean, I always have my "this highly recommended thing might only be recommended because he or she is an affiliate" hat on, but I'll still read the article if it's not blatantly spammy. WordPress's most favored blogger would never get read if product affiliation was grounds for not reading. (Won't mention any names, of course). Just not sure affiliation itself should be a criteria. Quality, relevance, usefulness, etc....definitely. But maybe I'm just biased. :)

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Olaf Lederer

In my opinion nothing is wrong to have one or two affiliate links inside an article if the information is valuable. I see there is no difference between an affiliate link or a link in the navigation menu to some premium service the same website offers.
@Donna, one of my article was flagged because of two affiliate links and I worked 3 days to gather the information. I know how you feed ;)

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Joe Can Write

Yes, perhaps if a website is promoting any service or product they benefit financially from, then it should be viewed in the same way as affiliate links in a post.

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