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Advertising and the use of external links on Wheaton web pages

Posted on June 3, 2009

Increasingly we are asked about the appropriateness of links to commercial enterprises from Wheaton College web pages. Today we're announcing a policy guide to help web page editors understand both the desirability of useful external links and the unacceptability of advertising on our site.

From the policy guide:

Overview

An external link is a link from a Wheaton web page to information on the Internet provided by a person, entity or organization outside of the college. Web page authors and editors are encouraged to include external links that provide web site visitors with access to information that is useful, relevant and appropriate. This document provides guidance on the use of external links for those responsible for Wheaton College web pages.

Advertising

It is unacceptable for Wheaton web sites to deliver content whose primary purpose is to solicit or encourage a web site visitor to purchase goods, services or information from external persons or organizations. Wheaton web pages will not include banner ads, popup ads, search ads, display ads or any other type of advertisement. In general, college web pages should avoid layouts that might be misconstrued as advertisements for external organizations.

Given our status as a not-for-profit, educational institution these two principles are clear. But applying them to real web sites is often not so simple. The policy guide is part policy statement, part usage guide, with examples, to aid web page editors.

Download the complete policy guide: The use of external links on Wheaton web pages

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