12 Comments

  1. Bridget M Willard
    · Reply

    Documentation is marketing, first of all. Secondly, if the Marketing Team had front-facing publishing ability maybe there would be content on WordPress.org. The Make WordPress ecosystem is handicapped from publishing good, useful content. I have personally had this issue when I was the Marketing Team Lead and we produced content per the Growth Council’s direction only to be turned away by Meta Trac.

    If Make WordPress can’t write the content, why not link out until the content is written?

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  2. Mike Schinkel
    · Reply

    Does that also mean no links to WordPress.com, JetPack, Akismet, or other Automattic’ commercial sites?

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  3. Devin
    · Reply

    Blanket policy making at its finest. I agree with Joost and Jon. This is a bad decision. I’m sure this policy won’t succeed and will undoubtedly fail. There’s too many excellent resources from commercial companies. Wow, just wow.

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  4. Chris Herming
    · Reply

    Great decision, documentation is not marketing and linking to commercial sites is breaching the idea of having non-profit incentivized documentation.

    I am tired of seeing companies manifesting their close relationship with WP and profiting out of that. Looking at some popular “SEO” plugins.

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    • Marc
      · Reply

      I think you’re right. But one question remains: Especially companies like Yoast provide employees who work on the core. If these are distributed, then WordPress will not have a bright future.

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      • Julian Montague
        · Reply

        What do you mean by “distributed”, Marc? Do you think that this change will significantly push companies away from WordPress? To an outsider like me, these comments from those representing companies just seem like whining. I can’t imagine this change will have any significant impact; I’ve never seen a link to third-party sites in all my time browsing Codex or Developer Resources.

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  5. Lorena
    · Reply

    It is impossible to control, people will be able to link wherever they want.

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  6. Adam Smith
    · Reply

    Relevance is the key. Just like a Google algorithm, links should be judged on their direct relevance to the content, regardless of whether or not the endpoint is commercial or not. This is the only policy that places the USER as the priority. Which surely must be the point of having the documentation in the first place?

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  7. Justin Tadlock
    · Reply

    In the past, the Codex linked to several of my tutorials (not sure if those links are in the more recent docs). And, those tutorials were on sites with commercial purposes. My goal with those tutorials was purely to pass on knowledge that I learned — of course, I benefited indirectly from links to those pages. There are many such tutorials and other forms of documentation on other sites. Even if writing docs is not entirely altruistic, they still hold value as a free resource.

    I’d hate to see users and other developers miss out on valuable information over such a policy decision. It sounds like this is a preemptive decision to stop possible abuse rather than abuse that is actively taking place.

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    • Alec
      · Reply

      The issue is that some of the WordPress ecosphere commercial companies abuse linking opportunities and create shallow, farmed, non-expert and commercial content on their weblogs in order to link farm. Some of those companies are those complaining loudest about this now.

      Your website and your weblog was never like that Justin. Your posts were often a deep read and often with no direct commercial benefit to you or your businesses.

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  8. Milana Cap
    · Reply

    Hello, I’d like to note that discussion about external links in WordPress documentation lasts for a few months now and is NOT finished. We still haven’t made any final decisions. It’s rather difficult discussion where we are trying to create an policy that will serve us all.

    For more info and joining the discussion please follow external-linking-policy tag on Docs team blog. Thank you.

    https://make.wordpress.org/docs/tag/external-linking-policy/

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  9. Dr Gallagher
    · Reply

    Will sites and services owned by Automattic be given another Carte blanch policy exemption ?

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