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Link Development Forum

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >     
Is there a set way to ask for links?
What's the most effective way for doing it?
shortshire




msg:3230642
 9:15 pm on Jan 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello Everybody,

I have a few sites that have original content and that are informational. I am trying to find other websites that have similar content so I can link to them and vice versa. I am not sure how I am supposed to call a webmaster and ask for a link. I am trying to be respectful but I am not sure how to directly ask them for a link. Can anyone tell me the proper etiquette for asking for a link? Thank you

 

wheel




msg:3230833
 12:06 am on Jan 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi Fred,

would you consider linking to my site from your www.domain.com page?

{Insert some personalized reason why Fred and visitors to Fred's site will benefit from a link to your site}

thanks for your consideration.

Wheel

The above is what I use. Others probably have ones that provide better success rates, but I do my link emails carefully by hand. They're all properly addressed and contain a valid reason why they'd benefit from linking to my site.

freelistfool




msg:3233614
 2:49 am on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

I use a seperate template for each page I target. I only target pages that I think have something other sites would be interested in. This makes it easy. I usually get a pretty good response by simply saying what my site and the specific page has to offer and then say, "I think this might be valuable to your website visitors. If you think so too, please add a link...".

Bottom line, if you have something they like you'll get a link back.

treeline




msg:3233621
 3:03 am on Jan 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you try to standardize how you ask, expect to be ignored.

Be personal and specific so that they realize you are really familiar with their site.

Calling sometimes works well, it certainly sets you apart from all the spam requests.

funandgames




msg:3234823
 3:06 pm on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Put something unique to their site in the subject line.

If you were to ask WW today:

"Honeynet Project to Trap Spider Attackers and Name Names."

The webmaster will immediately know that the email was hand written and that you are serious before they even open it.

Helped our success rate over 800%.

cnvi




msg:3235008
 7:19 pm on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Even if your request is personalized and you do all of the right things, a busy webmaster might ignore your request.

Here's an idea I don't see suggested too often.. look for sites that publish a "link request form" .. you can find them by googling "keyword add link" or "keyword suggest link".. replace 'keyword' with the keyphrase or keywords you are targeting.

Many webmasters use link management software to field link requests saving them time. Nothing wrong with that as long as the software allows the webmaster to maintain editorial discretion.

Never email a webmaster to request a link when that site publishes a link request form. You have a much higher probability of getting the link (when the link is relevant and benefits the end user) when you use the form the site is publishing for link requests.

pageoneresults




msg:3235010
 7:23 pm on Jan 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

Always a good idea to include this as the closer...

Please note that the link to your site will be active for 10 business days, if thereafter we do not detect a link to our site from your webpage, it will be assumed that you are not interested in reciprocal link and to be fair to our other link partners, we shall remove your link.

I'm being sarcastic. ;)

martinibuster




msg:3235360
 2:24 am on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

look for sites that publish a "link request form" .. you can find them by googling "keyword add link" or "keyword suggest link"..

That's the way it used to be done, but for me it's over and done with.

Those are sites likely to be in SEO neighborhoods. If the search engines are mapping relationships of sites likely to be trying to influence them via links, then those are precisely the sites likely to be in that map, and the ones I want to avoid. I'm pretty sure that's part of what the sandbox is about, statistically identifying undesirables and screening them out.

wolfadeus




msg:3235508
 8:23 am on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

And very important: Do not despair!

I havn't built links for the past 8 months and is it just me or did get things really a lot harder since then? Boy, I wrote something like 100 personalized e-mails a few days ago, more personally than what I used to and proposed an exchange with a travel-related site that offers proper and honest content - not a single response yet!

Just keep going, don't forget directories. However, I think I would rather hope for natural links and concentrate on content these days.

Alternative Future




msg:3235517
 8:55 am on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

And what not to send:

Dear Webmaster,

We where contacted by you in order to exchange links with your site.
We made the links to your site as follows:

[list of sites]

We are verifying cases of broken links and found out our links cannot be found anywhere in your website.

We will keep your link for more 3 days in our 5 sites.

If you don't link us back your link will be erased form our sites.

Note: Our sites are being promoted and are going up every day in google rank. Our page rank is getting higher (between 3/10 and 4/10).

This one is top of my hate list, since I never ever contacted them in the first place and do not actively seek link exchanges :)

-Gs

[edited by: Alternative_Future at 8:56 am (utc) on Jan. 29, 2007]

appi2




msg:3235522
 9:05 am on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The Karma way.

