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Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really “good answers”?
How can I link to an external resource in a community-friendly way?

I just a posted an answer with a link in it. The link goes to a solution, that really solves the problem explained in the question. My answer was removed by a moderator with a comment "spamming a link isn't acceptable here, go to Meta and do a search for more detail". Could anybody give me a link to the explanation?


1 Answer 1


It appears you've answered try <hosting SaaS provider>, it's a free CI Hosted service to some questions, and commented on even more questions with the same answer. After some investigation, it appears you have commercial ties to said hosting provider.

It also appears that the last 5 out of 7 questions you answered contained a link to a project you are a developer on.

Needless to say, your posts have a history of just containing a link, and more over, they have that spammy smell. That's bad, and here's why:

  • The answer provides no context as to why it will help the end user (or moreover, they weren't even asking for a service in some cases, just a way to fix their problem
  • it seems like you're just promoting that specific service (which is spammy)

Your answers need context, and if the community sees a lot of answers where you're promoting a specific service, they're going to think you have some commercial affiliations with that service. If you do, it's best to add a disclaimer, otherwise your answers will be removed through a copious amount of flags.

Some things you can try:

  • Stay away from questions where you have an answer that includes a link to a project you're commercially involved in. You need some time to pass before the community will let you get away with it (Jon Skeet posts answers to his NodaTime project, but because he answers so many questions where he doesn't post that as an answer, it's ok).

  • When you do feel the need to answer with a link to a project you work on, make sure you're providing the following:

    • Context: Why will your solution help the user?
    • Specifics: How will it help the user: Preferably showing them code
    • Answering the question they ask: If they didn't ask for a service, don't give them one. If they did, realize that it may sound like a Shopping Recommendation question. We tend to close those.

So for now, just take a breather. There are plenty of questions on this site to be answered, and the more of them you answer without posting links to products you own, the more likely it is the community will let you post answers that include links to products you own.

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