No way I would do this. Who knows what sites they may in fact throw the link on. If you get enough bad apples it WILL spoil the bunch.
Every link is not necessarily a good link.
I realize that not every link is valuable, but it's just a marketing phrase for encouraging a non-SEO-minded audience. An inbound link from a penalized site isn't going to hurt from a search engine perspective.
Maybe it should include some kind of warning about the types of sites that SHOULD NOT link?
I think part of what may be worrying Frequent is the lack of control and oversight over a non-web person acquiring links for you.
Think about the common peanut gallery link dev mistakes that can happen (guestbooks, FFA, etc.).
I believe that having a bad selection of backlinks may not be good for a site. You can argue it back and forth about quality etc., but that's just what I'm seeing in common in certain sites I have looked at that have dropped in ranking.
Link development is one of the most important things you can do for your website. I can't overstate how important it is, and how important it is to put together a coherent link development strategy that is focused and well planned.
Would you trust your home page copy writing to the guy who empties your garbage bin? I think maybe you need to rethink your link development from the bottom up.
I am not asking employees to spam, and I am very certain that none of them will take the request to that level. Most of them will probably outright ignore it. I am merely trying to get employees to consider leveraging existing relationships to build good links to the site. Working as the only SEO person in a smaller company, my relationships are limited, but if I can use the aggregate influence of many of our employees (some of them well connected), then why would I ignore that opportunity?
I understand that it may need to be reworded to ask for only "good" links, but is the entire concept that rediculous?
If you can really educate the heck out them before you procede it wouldn't be nearly as risky. I would hand pick a few of the most tech savvy in the bunch and send THEM on a mission.
I don't know what business model you work with (retail, bus-to-bus, etc.) but your customers can be a superbe source of quality links.
For Instance- If your company is a branded manufacturer and sell your products through dealers and they have sites ask them to add a snazzy "Authorized WidgetCo. Platinum Dealer" logo which is a link to your site.
I agree with 'Frequent'.
If you want link monkeys, hire them as such.
Its a big mistake to ask your technicians to do janitorial stuff.
Its a bigger mistake to ask the janitors to go out and do advertising.
I agree that this is not such a good idea, but....
I just noticed a site that came from nowhere to the #1 spot on a fairly competitive term.
At the top of their index page is a table that looks very much like an AdSense set up except it is offering customers discounts or free products if they link to the site. The catch is their link must be found on Yahoo for a specific keyword search.
In checking backlinks over several SE's they now have 1000's of links:-)
concentrate on quality theme based links to your site.
Don't just link to any site comming your way. It can hurt you in the long run..
I think it is a good idea to involve employees in your promotion, but not in the way you imagined. I would ask all the employees to research quality websites on the some topics relevant to your industry, that have a links page. Maybe create a form to fill up be the employee with fields: 1) url 2) title 3) links page url 4) webmaster's email.
Email (or mail) that to all your staff and couple it with some reward or competition, i.e. the employee who suggested the most links that eventuated in link exchanges gets a free hamper or a free week-end.
The actual link exchange process must be done by your webmaster or one person to whom you'll assign that task.