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Forums: Index WoWWiki policy Evaluation of external links

We will be reviewing external links (mostly guides and info sites related boss fights, instances, professions, and talent specs) for quality and ad content. Based on the reviews we will likely be removing several links, if they have low quality or not enough related content compared to similar sources in the external links sections.

Some rough guidelines:

  • If a link just goes to a page or site with mostly an aggregation of links to other sites, it will likely be removed.
  • If a link just goes to a page or site with duplicate info from other sites, it will likely be removed.
  • If a link just goes to a page or site with very out of date info (not updated for Cataclysm-Logo-Small at all), it will likely be removed.
  • If a link just goes to a page or site with roughly more than 30% ad space compared to actual informational content, it will be removed.

Feedback is, of course, appreciated. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 4 Apr 2012 2:44 PM Pacific

Hello there,
Damien from Icy Veins. At the end of March, I posted a message on Raylan13's talk page (User_talk:Raylan13#Links_to_poor_content_quality_websites) regarding links to poor quality websites. The reply was to open up a thread on the forums to discuss it.
I do not know whether this thread is a coincidence or a follow up on the aforementioned conversation. In any case, today, I went through most of the pages related to Death Knights, Hunters, Mages, Paladins, Priests, Warlocks, and Warriors. The idea was to edit the external link sections: remove outdated and broken links, improve the structure for pages that have a lot of links, and add links to our guides on Icy Veins for pages that were missing them.
While doing this, I spotted a number of dodgy links. The problem is that I do not want to remove these links without first discussing it, as it would seem that I am abusing the patroller access I have been granted (I add links to my own site, so there is a lot of potential bias, even though I try to remain objective).
The first type of links I would like to discuss are those that link to the following sites:
These websites do not provide very current information as everything is from Patch 4.0.3 and even back then, the builds they are proposing were more than questionable. Also, ads make up for more than 30% of the page content, so I guess they should be removed, but I prefer asking.
The second type of links I would like to discuss are those that link to sites such as You can find many of them on wowwiki (look at Mage#External_links, for example). The problem with these sites is not the questionable content, but the fact that, with each article, they are trying to deceive the user into clicking an affiliate link of some sort. On the link I gave, you can see that there are many links with anchor texts such as "Click Here for a Program with Pre-Made Keybindings and Macros", "Click Here to Learn How to Keybind your Mage". All these links redirect to, which redirects to (through yet an other intermediary redirection).
The third type of links I would like to discuss are those that link to sites that have no added value and just plainly paraphrase what you can already find on wowwiki; for example, sites and (see Rogue#External_links). The conception I have of a wiki (like wowwiki or wikipedia, not wikis that serve as software documentation) is that it should give succinct, clear, and concise information about a subject I am interested in. If I want to find out more on that particular subject, the external links will point me in the right direction. In the case of the sites I have just mentioned, they usually give the same information as the page that linked to them.
I will wait for a reply before taking any action. Thank you for reading me all the way there ;)
Icyveins (talk) 23:03, April 11, 2012 (UTC)
My post was directly in response to your message to Raylan13. I tried to summarize the general idea, but your post is much more thorough.
I discussed the removal of low quality external links with Raylan13 and we are behind your effort to clean up the External links sections on many high traffic pages, so take this as permission to go ahead with your plans.
Anyone who disagrees with Icyveins's edits, please post your reasons here before reverting or undoing them. We will be reviewing all removals of external links. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 11 Apr 2012 5:06 PM Pacific
I just went through all the pages that I am following. I removed all the low quality links, did a few updates for links that were outdated (mostly old links to or not under the elink format, and I added the External Links disclaimer where it was missing.
Regarding the disclaimer itself, it links to WoWWiki:External links. Could this page be updated to mention the new guidelines you listed in your opening post? Icyveins (talk) 15:45, April 12, 2012 (UTC)
I will link a guideline page after I make it. WoWWiki:External links is a policy page, so I'd have to look it over more carefully before I make any changes. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 12 Apr 2012 2:06 PM Pacific

Going forward

Okay, it has been a year and I haven't made the guideline page... sigh. However, I did lern about Special:LinkSearch as a good way to look for spam external links. Hopefully I will get around to making the External links guideline page. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 15 Apr 2013 7:59 AM Pacific

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