In this question the author links to an article he wrote. He/she is honest enough to mention they wrote the article, but in other communities (e.g. MetaFilter) self-linking is frowned upon as it's easily rife for abuse. What do you think?

  • Others below have put the question of self-linking in general into good context. As for the particular link in question, it was a purely educational call as I am in no way personally associated with that site - which FWIW is for a now-defunct mag that I was surprised to see still had its archives up for public viewing.
    – Lost
    Commented Feb 7, 2012 at 0:34

3 Answers 3


I think the overarching stack overflow policy of self promotion makes a clear OK for now.

Defining the limits of self-promotion


Specifically it is one link where the self promotion is clearly disclosed. Second, the link is summarized for this forum so it's not a blatant SEO grab for incoming links - real effort was made to shape a serious question.

I would say if a user only posted links to their works (20 times and no other input) it would have crossed the line of not being appropriate. This seems like genuine A-OK behavior from my point of view.

My only objection to that question is that it doesn't seem to be squarely on topic for this site. What makes it about the great outdoors? The premise that more lead left in the environment is a bad thing, so that question is not being asked - it's a given by the OP so I'm voting to close it and migrate it to the firearms site. I'd expect a fairly big edit to make it on topic here and that may not be what the OP is asking.

  • And this is a great use case for people voting to shape the site. The more input positive and negative that happens is essential for people learning how their answers are viewed by the population at large here. (OK - the population at small for such a new site)
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 18:19
  • As an inbound marketer by trade, I feel obliged to point out that SO automatically includes rel="nofollow" on all external links in questions and answers, so there really isn't much SEO benefit to linking to one's own site since it's not a true "inbound link." Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 5:04

It's a density question. In this case it's a user who has clearly contributed to the site overall. If someone starts an account and a large percentage of their posts are self linking then I would be more concerned.


  1. Full disclosure
  2. Low density (most posts are not just self links)
  3. Clearly related and not a contrived tangeant.

then I think it is just fine.

I'll take 10% self linking over 90% wikipedia regurgitation any day.


So long as

  1. The question is otherwise on-topic.
  2. The connection is clearly disclosed.
  3. The link adds value to the question, but...
  4. ... there is sufficient information in the question itself to stand alone.

Then I think this sort of thing is fine. The question in question has close votes because it doesn't meet the first criteria. As the comment say, it fits on Firearms.SE but not here (I, and I'm sure others, have flagged it for migration accordingly). I think a similar question that was on-topic here would be fine.

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