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Context Links Suck

What is with this new fad of adding context links to every page of a site?¬ By¬ context links I mean the automatic in-text links (you know, those ones with two lines under them instead of one) that pay out for a blogger or site author when people click them and buy something (e.g. on Amazon). Do you use them? If so, why? Do they work for you? Do you feel OK about giving up some control over what you link to?

Unfortunately, these are automatic – like Adsense – and are not necessarily displaying relevant products. In many cases, the outcome is downright ironic, featuring products for sale that are (at best) irrelevant or (at worst) items that are being criticized on the very page that is selling them! At least with Adsense you can easily and permanently¬ block sites that you are criticizing or otherwise don’t wish to support.

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