Hyperlinking Technology is a process of creating links from one web page to another web page, usually on the basis of some keywords. Hyperlinking can be done using traditional linking methods such as anchor text, inbound linking, and FFA (file affiliate) linking. The latter is very popular in the field of bookmarking and micro-blogging. However, hyperlinking is different. Unlike inbound and FFA linking, which are generally used for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Hyperlinking is an independent linking technique. In other words, this type of linking is not dependent on the volume or popularity of a website.
In what sense is hyperlinking independent? As a matter of fact, there is no limit to the number of web sites that can be linked to a single webpage. A couple of examples of these web sites are Twitter and YouTube. The first two examples are social networking sites. The third example is YouTube, an online video sharing site. Both of these web sites use the same hyperlinking process, which is to associate a common law keyword with an anchor text link.
Although hyperlinking is nothing new to the World Wide Web, it received a huge boost when the Electronic Frontier Foundation (E.F. Foundation) and International Computer Law Association (ICLA) announced a joint project called the Open Hyperlinks Project. This was intended to increase usability and relevancy of web sites across the world by making all links open to all viewers. This was the first time that hyperlinking was ever considered to be part of an SEO or search engine optimization campaign.
Prior to this project, there were two ways that hyperlinking could be employed to increase search engine rankings. One method was known as "case law linking" in which one web site was linked to another site that contained further information on the topic of that linking site. In this case, both sites were required to abide by the hyperlinking rules set forth by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and/or the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
The other method was known as "patent linking" where one patent was linked to another patent. Although this method allowed for patent owners to be hyperlinked to other patents, it was almost never done because of how difficult it was to determine the intent of a patent owner. For example, it took many months of litigation before a successful patent was awarded to an inventor who had been hyperlinked to another invention which was not his own invention. It also cost millions of dollars to pursue a case through the Patent Office.
When the Electronic Frontier Foundation and/or the World Wide Web Consortium announced their plan to create the hyperlinking technology in 2021, they included a provision that required that if a website which contained hyperlinks to other sites was to use copyrighted materials, then all links to all other websites would need to be considered fair use. The problem with this provision is that many people were not aware that they were entitled to the right to hyperlink without having to pay for it under the copyright act. This meant that those that wanted to hyperlink could be penalized for doing so without paying out damages. In other words, for every hyperlink created, a fee had to be paid in order to make good on their promise to charge a fee if the hyperlink was found to be unfair.
This has created an interesting scenario where the original websites (who had asked for the special exception) now must pay for using the hyperlink in the event that the deep linking was found to be unfair. The original website owners feel that they are owed this money for spending their time creating content and putting up the web sites. However, because the deep link agreements were not covered by the patent act, the courts are now deciding cases regarding hyperlinking and how they should be ruled upon. The main issue is the amount of money that is being charged for each hyperlink, whether or not it is an unfair use of the material, and how the overall value of the website will be affected in the case law review. The judges will consider the total revenue that has been generated from the web site and the amount of effort that went into it when making their decision.
The biggest issue in the hyperlinking domain is framed linking. Some judges have ruled that although washing machines may be able to get traffic to be driven to the manufacture of the products, the actual creation of the products still needs to happen, and that there has to be some value added to the creation of the products for the company to get a profit from the sale. Therefore, if a frame is found to have been violated there is a strong chance that damages will be awarded in the form of damages and attorney's fees.