Did LinkedIn Ban Writers from Outbound Linking or is it Just Me?

Chad Pollitt VP of Audience, Relevance

Posted on June 19th 2014

Did LinkedIn Ban Writers from Outbound Linking or is it Just Me?

I normally avoid writing in first person, but this is one of those rare exceptions. As a content marketer I have many writing obligations. One of which is contributing to LinkedIn. Many folks have received invitations and are starting to take advantage of the opportunity. I’ve posted original and syndicated content since receiving an invitation. Their terms of service clearly allows for this. Thirteen posts in and no problems – until today.

After copying and pasting a post that was originally published on Social Media Today in April, everything looked good and ready to publish. I did the customary preview, like always. And to my surprise 100 percent of my link citations were gone. Not just the link itself, but the anchor text of the link. I was forced to retype the words and leave out the links.

Here’s a few of the citation links I put in the editor. 

Linked Links

LinkedIn stripped out all of the citations.

LinkedIn Links Disappeared

When I went back into the editor the anchor text and the links were gone. I had to retype them with no citations.

LinkedIn without links

I tried multiple times and several different techniques to get the links to show up, but nothing worked. This left me scratching my head all morning and wondering what was going on. Here’s what I was thinking:

  • Is it just me or did LinkedIn eliminate all outbound linking for everyone?
  • If it is just me, what did I do wrong? Does the word “SEO” trigger the links to shut off?
  • Maybe their WYSIWYG is on the fritz.
  • Have I been manually marked as a “link builder?”
  • Did Matt Cutts spook LinkedIn like he did so many other media outlets with his pronouncement that guest posting was dead?

Next, I did what any contributor would do – search through their help section to seek answers and. . . nothing. Not a mention of citation links anywhere.

What impact will this have?

An article with no outbound links runs contrary to the spirit of the Internet. If writers are unable to link to sources they’ll be forced to cite them like we did in college back in the 90’s. Who wants to do that? If this is now the new standard for everyone I’m afraid LinkedIn’s march to content nirvana may be short lived.

Most content marketers write for a web environment. I’m no exception. If I have to change up how I cite for only one media outlet I’ll likely abandon it. Let’s just hope that this is just a bug that will be fixed soon. Otherwise, we’ll start seeing a slew of complaints online soon.

Have you experienced this problem recently? If you have or haven't please share what you're experiencing below.  


Chad Pollitt

VP of Audience, Relevance

Chad Pollitt, a decorated Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and former Army Commander, is VP of Audience and Co-founder of Relevance, an online publication solely dedicated to helping marketing and communications executives solve their online content visibility challenges. Named a Top 20 CMO Influencer and Top 5 Content Marketing Thought Leader, Chad also authored "The Content Promotion Manifesto." He is a regular contributor to industry media outlets, including The Guardian, Huffington PostLinkedIn and many others.

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Deanna Baisden
Posted on June 18th 2014 at 1:52PM

I'm having that same problem! I've been guest posting for a few days now and outbound links weren't an issue...and suddenly this morning they are disappearing when I hit publish! 

Keep us posted if you find out why this is happening...but it's quite unfortunate that I'm not even into my first week of being allowed to publish and this is happening. Not only doesn't it leave a bad taste but I will definitely be second guessing if I publish any more posts in the future. 

Posted on June 18th 2014 at 1:55PM

Ah, I'm not the only one. . . 

I'm hoping this is just a glitch Deanna. Stay tuned. LinkedIn should release a statement once all their contributors start complaining in 3. . . 2. . . 1


Posted on June 18th 2014 at 3:01PM

Hm weird, it worked on my post from last night... http://linkd.in/1qegykb

Posted on June 18th 2014 at 3:42PM

Past week ago published my post. Still links are live only and I've checked my friends contribution post too. 

Mostly 80/20 basis links are live only.

Posted on June 18th 2014 at 4:02PM

Chad, we are experiencing a technical glitch that does not allow members to embed links into their long-form posts. Please know that we are working quickly to resolve the issue. 

Akshay Kothari

Posted on June 18th 2014 at 4:31PM
Posted on June 18th 2014 at 4:35PM

That's great to hear! I thought they'd be nuts to disallow links.

Thanks for finding that info Dave.

Posted on June 19th 2014 at 11:31AM

Great article Chad and thanks to all for the update on the glitch.  I was very disappointed yesterday to see that.  Hopefully it will be resolved soon. 

Posted on June 19th 2014 at 1:28PM

LinkedIn executive editor has confirmed the glitch is fixed.