What is a verified link?
A verified link is a spot link that has been editorially classified as being ‘awesome’ (or at least ‘useful’) and therefore has a lovely green check mark (or tick, if you prefer) next to it.
Who can mark a link as verified?
Tupaleros (Tupalo community members) with the special “Secret Order of Tupalo” badge can do this – but only if the link fulfills certain pre-defined criteria.
What criteria must a verified link fulfill?
1) It must be the one and only official website of that business.
This means: no links to Facebook fan pages, no links to directories, and no links to anywhere but the official business site.
2) The site must fulfill basic accessibility standards.
This basically means: “NO FLASH ONLY SITES” (basically just because we don’t like Flash.)
3) The site must offer some information that is currently not displayed on Tupalo.com.
E.g. an up-to-date menu, honest product information, or anything else that makes it worth a visit.
4) There must be no affiliation between the reviewer and the business (website) reviewed.
In general, if you think, “Hey, that website is cool – and I want to tell other people,”, go ahead and verify the link.
How do I get the “Secret Order of Tupalo” badge?
That’s a secret. But once every full moon (or so), in a secret meeting, we choose some “Power Users” – Tupaleros who have written a lot of high quality reviews – to join.
I own business X with website XY. Can you mark my link as verified?
No. Contacting the Tupalo.com team will also not help. It’s a community member decision, but if you tell some of your customers to give you a **honest** review on Tupalo.com, there is a chance that some of our old school Tupaleros will see the review. Then, if your website is awesome (and if the Tupalero has the “Secret order of Tupalo” badge), there is nobody stopping him or her verifying the link.
That said, any confirmed report of a business owner spamming or bribing a Tupalero to verify a link will result in the blacklisting of that specific link.
What if there are verified spam links?
If we find verified links that can clearly be identified as spam, we’ll kick the user out of the “Secret Order” and revert all his or her verified links back to unverified.
Why such a fuss about that small green check mark?
Well, the small green check mark is one thing, but there’s something else going on in the background. All our spot links are “nofollow”, which is a technology to discourage spam. As anybody can add a spot to Tupalo.com, we want to make sure that spammers don’t try to … well … spam us. But… this “nofollow” is a little bit unfair, because a lot of websites are actually pretty cool. So a verified link is set to “dofollow”, which is just a plain old direct link. So even though this is a small feature, it makes us potential vulnerable to spam – which is not something we want. That’s why we make such a fuss (and such long FAQ) about it.
Remember: life is beautiful. Have fun and, now and then, take some time to look up to the sky.