8 things linkbuilders shouldn’t do when asking for links
Search Engine Optimisation

8 things linkbuilders shouldn’t do when asking for links

18th August 2011

Linkbuilding, we all know its one of the, maybe even the, biggest factors in SEO. Get enough quality links to your website and you will automatically start ranking. Well, almost. There are a lot more factors to consider off course. But fact is that links matter. A lot. And thats why the art of linkbuilding exists. And its truly an art I would say. Especially if you look at those who can’t do it.

Getting links can be done in many ways. The best way (writing good content) takes up a lot of time. Therefore people tent to aim for the less time consuming efforts. And the best way to do that? Just ask! But come on people, if you ask for links, please think before you pop the question.

As a site owner we will probably all be getting link (exchange) requests. As an owner of sites like State of Digital and in the past State of Search and Searchcowboys I might be getting even a few more. And to be honest, most of them are worthless crap requests. I thought I would share some with you. In this post you will see how you know you will NOT be getting that link. In this other post I tell you what will get you the links

Don’t be impersonal

If you want to get a link from me you should do your research. Which means you have to know who you are talking to. I get many request for links from people addressing me with “Dear webmaster”, “Hi”, “Dear owner of #website#” or even “To whom it may concern”. These annoy me hugely. If you want to get my attention, first of all try to find out who I am. If you are impersonal, sorry, straight to the bin.

Read the f*king website

Do you know what my website is about? Its about search marketing and social media. Thats the first thing you should know when you are trying to get me to put up a link for you. I write about search, not about for example cars. Still there are many ‘linkbuilders’ out there who believe a link from my site to a traffic reporting site would be interesting for my readers. Uh no…

Before you ask for the link you have to know what kind of topics I write about. Believe it or not, I actually have gotten e-mails from linkbuilders saying “I see that you are writing about the topic “Internet”….

Don’t force me into it

Recognize this: “We’ve already placed a link to your website along with a description at our site on the page…. Please note that if you don’t place a reciprocal link to us somewhere on your site, the link to your site will automatically be removed from our directory”? What?? You’re trying to force me to put up a link or you will pull down yours? Well, sorry, I’d rather have no link than being forced into linking back…

Don’t think I’m stupid

Search engines (such as Google, Yahoo) prefer sites that are linked from other related sites”, is a way many linkbuilders start their e-mails. They must think I’m stupid. In the first part of the mail they all try to explain how important links are to SEO, some even try to explain the importance of SEO. Oh come on! I write about that stuff, don’t you think I KNOW that? How stupid do you think I am?

If you want to buy links from me…

Sorry, I don’t sell links (not for money 😉 ) on State of Search. But still there are those out there who will keep on trying to wave money in my face. And even if I would be interested in that they get it all wrong. The worst one I ever had was one who actually gave me two options: for a review written by them, 2 links on a reviewpage and a link on the homepage they were willing to pay 25 euros. If I were to write the review they were willing to spent some more money: 32 euros… Oh and maybe I should tell you, those were one time-fees….

Stop repeating yourself

There are many linkbuilders out there who just don’t know when to stop. Its ok to send a repeat-request (as long as you don’t do all the stuff above that is) but stop spamming me. If I do not respond after two e-mails chances are you won’t get the link. Why send five or six e-mails with the sentences “haven’t heard back” and “let me know asap” several times written in them?

Learn how to write

Granted, this one usually happens with the “Indian” linkbuilders, but there are many out there who just don’t know how to write. E-mails full of spelling errors, website names spelled wrong, I’ve even seen “Google” spelt  spelled incorrectly…

Don’t be an ass, show some respect

Finally, one of the biggest annoyances when it comes to linkbuilding requests: do not be such an ass! Why is it that so many linkbuilders think they ‘own’ the world of linkbuilding and that if you do not respond or link back they can become rude? Or even before you responded? You are not the king, you are asking for something, act like that and don’t be the ‘popular’ guy out there who in the end turns out to be just another ass.

So, these are 8 “no no’s” when it comes to link requests. Tomorrow I will write about the things I am sensitive for when it comes to link requests. But in the mean time I’m very curious about some of the requests you have had. What’s the worst link-exchange request you ever had?


Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
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