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More odd links on BBC Sport

February 9, 2011 4 Comments

One BBC problem is too much transparency. Write a blog post about paid links on the BBC and they'll happily link to it. I continue to believe there is no official policy to sell links on the BBC and I've yet to see compelling evidence that rogue admins are selling links.

On the other hand what the hell is this (care of Greg Dickson)?

Odd BBC "sport site" link to

Odd BBC "sport site" link to

This is a link to a car rental website in the "From other sport sites" section of this story today about the England game.

That link is one of the automated ones that are generated via Moreover for the BBC - but  it goes via a series of weird redirects to the site in question. The actual link is to: which goes via a 302 redirect (invisibly via to the site.

There are two issues here:

  • The BBC isn't linking out fairly. 302 redirects don't pass link value in Google's eyes. If the BBC links to sites, it should link to them properly not via weird links that don't count to Google. It promised to stop doing these odd redirected links in 2008. Why's it still going on?
  • Also, why the hell is it linking to as a sports site? The Moreover feed needs cleaning up.

Fortunately, the transparency of the BBC means we'll find out soon no doubt ...!

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  5. BBC hoodwinks bloggers with promises of links

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  • Luke says:

    I noticed Car Rentals pop up a few weeks ago when I was reading the story of a local murder. I used the BBC's feedback form to point out how inappropriate they are as a news source.

    I don't believe the BBC would sell links, I just think they are being (worringly) naive about the role, useage and power of links. External links have been their weakness for years - they don't know how to handle them and need some advice.

  • buyer beware says:

    Discountvouchers dot co dot uk is also badged by Google as a news publisher and appears in results for news searches alongside car rentals.

    Both websites are owned by asap ventures which publishes a blog here

    If Google thinks that discount voucher and car rentals are news publishers then it does not understand the difference between news and SEO. God help the Google generation.

  • buyer beware says:

    Both seem to have gone from Google News results, just spamming Google News via press release publishers along with many others. Why does Google think press releases are news?

  • James B says:

    I have noticed unusual links appearing on the BBC Sport for a long time - recently with Betfair - and previously Fantasy League Limited. I actually have an email from the BBC in 2005 replying to a complaint about a link to the latter.

    This states that: "when we provide links to other websites it is as a service for the user. The BBC does not receive any payment for this, we merely provide links to sites which are related to the current site and, therefore, may be of interest to the current user.

    "Nevertheless, I realise that you may hold a different view on the matter. Therefore, please be assured that your comments have been registered and have been added to a daily log that is made available to the relevant production teams and Senior BBC Management."

    The link was taken down around the same time as I received the reply.

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