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Linking Policy

USA.gov links to websites that provide useful, timely, citizen-centered government information and services consistent with our linking policy.


Links to Government Websites

USA.gov links to publicly available websites that are government-owned or government sponsored, unless directed not to by the agency that owns the site. Acceptable federal government-owned or government-sponsored website domains include .gov, .mil and .fed.us.

USA.gov also links to: quasi-government agencies and websites created by public sector/private sector partnerships; state and local government sites (e.g., www.maryland.gov); and some government-sponsored websites that end in .com, .org, or .net (e.g., www.usps.com for the U.S. Postal Service and www.ncfy.com/clear.htm for the National Clearinghouses and Resource Centers on Families and Youth).

Links to Non-Government Websites

USA.gov also links to websites that are not government-owned or government-sponsored if these websites provide government information and/or services in a way that is not available on an official government website. USA.gov provides these non-government websites as a public service only.

The U.S. government, including the U.S. General Services Administration (the primary sponsoring federal agency of USA.gov), neither endorses nor guarantees in any way the external organizations, services, advice, or products included in these website links. Furthermore, the U.S. government neither controls nor guarantees the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of the information contained in non-government website links. (See Disclaimer of Endorsement for more information on this topic.)

Evaluation Criteria

The USA.gov staff evaluates all links using the following criteria:

  • Is the website an official government-owned or supported website? If not, does the website provide government information and/or services in a way that is not available on an official government website?
  • Does the website complement existing information, products and services on USA.gov?
  • Is the website accessible and applicable to a wide audience?
  • Is the website's content relevant, useful and authoritative for citizens, businesses and/or government officials?
  • Does the website's information appear to be accurate and current?
  • Is the website's approach to the privacy of personal information consistent with the government's privacy and security policies?
  • Is the primary intent of the website to educate and inform, rather than persuade, convert, or sell? The site may include advertising but must be free from heavy marketing or promotion of products.
  • Does the website provide information free of charge?

Reciprocal Links

Though any site is welcome to link to USA.gov, USA.gov does not engage in reciprocal linking. USA.gov and GobiernoUSA.gov are the official web portals for the U.S. government. These are public domain websites. There is no cost or special permission required to link to the sites.

Featured Links

USA.gov features links, information, and services based on one or more of the following highly desirable criteria:

  • The website crosses agency or intergovernmental boundaries (e.g., students.gov, fedforms.gov and nutrition.gov);
  • The website enables citizens, businesses and/or government officials to conduct transactions online (e.g., buying stamps or coins, replacing Medicare cards, and filing taxes);
  • The website provides citizens, businesses and/or government officials with the information they need to interact directly with government organizations (e.g., clearly available telephone numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and instructions);
  • The website provides citizens with information about service performance (e.g., Nursing Home Compare, AirNow and Ontime Airline Statistics); and/or
  • The website provides community-level information and services (e.g., MapStats, post office locators, Social Security Office locators, National Park Service Guides and veterans' facilities).

Prohibitions

USA.gov will not link to any website that exhibits hate, bias, discrimination, specific religious views, or social agendas. Furthermore, USA.gov reserves the right to deny or remove any link that contains misleading information or unsubstantiated claims, or is determined to be in conflict with USA.gov's mission or policies.

Disclaimer of Endorsement

The information posted on the USA.gov website includes hypertext links or pointers to information created and maintained by other public and/or private organizations. USA.gov provides these links and pointers solely for our users' information and convenience. When users select a link to an external website, they are leaving the USA.gov site and are subject to the privacy and security policies of the owners/sponsors of the external website.

  • The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and USA.gov do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of information contained on a linked website.
  • The GSA and USA.gov do not endorse the organizations sponsoring linked websites, and do not endorse the views expressed or products offered therein.
  • The GSA and USA.gov cannot authorize the use of copyrighted, trademarked, and servicemarked materials contained in linked websites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked website.
  • The GSA and USA.gov are not responsible for transmissions users receive from linked websites.
  • The GSA and USA.gov do not guarantee that external websites comply with Section 508 (Accessibility Requirements) of the Rehabilitation Act.

Privacy and Security

Check the USA.gov Privacy and Security Notice for more information about USA.gov Privacy and Security policies.

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