9 Reasons Why Automated Link Software Sucks

2 Apr

Just recently, someone asked me what automated link software I would recommend. When I asked him if he meant useful tools like Link Diagnosis, he made clear that he actually was looking for software that sends out a bucket load of unsolicited link request emails with the speed of sound to use for his main link building strategy for a white hat site. I really thought stuff like that had already died out, but apparently (and unfortunately) not.

Sure, link software may get your niche affiliate website a few nice rankings for a few days, but that usually doesn’t last longer than Milli Vanilli’s singing career. For everyone who’s still looking for software that inflates their rankings, here’s why these kind of tools just make my skin crawl…

1. Far from personal
I have received link requests that started with “Dear Sir/ Madame”, “Hello Webmaster” or even “Dear [NAME]” in more than one occasion. Not only does sending out link trade request emails that mention the term ‘PageRank’ more often than Larry and Sergey’s original patent to the owner of a link building related blog already makes me think that you possibly haven’t taken a thorough look at my website, but if you also can’t even find my name on this blog…

2. It results in an unnatural link profile
If you use link software as your main strategy, you’ll end up with a link profile that’s more artificial than Michael Jackson’s nose. Sure, Google doesn’t mind a few anchor text rich links on links.htm pages, but even Live frowns upon the kind of pattern that software can build for you. Okay, maybe that last part isn’t entirely true :)

3. Sensitive to flaws
You just hit the ‘send’ button and realize that you misspelled both your own URL and your company name. The problem is that you didn’t send out just a single email, but you sent it to nearly a thousand website owners. Doh!

4. Easy to copy
Automated link software is easy to get and easy to use. Any one of your competitors can copy your entire linking strategy within an hour, which means you’re already at the same level again.

5. Bad for your image
Imagine what would happen if someone from Dell would start spamming with link requests? Maybe you’re not as big as Dell, but if you hit the wrong person, you might need online reputation management more than you need links.

6. You only get low quality links
Just to let you know what you may expect from link software: the so called link partner -that you’ve carefully selected- links back from a robots.txt’ed out resources page, and you may find another one of your links ending up on a page with nothing but viagra and poker crap. Absolutely not worth the trouble…

7. The big boys don’t use it
Do some research on SERPs for keywords like ‘car insurance’, ‘celebrity news’, or even ‘seo’ and I will assure you that you won’t find a single one that uses automated link software in the top 50. Seriously, there’s a reason why…

8. It shifts your focus the wrong way
Although it usually doesn’t take a whole week to find out what your brilliant piece of software can do for you, you could have used that time more efficiently. By creating killer content, by networking with the best or simply by serving your customers, for example.

9. You always miss the links you want
And this is the most important reason. Automated link software won’t bring you the links you really want and/ or need. Do you really think that using link software will end up in getting a link from the NY Times, Wikipedia (one that stays in :) ) or that niche portal you’re dying to get a link from? Or that it will result in a Digg front page and thousands of StumbleUpon referers? Think again.

Oh, and if you happen to own or use link software (and I don’t mean link tools) that you do think will bring in valuable links, feel free to drop me an email and prove me wrong. But I don’t think that will happen ;)

15 Responses to “9 Reasons Why Automated Link Software Sucks”

  1. Gab "SEO ROI" Goldenberg April 3, 2008 at 9:35 am #

    Funny you should write this. I just got this email, which I’ve blogged about in a recent post:

    from seo expert seseoexperts@gmail.com>
    to seseoexperts@gmail.com,
    date Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 8:04 AM
    subject Obligation
    signed-by gmail.com

    hide details 8:04 AM (4 hours ago)

    Reply

    Hi there,

    Thank you for taking time to read this email.

    We provide high quality graphic design service like Web design, banner design, logo design and web development at a very low cost.

    If you are interested, we are willing to Exchange link with you for our mutual benefit.

    Please do not hesitate to contact fastlinkmaster@gmail.com for further inquiries.

    Thanks and Best Regards
    Link Department

    We are not spammers and are against spamming of any kind. We are sending this mail with sole intention of link exchange for mutual benefit. If you are not interested in Link Exchange then you can reply simply “NO”, we will never contact you again.

    On a related note, and for entertainment’s sake (perhaps also for a lesson in reputation management?), Google “RankRanker”. You should see this: seoroi.com/case-studies/rank-ranker-spam/

  2. Gab "SEO ROI" Goldenberg April 3, 2008 at 9:36 am #

    P.s: Thanks for the link in the post :D.

  3. Wiep April 3, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    Lol; people who use fastlinkmaster@gmail.com must be pretty good :P

  4. Janusz April 3, 2008 at 3:01 pm #

    Wiep,

    Thanks for the link as well!

    P.S I’ve sent you an email this week about something. Have you received it?

  5. Wiep April 3, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    Janusz, you’re welcome & you’ve got mail ;)

  6. Gab April 3, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    The funniest thing would be for their software to harvest their own email from this post and spam themselves :D.

  7. Hobo April 4, 2008 at 3:27 am #

    Thanks for the mention Wiep :)

    I was in a wierd mood that day :P

  8. Shari April 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm #

    It’s nice to see I’m not the only one who thinks that link building software is wrong. As a virtual marketing assistant I am certainly not a link building expert by any stretch of the imagination but I know what makes sense. Link building software doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. How can you build quality links with something automated?

  9. Jitendra Jain April 5, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    Very Nice Article.

    Apart from Building the great content you need people to now about it. I think link baiting is one nice way.

    Out of box thinking is must.

  10. Malte Landwehr April 7, 2008 at 6:16 am #

    Using such software is one of the easiest ways to make it on my spam-list.

  11. amelia April 9, 2008 at 5:08 am #

    well in some aspects i agree with what the author says :)

  12. EDL seo April 11, 2008 at 5:11 pm #

    5 reasons why people keep wanting this stuff badly
    -it looks easy, so it must be easy
    -they guarantee succes, no one else does.. ( if you lie, do lie well )
    -its very cheap ( appealing to greedy people )
    -automated labour is always better then manual labour,not ?
    -its a lot faster, why spending hundreds of hours

  13. Octatoung April 9, 2009 at 4:19 am #

    Thank you for the article. I do appreciate the differentiation to link building software and link building tools, though I have found great results with software marketed as ” Link Software”, and as long as it’s not a crutch or is based on ridiculous dreams that any software will do it all for you, it Can help : ] But the Data Aggregation capabilities of a well designed program can make getting information a lot easier. It’s all in the use of the tools and mainly the brain tool
    : ]

    Plus depending on how serious the site is anyways, it can be just what the doctor ordered ; ]

  14. Indian Retailer May 15, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    so true…the automated requests normally lose their value and what they are trying to convey by the time they reach you…

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