Dallas Ft. Worth - Washington D.C. - Seattle - New Orleans
SPI GHOST GROUP LINK POLICY
Due to the upsurge of interest in ghosts & the paranormal and desire for groups to be linked with us, we have had to enact policies that make the task of keeping track more attainable. SPI has many roles in the paranormal investigation business and in order to make certain that we can apply our core strengths to needed areas, we must manage our resources wisely.
It is important to keep reference pages of area groups and other links, plus we recognize the value of forming alliances and giving other groups assistance in being found on the Internet. But because we can't spend all of our time updating the link pages, we are now setting certain standards for link exchanges. If you are in doubt, please go ahead and ask.
In order for us to link to your website, we now require the following:
1) For us to add your site to the National Directory, we need to know the specific area where you are based and a description of the members and other qualifications if they are not already on your web page. Reliable contact information such as a stable email address is essential. A physical address and or phone # may help expedite requests for investigations in your area.
2) You need to have been investigating ACTIVELY for at least TWO YEARS. This needs to be verifiable through some means - at least the registration date of your domain name or an investigation timeline. The reason for this requirement is because too many well-meaning groups form up, get link exchanges from everyone all over the net, then disintegrate and go defunct. Estimates (based on periodic sweeps of our link page) are that most groups will break up in less than two years.
In order to get on with necessary research, professional groups just don't have time for those who are not truly serious about this field. It has been observed that far too many ghost enthusiasts form a group out of boredom or because ghost hunting is the latest fad rather than because it is truly their passion. Even if it is a passion, a very high percentage rate drop out when they don't experience paranormal activity right away and find how much work and resources need to be invested over the long haul.
3) Your website needs to have a Google Pagerank of at least 2. The Google algorithm will actually penalize SPI if we link to too many low rank sites. It is better for you to link to sites that are similar to yours in ranking (within 1 or 2) until your ranking increases. You can find out your Pagerank by downloading the Google Toolbar here. http://toolbar.google.com/?promo=mor-tb-en
4) We generally ask that if you meet the above guidelines and are initiating the request for a link exchange, that you go ahead and put our link up first, especially if you are promoting a strong commercial interest. For more details, see ParaWorld Cancelled for an explanation. Due to download time issues, we cannot guarantee a banner link with anyone. Please ask for details.
5) Also, you must PERSONALLY write and address us. We do not respond to spam style press releases that are addressed to several other groups simultaneously or form letter inquiries.
GUIDELINES (more subjective)
5) Your website needs to be professional looking without glaring typos and misspellings. It would be best if the page design is clean, easy to navigate, and has few or no "Under Construction" messages. We generally resist linking to sites that are "free-hosted" such on on Tripod or Geocities due to the annoying pop-ups and temporary nature of such hosting. Not getting your own domain name and paying for hosting sends a message that you aren't willing to invest or dedicate your group to this field.
6) It would be good if your website offered something of value not easily found elsewhere. If all there is are the same Ghost FAQ 101 and cheesy Halloween graphics found everywhere else on the Internet, this may have an influence.
7) Preferably your website should be somewhat "fresh" and updated on a semi-regular basis. If you still have a listing for a workshop that you conducted six months ago, it may look like your group webpage has been abandoned.
8) We don't require other groups to agree with us 100 % on everything, but if you promote reckless or questionable practices such as Ouija Boards for investigation, or keep displaying obvious pictures of dust / camera straps as proof of a haunting, then it may be hard to perceive you as anything but amateurs. see SPIRITUAL SAFETY & ORB CONTROVERSY for examples of our considered opinions.
9) Having a group in a remote region or country does tend to increase chances of a link as opposed to a new group in a city with a number of other established, reputable organizations.
10) While this can be hard to verify, we often can get a feel for other groups through word of mouth. If you behave unprofessionally based on what we consider reliable testimony, then we may decline to link.
Meeting any or all requirements/guidelines is not a guarantee of a link exchange. There may be extenuating circumstances not covered here and SPI reserves the right to link or not link unconditionally.
These are ghost sites that are particularly outstanding in terms of content, longevity, professionalism and general staff experience. I also pay attention to things like ease of navigation and overall site design, though content is still very important. I am not saying that the group themselves are necessarily the best, but that I find their website to be an unusually good resource.
Please, do not ask for your group to be put on this list - I hate telling people "No" and I want the rating to be accurate - not because someone said pretty please with sugar on it.