No Linking Allowed

The clue to the usefulness of the world wide web is in its name. It’s a web. You click on links to follow your thread through many different sites.

A well constructed site will expose precise web accessible addresses for all of its content. Occasionally you’ll hear about a site (generally a large corporate site) that objects to people linking to “deep links” (where you link directly to the content of that you’re interested in rather than going via the front page of a site) but generally web site owners seem to have understood the benefits of the web-like nature of.. er… the web.

Enter Iain Dale and Paul Staines, who are two of Britain’s most successful political bloggers (or so they like people to think). They don’t like deep linking. Or, to be precise, they don’t like deep linking by particular people. So they’ve added some javascript to their sites so that anyone following a deep link from either Bloggerheads or The UK Today (two sites that have been critical of Dale and Staines and who have used deep linking into their sites to back up their criticism) is redirected to the front page of the site in question. The code was apparently donated to the cause by their tame script kiddie.

Tim Ireland goes into more detail and the Ministry of Truth also covers the topic, pointing out that the bar can be circumvented by the simple expedient of turning off javascript.

It’s nice to know that Tim and friends are getting under their skins enough to justify them implementing these changes. But I wonder where it will go from here. I’m pretty sure that Tim and co. have far more techie friends than Dale and Staines.


  1. They’re all idiots anyway! Who cares about their little-boy opinions? Would the world really be any worse off if all these morons got vapourised? I don’t think so! People should find something better to do with their time.

  2. I really should look into cross platform ways of preventing this. It’s possible as a webmaster to stop firefox sending a refer header, for example, by linking to a data: URL that has encoded in it a webpage that redirects to the actual page you want to link to.I’m not sure what Opera/Safari does in these cases. It’s also possible that IE would also be able to be adjusted with about: style urls.Just a thought.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.