Newspaper sites start to scrap ‘no inbound links’ policies

The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror have joined the Daily Telegraph in scrapping their bans on other websites linking to them without prior written consent.

Ian Douglas, head of digital production at, says they dropped the clause as soon as they read about it on Twitter.

David Black, Group Director of Digital Publishing at Trinity Mirror, says it’s ‘being fixed’ for

And James Bromley, Managing Director at Mail Digital, says ‘We also will be allowing people to actually link to our website shortly’.

You can read their full comments on the original post, here. Most people at newspapers clearly had no idea their T&Cs banned other sites linking to them, and they made no attempt to enforce this. Ian Douglas added that ‘it says more about the relevance of Ts and Cs than the various papers’ attitude to linking’.

There has been no comment yet from the Sun, Times, FT or Independent.

The ‘no links’ clauses, found in several papers’ sites’ terms & conditions, provoked amazement on twitter. But it seems newspapers aren’t alone – there are more sites with similar conditions such as these large companies and these public sector organisations.

Maybe they’ll get better at linking out some time soon, too …

5 thoughts on “Newspaper sites start to scrap ‘no inbound links’ policies

  1. paulbradshaw

    Thanks again Malcolm – whenever I have sessions with editors I go on and on about the importance of linking out – not just for editorial reasons but for hard commercial reasons too: Google likes pages with lots of links in them; and people who have been linked to are more likely to blog about you, creating more hits.

  2. Julie Delvaux

    It’s wonderful to read this article for two reasons. #1, it shows that there IS some power in Twitter, not just the noise. And #2, that some papers do recognise that it’s important to adjust their policies to the changing world. On my Arts&Culture blog I have often linked to the appropriate articles from many newspapers, not only British as a matter of fact, and never even had a thought that this could be treated as a breach of their T&Cs. The link was always credited, and two of the most read posts on the blog, one about Barbra Streisand’s concert and another about Slavoj Zizek lecture, both included several links to the nationals, e.g. The Independent. I also know that people have gone to visit the newspaper upon reading the blog post (this is what Paul Bradshaw notes). The “no linking” policy is clearly outdated, and whilst it is important to enforce the proper credit of the source, it is quite obsolete to prohibit linking altogether.

    Julia (@mundusvivendi)

  3. quirkyalone

    >>> The “no linking” policy is clearly outdated

    Moreover, it’s questionable how they would enforce it. In my website, I can link to whatever I can, it’s my freedom of expression.

  4. Pingback: The public sector doesn’t understand the web « Freelance Unbound

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.