World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers



| Begin | Reply | Search |             Start | The List | Community | Blog
About this website www.worldheritagesite.org Forum / About this website /  
 

Warning - Do not use this website only as a vehicle to promote your own website!

 
 
Page  Page 1 of 2:  1  2  Next »

Author elsslots
Admin
#1 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 00:28 | Edited by: elsslots 
Lately I am receiving more and more reviews that seem to have been written for the sole purpose of promoting someone's own website (or worse: a commercial website). I had 9 doubtful reviews last night!

Don't:
- Add a link to a commercial website (or your own over-commercialized blog)
- Just use the review to introduce your story on another website, with no original content in the review itself (like "Hey, I visited the Galapagos. Check out my website for the details")
- Write platitudes about WHS that have been reviewed dozens of times already (and then link to your website)
- Copy generic text about the WHS with no hint that you have actually been there (and then link to your website)
- Write about a place when you haven't been there (except for a "near miss" that is worthwhile to share)

It's a thin line that you're walking on. In the end, to publish or not will always be my decision.
I only hope to have given some guidance above about what is acceptable and what not.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 12:13 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Having just read the so-called "reviews" of Cocos island and Belize I see what you mean!!
"Articles coming soon" on a commercial Web site belonging to the poster!!! Where will it lead to ....... "visit the ruins of xxxxx and stay at my lovely hotel overlooking them"?? .
I found out more about the island in less than a minute via Google!
We have never had any "guidelines" about the "required content" of reviews in the past and this Web site tries (successfully I feel) to allow everyone to express their impressions about their travels in their own way but a "review" which merely links to one's own company Web site seems to me beyond what we should be looking for!!
Especially when such reviews force those of genuine WHS Travellers down and finally off the page!

Author elsslots
Admin
#3 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 12:59 
Solivagant:
Having just read the so-called "reviews" of Cocos island and Belize I see what you mean!!
"Articles coming soon" on a commercial Web site belonging to the poster!!!

And actually these were the better ones of the bunch, as I thought the poster had actually been there (will have a second look now)

Author elsslots
Admin
#4 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 13:21 | Edited by: elsslots 
P.S: the unsollicited reviews keep coming in today, don't know what triggered it. Maybe the WHS website was suggested as a SEO tip somewhere to create more traffic to one's own website?

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 13:28 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
as I thought the poster had actually been there

I presume he will have been there but it is true that his "articles" on his company web site are all about diving in Philippines/Indonesia as he runs trips there and his review doesn't actually provide ANY "first hand" info about cocos Island
See top left ("Owner/founder") - https://artofscubadiving.com/the-team/

Author kintante
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 23 Oct 2017 15:03 
Good job Els! Reviews should add some useful information. I only write reviews if I think I have some information that has not or not clearly been covered by others.

Author MichaelN
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 24 Oct 2017 05:27 | Edited by: MichaelN 
Els, can we provide links to hotels or guides we enjoyed? Or mention them in reviews?

Author elsslots
Admin
#8 | Posted: 25 Oct 2017 02:39 
MichaelN:
Els, can we provide links to hotels or guides we enjoyed? Or mention them in reviews?

Only when it's an honest recommendation, not when they paid for your trip.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 25 Oct 2017 05:02 | Edited by: nfmungard 
Seeing this page is pretty highly ranked by the average search engine (google), outbound links from whs.org will probably carry a greater SEO weight than from random sites on the internet. I think this explains a bit the incentive to create links here to external blogs, reviews, commercial sites and the likes. Also, with the significant amount of visitors this site gets, it's also a nice way to create some traffic on your external site.

To me it's fine if people refer to their own content. That's why we have the option to link to your own blog. But:
* The content shown on this page should be usable and to the benefit of others. I don't want a review that essentially says: This is a great place. Been there on .. Nice to see... More in my blog. That's too little. If that's what you want, create your own page and do SEO on your own.
* Commercial links should be fully banned.
* In the long run it will actually ruin this page if we host low quality links.

With regards to hotel recommendations etc. it never occurred to me that people would post sponsored stays etc. But yes, these should be banned, too. When I give a recommendation it's normally because it's something special I noticed and enjoyed.

Going forward, some of it should be resolved when we finally deal with the new version. It has a publishing workflow and Els can schedule posts as well as comment on them prior to publishing. So she could return a post that is lacking in quality or depth to the author. It would probably also help to provide a bit more instructions of what a post should and should not contain. E.g., don't copy content, don't use this page purely for marketing, ...

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 25 Oct 2017 06:04 
There will be some WHS where the choice of hotel is relevant to a review - remote sites, hotels inside the WHS etc but this is not a hotel review site - there are plenty of those elsewhere!
I am reminded of that awful book "1001 places to see before you die"! Magically, nearly every "great place" to see is either linked to a hotel or actually IS a hotel

But then I write as one for whom a hotel stay is a necessary evil, wasted money etc etc!