Forget asking for recips.

Link to the sites you want to link to with a little review of that site. Namecheck the sitename.
Added bonus you will start appearing in the serps for a search on that sitename.

Now you can, if you want, email the other site with a simple mail saying linked to your site, hope you don't mind.
Namedrop your site. Also add ego stroking fluffiness to the mail.

Don't worry whether or not they reciprocate.

wolfadeus




msg:3235565
 9:52 am on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

I stick with you, appi2! However, I try to build a small "collection" of seed-links before I simply link outwards for the sake of my users and hope to get backlinks. And for this core of seed-links, there is no way around exchange requests.

cnvi




msg:3235806
 2:29 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)


Those are sites likely to be in SEO neighborhoods

Not all "undersirables" use link request forms.

Judge a site by it's usefulness to the web and it's end users, not by the type of resource management tools the site may utilize to save time.

sem4u




msg:3235818
 2:34 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you still ask for reciprocal links then make sure you add your link first. If I get a request without a link to my site then the requesting site had better be very good!

pageoneresults




msg:3235832
 2:49 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not all "undersirables" use link request forms.

No, but most do. And in this case, the majority rules. Many of the sites I've seen with this type of setup have PR0 for those pages relative to the link exchange.

cnvi




msg:3235842
 2:59 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Undesireables" are typically low content sites.. their operators are desperate for traffic.. they will do whatever it takes to get that traffic. So sure its true that some junk sites are more aggressive when link building and will utilize whatever resources they can find.

But to lump all sites that use link request forms into the "undersirable" category is akin to calling all SEO's clueless misinformants.

The fact of the matter is that there are all sorts of sites that use all sorts of data management solutions. Many webmasters are now utilizing forms to manage communications (including link requests).

The original question on this thread was "Is there a set way to ask for links?" and "What's the most effective way for doing it?". My simple point is that it makes no sense to send email to a webmaster when they have a form on their site to receive relevant link requests. Just by publishing a form for link requests, you open the door for sites to link to yours because they are more likely to link to your site first if they know you have received their link request via a form mail or other reliable data management system.

pageoneresults




msg:3235867
 3:17 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

If the search engines are mapping relationships of sites likely to be trying to influence them via links, then those are precisely the sites likely to be in that map, and the ones I want to avoid. I'm pretty sure that's part of what the sandbox is about, statistically identifying undesirables and screening them out.

I just wanted to preface my reply with MB's post above.

Just by publishing a form for link requests, you open the door for sites to link to yours because they are more likely to link to your site first if they know you have received their link request via a form mail or other reliable data management system.

You are referring to link exchange, recipricols, correct? If so, then this methodology has long fallen prey to the algo, or at least Googles. The type of setup you are referring to is your typical recipricol link exchange farm. It really is of little to no value in today's link development plan.

cnvi




msg:3235877
 3:29 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

The type of setup you are referring to is your typical recipricol link exchange farm. It really is of little to no value in today's link development plan.

Not in my opinion.. link exchange is time tested and has been around as long as the web has existed. It has tremendous value as a traffic building and branding function for those who do it correctly.

Lets try to keep this thread on topic. The original question was about how to ask for links. That question has been well answered here.

pageoneresults




msg:3235881
 3:33 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Lets try to keep this thread on topic. The original question was about how to ask for links.

Okay, to the OP, stay away from the recipricol link exchange request forms, you'll be better off in the long run. Invest your time in something that will have a more positive return. ;)

Romeo




msg:3235903
 3:55 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

If -- in addition to the karma Appi2 already mentioned -- you feel the need to send mails, be sure to be authentic and speak for yourself.

Besides the wording of the text itself, some formal aspects may be important, too.

About 80% of incoming link requests get silently deleted here without even looking at the requester's page due to not even adhering to these basics:

-- there should be a full name appearing in the mail's "From:" line, not just a faked 'Sheila' or 'Mary-Ann' or even no name at all.

-- the mail address should be of that domain you want the link for, no gmail address, no hotmail, no yahoo, no cheap other domain ...

-- a basic etiquette suggests to start the mail text with a 'Dear <hostmaster>' or similar, using the simple word 'please' within the text at least once, and close with some greetings and sign with a name that should match the name in the "From:" line.
An anonymous 'Link Manager' is a poor name ...

Kind regards,
R.

[edit reason: spelling...]

