I blog for a website that gets close to five million visitors per month. Being the blog that it is, it basically is a genuine link farm to all notable content, summarized by a team of bloggers, with commentary. The reason I say this, is that if a site gets a link, they get a hefty traffic spike from us, which inevitably increases long-term traffic.
A few months back, I wrote an article linking to a site. Generally, I mention the publication’s name within the body of the post, then link to their corresponding story in what we call a “source” link that usually reads either “source”, “link”, or simply “read”. Well this time I used the phrase “This article says” forgetting to name the site but still linked out to them which is a conventional and expected way for most blogs. After catching the style error, I updated my post, but the linked-to site still wasn’t satisfied. They contacted us, even used the word plagiarism (which was way out of line), and just made a big fuss of a mistake and still don’t like how we use a “source” link rather than naming their publication in the actual link.
After talking with my editor, we decided to avoid linking to this site as much as possible, which we currently do. That’s sad because they usually point out good content, but now we just side step them and go directly to their source when we can. So even though we gave them links before, just not in the way they thought we should, now they get next to nothing. Moral of the story? Don’t be stingy when people are doing you a favor, be it free site traffic or a personal favor.