Author clyde
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 26 Oct 2017 13:17 
Well done, Els!

I never follow those reviews and make sure not to visit their blogs if they add absolutely nothing in this site. Personally, I always enjoy reading informative reviews which provide useful tips, describe different modes of transport used, provide insights of different inscribed locations at different seasons (also interesting to note any changes over time or differing opinions according to personal preferences, etc.

Also the fact that most WH Travellers here are full time employees or pensioners who visit WHS as a 'hobby' out of their own pocket rather than a full time job has always been a huge plus point which makes it easier to continue the 'community feeling'.

Keep up the great work ;)

Author elsslots
Admin
#12 | Posted: 17 Feb 2019 00:34 
Bumping this one again, as I noticed some 'new people' straying off the path...

Author Michael Turtle
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 20 Apr 2019 04:31 
elsslots

One of my reviews got flagged by Els because "Commercial/sponsored links are not allowed", so wanted to get some clarification on what exactly is permissible.

I wrote what I thought was a useful review of Chichen Itza in Mexico (here: https://www.worldheritagesite.org/list/Chichen-Itza#userreview_16504) and linked to an article on my blog.

Now, I can see why it was flagged, because I disclose in my blog post that I visited the site as part of a sponsored tour through Mexico. However, I still think that my 1800-word article is relevant and interesting for WHS Travellers - and is no different to the other ~300 articles I have written about WHS (some on sponsored trips, some on my own).

I would love to keep contributing to the site (even though I've been a bit slack recently) because I find it such a useful resource. So I would just like to understand the rules properly so I can stay within them. Is it not possible at all to link to this blog post because it was part of a sponsored trip, or is the problem how I did it?

Thanks!

Author elsslots
Admin
#14 | Posted: 20 Apr 2019 11:40 
Hi Michael,
Just yesterday I wrote an article called "Why I hate travelbloggers" - I don't know if I will ever publish it. But I am getting more and more fed up with people who use this world heritage website as a link generator towards their own meagre travel blog. <start of rant>People that never travel beyond any beathen path. Vain people. People who pocket a few bucks by plastering their website with commercial ads or accepting freebies, not understanding how it corrupts them. People that don't want to share but only want to take. People that do not understand that this is rather a niche website that happens to overlap somewhat with major travel destinations around the world.<end of rant>

I know from your website that you have a genuine interest in visiting WHS. And you're an excellent photographer. So that earns you a lot of kudos and that's why I so far published your reviews. I'd be happy if you continued to contribute.

For me it sometimes is hard to distinguish the good apples from the bad apples. With Chichen Itza for me you tipped the scale to the other side and maybe I only noticed because I recently had a row of other bloggers knocking on the door. It happened when I clicked through to your blog and noticed that it was a sponsored trip and in the WHS review you "recommend doing a Chichen Itza tour" -> that combination is really outside of the boundaries in my opinion.

Things to consider to make it easier to make the cut:
- Put the link to your own website in the field that is there at the end of the add review page, not a text link in the review itself.
- Try covering some original (T)WHS that still have few reviews, not the top 30 wonders of the world. We know about them already, thanks.
- And if you cover a well-known site, add a story about a lesser visited location, or a visit on a special day etc

Author Michael Turtle
Partaker
#15 | Posted: 20 Apr 2019 12:26 
Thanks so much for your response, Els. All of that feedback helps a lot! And I appreciate your kind words (and for noticing that I have been to almost 300 sites, work as a consultant for UNESCO, and am currently on my own in Egypt trying to work out how to get to an unknown WHS tomorrow!)

I actually agree with you completely about the travel blogging industry. It has been corrupted in many ways and can also be frustrating for those of us who have been doing it for a long time (8 years full time, in my case) and still try to do it authentically. Doing sponsored trips, in my mind, is not the problem. It's those who think that sponsored trips are the reward in itself, rather than see them as one method to be able to go more places and have experiences that would be difficult to do full-time on your own dime. I could go on with my rant, but won't.

Anyway, I have been meaning to do a bit of an audit of which (T)WHS I have already written reviews for and which ones I haven't. I will take all your comments on board for the future. Thanks!

Page  Page 1 of 2:  1  2  Next » 
About this website www.worldheritagesite.org Forum / About this website /
 Warning - Do not use this website only as a vehicle to promote your own website!

Your Reply Click this icon to move up to the quoted message


 ?
Only registered users are allowed to post here. Please, enter your username/password details upon posting a message, or register first.

 
 
 
www.worldheritagesite.org Forum Powered by Chat Forum Software miniBB ®
 ⇑