6

This seems like free advertising, which could get out of hand pretty quickly as the site grows.

example here and here

beside the obvious attempt to create traffic for their own websites, the answers provided are very good.

However, how long before other food sites, i.e. food network etc. show up and start spaming their website in answers to every question?

8

If the answer answers the question, and the link is relevant, I don't have a problem with it. And by "relevant", I don't mean "tangentially related" - linking to a salsa recipe from a question on salsa preparation is fine; linking to a salsa recipe from a question on vegetable chopping technique isn't (unless the recipe itself goes off on a tangent about chopping...)

Linking to recipes is just fine, if the goal is to provide an answer without getting bogged down in specific details of something that has any number of variations.

I'm much less inclined to be tolerant of links to pages trying to sell something. Linking to frozenorganicchickensbymail.com might be appropriate for a question on the availability of organic meats, but linking to it from every question on chicken should not be allowed, even of the answers are otherwise informative - as you say, this could get out of hand quickly.

(Something like this actually happened on SO: a tool vendor worked links to his products into hundreds of his answers, some of them blatantly irrelevant)

8

Spam is generally defined as (a) indiscriminate and (b) unwanted.

As long as the poster is actually providing a good answer, and discloses her relationship to the site (which is pretty obvious from the name alone, in this case), there is no problem.

If somebody keeps linking to the same website in every answer without actually answering the question or without disclosing their relationship, that's a problem.

Remember - we want to attract experts. Experts are probably going to have websites. Experts are going to ask "what's in it for me?" and the ability to pull in a little traffic for themselves is near the top of that list. As long as they are actually giving back by providing quality answers and aren't trying to "dupe" anyone into clicking the link - this is a good thing.

(Edit: As Knives mentions, the link should also be relevant to the answer. I figured that was implied by my answer when I wrote it, but better to be totally clear. If you want to advertise a non-contextual link, the place to do that is in your profile.)

8

I thought I'd weigh in, since the two posts in question are mine.

I am doing my best to provide good answers when I believe I have information helpful to the questioner. My primary goal is not to promote my own recipe site & blog, but rather it is to be a part of the community here. And, as much as I link to it, I'm not actually a rep for the Nat'l Ctr for Home Food Preservation (darn them for not having an acronym that can be pronounced - what are we supposed to call them - NaCHoFooP?).

Knives and Aaronaught both provide a great explanation of when linking to one's own site is and is not acceptable, and I agree entirely.

Also, I will always gladly remove any link, whether to my own site or someone else's, if it's deemed inappropriate by the Cooking.Stackexchange community.

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