Linking policies are stupid, but Boing Boing’s hack (no site with a linking policy, other than this one, may link to BB) doesn’t seem like the right response, despite a similarity to the GPL hack.
Instead of demanding that do-not-link-to-me sites not link to anti-link-policy-folk, it makes sense to me to do what the former ask, as the policy in question is self-defeating — inbound links are all important, ask any SEO huckster. However, antis need to go further, as simply not doing what do-not-link-to-me sites stupidly do not want us to do isn’t exactly a roof raising call to action.
The next step is to create a links-that-don’t-want-to-be clearinghouse for the purpose of destroying whatever GoogleJuice the foolish sites may have. So imagine a site with a do-not-link-to-me policy, example.com. Sites that would otherwise link to a page on example.com should instead prefix their link with http://stupidlinkpolicy.net/, e.g., http://stupidlinkpolicy.net/http://example.com/foo/bar.html. The content at this last URL would include the title and a page rank boosting summary of the content at http://example.com/foo/bar.html and an explanation of why the user hasn’t landed at the site they probably expected. If example.com ever removes its stupid linking policy, stupidlinkpolicy.net would redirect requests for http://stupidlinkpolicy.net/http://example.com/foo/bar.html to http://example.com/foo/bar.html.
A stupid link policy clearinghouse of this sort would be very easy to create, lots of work to maintain. Someone should do it. :-)
I realize that this doesn’t affirm the right to link whatever stupid link policies may say. Perhaps in order to do this and as a convenience to hapless searchers the clearinghouse itself would link to the pages it discusses, though via redirects so as to still withold juice.
[…] Second, linking policies could have been held to legally constrain linking, or worse, linking could have been held to require explicit permission. Metcalfe’s law? Never mentioned in the context of the (stunted) web. […]
[…] Brutally Bogus Link Policy Clearinghouse critizes Boing Boing’s probably joking and never enforced anti-anti-linking policy and adds a proposal that assumes linking policies are material and would add fragility to the web long before its time (link shorteners). […]