A new user asked a very off-topic question; as a music composer, they asked what game developers look for when hiring a music composer. As part of the question, they note that they have created a website, to which they include the web address. They proceed to ask why a game developer would go for them over another music website, of which they also provide the web address. An edit has since been made purely to remove the authors address. It is worth noting that the competitor address was not removed.
My question is, assuming it has some bearing on the question, does posting a link to our website automatically constitute spam? If not, is there any reason why it would be considered spam, in this case?
I am asking purely for future reference, as I see this edit behavior, infrequently. For the purpose of discussion, we should not be looking at the quality of the question, nor its validity as an on-topic question. Since posting this question, a user has edited the question to bring it more inline with what we consider on-topic. If you wish to look at the original question, make sure to review it's edits.
The flag description for spam reads as follows:
Exists only to promote a product or service, does not disclose the author's affiliation.
In such cases, the author is disclosing that it is their site, and it does have purpose including the site in the post.
The "How to not be a spammer" help page has some key points as follows:
- Don't talk about your product / website / book / job too much.
- Don't include links except to support what you've written.
In such cases, the link is provided to support the post. In the above case, the user is asking why their work would be favored over somebody else's. In itself, off-topic, but given the context of the question, the website is very relevant to the question. If you disagree, consider explaining why as part of the "If not," caveat to this question. Other cases of link removal are very clear on the relevance of the address. For example, we may have an answer that states "You can solve this problem by using a script I wrote. Here it is on my website".
I can only find one other meta post detailing actual consideration between legitimate use of linking to our own website and actual spamming. The post clearly implies that linking to the authors product is not always spam, in part due to the fact that the author discloses their affiliation, and in part due to the fact that the author has clearly provided content that did not link to his site.
I feel that the inclusion of past activity makes this a bit of a grey area. On one hand, not all users who are marked as spammers in this way have a history of activity on our site. On the other hand, I feel we should not assume the worst unless the post actually reads as a self advertisement.
So where do we make that distinction?