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Monday, March 16, 2009

7 Reasons Not to Direct Link to a Developer's Download Files

downloads As a developer, I can't help but be more than a little bit bothered by the fact that some bloggers chose to direct link to application download files (.zip, .exe, etc) in some of the articles they write, rather than the page on the developer's site, in which the download links can be found.

If this is how you do things when you write articles & reviews, then I'd like to inform you that this isn't a very nice thing to do, for the following reasons:

  1. You are depriving the developers of the full credit they deserve for the work they have done. If the application is worth writing about, it's also worth giving the developer full proper credit.
  2. Some freeware authors have Paypal donate buttons on their sites, and your readers will never see them, therefore never click them. This deprives some developers of their only income and maybe their only incentive to keep making freeware/donationware.
  3. Some freeware authors have advertising on their sites, and additional page impressions or clicks generated from the traffic you send them means an income for them, and your direct linking to the files prevents that from happening. This is how some software can remain free, rather than the author resorting to making it payware (or even worse, adware). If you would like things to stay free and clean, you have to do your part to help the developers keep it that way.
  4. A blog linking to a page on a small developer's site can mean a big boost in Page Rank, making their software easier to find through search engines. This helps the people searching for the perfect tool to do the job they need, as well as the software developer that created it.
  5. You are depriving and cheating your readers of the chance to browse around the developer's site, and perhaps the opportunity to discover more useful software they might be interested in. And in the case of the applications that come from sites like donationcoder.com, you are preventing them from discovering a wonderful software enthusiasts community that they really would enjoy, and can even request custom made freeware, made to their specifications.
  6. In some cases, you may also be making it more difficult for your readers to find the info necessary to submit bug reports and get support, not to mention application updates and upgrades.
  7. You may also be depriving your readers of important information related to installing or using the application, that they may need to know.

So, could you please be a really nice person to us poor freeware/donationware developers, and your readers, and fix your links to point to the pages and not the file downloads? And in the future, always link to the pages, instead.

Your readers and the software developers would really appreciate this.

Thank You.

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