Chris Peters's Blog

Strategy F-up: you can't control the web

January 28, 2009

GateHouse Media filed a lawsuit against the New York Times [via Wayback Machine] for linking to one of its sites. Their argument was that by linking directly to the article, the NYT-owned site was causing visitors to bypass the home page, which contains ads that support the site.

This is very flawed strategy on GateHouse’s part. The key feature of the Web is hyperlinking. Every piece of content should have a distinct URL that identifies it. And other sites should—and will—link to your content.

If you’re not OK with that, then you shouldn’t be publishing your content on the Web. And guess what, you need to publish your content on the Web if you want to survive.

Lastly, anyone that understands a little bit about SEO understands that links are the new online tip jar. I know a lot of companies that would love to receive links from their competitors.

Forget that. I know a lot of companies that would love to receive a link from one of NYT’s sites!

Written by Chris Peters, your friendly neighborhood digital marketing professional with over 20 years of experience of web design, programming, SEO, and marketing.