Have a look at the accepted answer in this question:

Good Microphone to record engine sound (cars and bikes) on track

Personally I really don't like it. Manufacturer links are fine, but links to shops seem unnecessary in my opinion. Should we discourage this? What is the SE stance on this?

2 Answers 2


My understanding is that as long as it isn't self-promotion, it is fine. Even if it is self-promotion, as long as it is disclosed clearly as such in the answer, is relevant and isn't the majority of their posts it is fine. If someone is looking for a product (and that doesn't make the question otherwise off topic as a product recommendation), then a link that allows them to obtain said product is helpful.


I personally find links to honest reviews of something much more helpful when I'm trying to figure out what to buy. That can take a bit of digging to turn up, depending on the product in question, but I'd much rather see someone actually using something as I intend to use it.

That said, links to shops are okay - in the constraints that AJ mentions. Folks should avoid blatant baits and advertisements like "I set up a special deal for you.." sorts of things. Links to shops are sometimes preferable when something is particularly difficult to source. If you've ever tried to buy odd tubes, you'll know what I mean :)

I'd say favor linking to an actual professional reviewing the item, and a manufacturer's page when available, but don't actively look down on links to shops unless you see troublesome patterns emerging from specific users.

This is the guidance that we send to folks that get a little over the top with self-promotion, just to illustrate what we're trying to avoid (let's pretend I've been a bad little chimp):


I'm writing in reference to your Sound Design Stack Exchange account:


We noticed that a substantial proportion of your posts seem to exist only to promote your product or website. Per the help center:

Be careful, because the community frowns on overt self-promotion and tends to vote it down and flag it as spam. Post good, relevant answers, and if some (but not all) happen to be about your product or website, so be it. However, you must disclose your affiliation in your answers. Also, if a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, you're probably here for the wrong reasons. Our advertising rates are quite reasonable; contact our ad sales team for details.

Any type of "astroturfing" promotion is not acceptable. It brings down the overall value of genuine recommendations for everyone on the site.

If you can stay within the above guidelines, and offer questions and answers of genuine benefit to the community which happen to mention your affiliation or product in context -- and with full disclosure -- then your future contributions are welcome.

Tim Post
Stack Exchange Community Manager

Related, "Limits of self-promotion" (round one) (round two). Each community can have their own guidelines, most polite folks that are here for the right reasons shouldn't need to worry.

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