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Surreptitious Link Placement on PHPFreaks.com
January 13, 2006 @ 07:22:14

Both Vidyut Luther and Tobias Schlitt have noticed an unfortunate trend with the PHP portal site, PHPFreaks.com - the surreptitious placement of advertising links in text that was never meant to have it.

From Vidyut:
I got an email this morning from PHPfreaks.com. The email announced the availability of 5.1.2. So, I decided to click the link just to see what was new. As I was reading the article, I clicked on the word PHP. I noticed that this link took me to www.serverpowered.com. Strange I thought, so I looked at some other links. Basically, the first paragraph, and any instance of the word PHP, is automatically hyperlinked to the serverpowered.com.

And, from Tobias:
As Vidyut pointed out, phpfreaks.com seems to automatically create a link everywhere on their website, where the word "PHP" appears. They do this even in user comments. Apparently this seems to be a nice service, if the link would direct you to php.net (or maybe some explaination page or something). But instead they link to some hosting provider which supports PHP (what also well known as a "sponsored link").

They both note that having sponsorship is okay, but when it starts to interfere with the content of the site, placing links in comments/text where it wasn't wanted, there might be some issues with that...

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