The public sector doesn’t understand the web

Amusingly, thanks to Paul Bradshaw, I’ve just found out that my links to the Daily Mail in a couple of posts were against the paper’s terms and conditions. 

Apparently the papers have realised just how stupid (and unenforceable) that was and have recanted

Well done (though will it save them? Maybe not).

But apparently many government departments still insist that bloggers et al ask for editorial permission to link to their content. And this while take-up of government e-services is still apparently abysmal. 

The twisted irony of all of this is that Google – the primary route by which citizens access public sector websites – considers an inbound link a ‘vote’ for the site when it comes to assessing its importance and thus its place in search results. So by actively discouraging inbound links, these websites are doing one of the worst things possible to knock down their search engine ranking and web traffic.

Clearly the public sector – as well as many newspapers – just don’t understand how the web works. Your tax dollars (pounds, euros) at work…


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