What if link requests were honest?

12 Feb

Everybody who owns a website gets them, and usually several a week: link requests. Especially when your site jumps to a PageRank of 5 or higher, all kinds of webmasters suddenly seem to feel that their website is related to yours. And since they are, why not swap links, right?

Over the years, I must have received thousands of link requests emails, but I have sent out quite a few myself as well. This has learned me to understand the language of link requests, because some are actually written in a secret language with lots of hidden messages. I have translated an email for everybody who doesn’t speak this language, so you can see what *most* link builders actually mean.

This is a real life (slightly modified) example:

Hi Webmaster,

I have a web site, http://www.a-website-with-lots-of-hyphens.com and have spent a lot of time and effort to ensure my visitors gain the maximum benefit from their visit, and from what I have to offer. As our web sites are closely related and our products do not compete, I feel the exchanging of links would be a mutually beneficial arrangement. If you are interested for Link Exchange so please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience. I will also add your site within 6 hours of your positive reply.

Here is my linking details :-

Title: Buy cheap blue widgets online
URL: http://www.a-website-with-lots-of-hyphens.com
Description: Cheap blue widgets, high quality red widgets, exclusive ivory widgets and fluffy pink widgets. Free worldwide shipping on orders over $250.

Or you can simply use the following Linking code:

<p><a href="http://www.a-website-with-lots-of-hyphens.com"> Buy cheap blue widgets online</a> Cheap blue widgets, high quality red widgets, exclusive ivory widgets and fluffy pink widgets. Free worldwide shipping on orders over $250.</p>

I will add your link at here :
http://www.website1.com/web-development-resources.html (pr1)
http://www.website2.org/website-development-services-india.html (pr3!)

http://www.web-site-4.com/Resources.html

http://subdomain.website3.com/Computers_Communications_And_Electronics/Internet/

Your link will be added on my site within 6 hours. So if you are interested for link exchange with my site please let me know and we can do a better work for our sites.

Please forward me your linking details along with confirmation where my link have been added by you.
Hoping an early and positive response from your side.

Have a nice day ahead :)

Bests Regards
webmaster.anna@gmail.com

But this is what ‘webmaster Anna’ actually means:

Hi there,

I was too lazy to find out what your name actually is, but webmaster is probably fine, right?

I have a web site, http://www.a-website-with-lots-of-hyphens.com and have spent a lot of time trying to find short cuts to make money with it. I am quite lazy and want to make loads of cash while I stay in my bed as long as possible. I believe that a link on your website to mine will improve my search engine rankings, so I feel the exchanging of links would be a good arrangement for me in particular. I love starting sentences with ‘I’ (after all, it is all about me), and my grammar is pretty bad. I pretend to add your site within 6 hours of your positive reply, so please drop all your other work and reply to me asap. Capice?

Here are my linking details :

Title: Buy cheap blue widgets online (Yes, this is my company name. Pinky swear.)
URL: http://www.a-website-with-lots-of-hyphens.com
Description: A bunch of keywords here. Additional sentence to camouflage all the keywords.

And since I really want you to use the exact keywords I provided as the anchor text, here is the info in html:

<p><a href="http://www.a-website-with-lots-of-hyphens.com"> Buy cheap blue widgets online</a> Buy cheap blue widgets online A bunch of keywords here. Additional sentence to camouflage all the keywords.</p>

I will add your link at here :
http://www.very-crappy-website.com/irrelevant-resources.html (PR1)
http://www.3-way-linking-site.org/link-page-391.php (PR3 – w00t!)

http://www.trapezoidal-linking-matriflux.com/Resources.html

http://even.more-crap.com/Free_Links_For_All/ (notice how I have stopped mentioning PR?)

Your link will be added on my site within 6 hours. My script will take care of it, and it will also take care of deleting two of your four links in about a week. The other two links will be on penalized pages with a noindex, nofollow meta tag. So if you are interested in exchanging links, please let me know and I will screw you over.

Please forward me your linking details, along with confirmation where my link has been added by you. I need to show this to my boss to collect my bonus.
Hoping for an early and positive response from your side. I’ll sign you up for 23 newsletters you won’t be able to unsubscribe from if you ignore all three of my messages.

Have a nice day ahead. With an average conversion rate of nearly .02%, I’m sure I will :)

Best regards,

webmaster.anna@gmail.com
(My name is actually Roger, but I think you’re more likely to accept my offer when I call myself Anna. Yes, I will literally do anything for links.)

Yes, the language of some link requests can be quite deceiving. Make sure you write yours in plain English.

21 Responses to “What if link requests were honest?”

  1. Steven van Vessum February 12, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Hahaha nice one Wiep. Sounds very familiar.

  2. Frank February 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    LOL, great translation – now I finally get it :) Seriously though, I’ve been getting a lot of linkrequests lately where they already put a backlink on the website that is asking for a link from my website. I think that’s a great way of doing this, offer something first before just spamming link requests.

  3. Phil Morgan February 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    So true, ‘I’ll sign you up for 23 newsletters you can’t subscribe from’ LOL! I always try and respond to the plain English one’s, even if the answer is no, though these are extremely rare.

  4. Wiep February 12, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    @Frank – That sounds a bit similar to http://wiep.net/talk/diy-link-building/resource-lists/

    @Phil – The best link requests are emails that you don’t see as a link request, but will make you link nevertheless

  5. Bert February 15, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    nice one Wiep and yes, very familiar. Most of those mails come from India is my experience. They all look the same. I just don’t understand. Do they really expect some high quality inbound links from this sort of crap? Can you imagine someone is doing link building for your company like that?

  6. Free Article Directory February 16, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Oh yes, the link exchange request. I do not typically respond to emails that are not addressed in my name or site name.

  7. Ide February 17, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    Recognizable ;)

  8. Jasper Martens February 18, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    You should change your profession into comedy copywriting he he he…
    I thought these mail exchange stuff was something from the past. But we receive a lot of them from Indian companies.
    Be aware that you will receive a lot of these spam mails on your social community pages as well.

  9. SEOphob February 18, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Great stuff and soooo true ; )But i´m doubtful if it´s comedy or rather too deep insides ; )

  10. Net Success February 18, 2010 at 11:25 pm #

    Hahah awesome translation, Even if its not meant to be funny you hit the nail on the head that time. That is exactly what those people want, I have had a few bad encounters like the one above myself.

  11. Adi February 23, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Hahaha awesome! I’m new in this business and it was very fun reading your article:)

  12. Carmen February 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    Great article. Point taken, hopefully also by those “Anna” webmasters.

    And my name ís Carmen ;-)

  13. Ramandeep March 11, 2010 at 8:15 am #

    Great read lol.
    Definitely sounds familiar, I regularly get such emails but I never care to respond unless the domain name makes some real meaning. Almost all of these emails are with those lots-of-hyphens.com domain names. I hate when they link to my website, without my permission. Think about a link coming from a spammy site …

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