[edited by: Romeo at 3:57 pm (utc) on Jan. 29, 2007]

pageoneresults




msg:3235908
 4:02 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Don't worry whether or not they reciprocate.

I like that statement!

Hey, why not just produce content that people want to link to naturally? Is there anything wrong with that approach?

cnvi




msg:3235974
 4:52 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

You are referring to link exchange, recipricols, correct? If so, then this methodology has long fallen prey to the algo, or at least Googles.

One more comment on this topic and then I'm done in this thread.. when you make a statement such as the one I quoted above, its an indicator that you believe link development is a search engine optimization function. Thats part of the problem with those who believe "this methodology .. has long fallen prey to google's algo". Linking should never be conducted as an SEO function. Linking (when done correctly) is a traffic and branding function.

Forget about page rank and SEO when making linking decisions. If a quality site very much related to your own wants to exchange links with yours, and their site has low PR because their site is new, why ignore a quality link opportunity from that site?

pageoneresults




msg:3235982
 4:56 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

One more comment on this topic and then I'm done in this thread.. when you make a statement such as the one I quoted above, its an indicator that you believe link development is a search engine optimization function.

When I see topics such as this, it is usually a function of SEO. And, when we get software/programs in the mix for managing links, it is surely a function of SEO.

Thats part of the problem with those who believe "this methodology .. has long fallen prey to google's algo". Linking should never be conducted as an SEO function. Linking (when done correctly) is a traffic and branding function.

Tell me how one brands themselves in this type of environment? How does my brand stand a chance mixed in with hundreds, if not thousands of other links in a link directory. Where is the value of that for me from a brand perspective? I don't see any...

Forget about page rank and SEO when making linking decisions. If a quality site very much related to your own wants to exchange links with yours, and their site has low PR because their site is new, why ignore a quality link opportunity from that site?

You wouldn't. But, if you have to set up a links directory at /links/ and they have one at /links/ then this is most likely an SEO function and not one for building brand.

And, Google has done an excellent job of purging and devaluing links from these types of resources.

appi2




msg:3236030
 5:21 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)


I like that statement!

Its the added altrusim ;)


But, if you have to set up a links directory at /links/ and they have one at /links/ then this is most likely an SEO function and not one for building brand.

Could also be seen as providing other links to erm other sites, for surfers.


And, Google has done an excellent job of purging and devaluing links from these types of resources.

Yep, works out well for them. Scare everyone stupid on links. Nobody links to anyone else.
Search google -> go to 1st site.
back to google -> go to 2nd site.
back to google -> go to 3rd site.
...

How about search -> go to site. OOOh lots of other similar (or even God forbid "different") sites. Click OOOh lots of other similar (or even God forbid "different") sites...

Something missing?

DomainDrivers




msg:3236101
 5:53 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

First, how to ask for links...the thread subject...

1a) If sites do not have a link directory and ALSO do not offer to reciprocate publicly, they are off limits. You have to visit the sites to find out. Work.

1b) You must have some justifiable relevance. Automotive sites don't want link requests from real estate agents.

2) If they meet rule 1a & 1b, and they provide a link submission form, USE IT! Do not send email to sites that have forms. Mst will ignore you, if you do. More work.

2) Assuming that all sites that you solicit comply with rule 1, then they EXPECT to get link requests. If they want their link requests via email (60% still do), then DO NOT:

- Mention the PageRank of your site!
- Put a time limit on how soon they must reciprocate (how rude)
- Mention how wonderful their site is, or other BS talk. It just wastes everyone's time. Get to the point.
- Follow up in two weeks admonishing them for not linking back
- Solicit sites that already link back

DO TELL THEM:

- Who you are, and why you are relevant to them.
- Exactly where to find their link with a url, properly caegorized
- How their link is presented, title, description, url.
- Give them the opportunity to make changes.

Keep track of who links to you, who does not want to link to you, who is wasting your time, who you have solicited, and when was the last time, etc. Track everything.

Do that with as many sites as you can in your realm if interest, and you will likley rule the world for your keywords in about 6 to 9 months.

I've seen it time and again.

Good luck

[edited by: martinibuster at 6:15 pm (utc) on Jan. 29, 2007]
[edit reason] Removed Specifics & URL. [/edit]

DomainDrivers




msg:3236133
 6:08 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

pageoneresults

"Tell me how one brands themselves in this type of environment? How does my brand stand a chance mixed in with hundreds, if not thousands of other links in a link directory. Where is the value of that for me from a brand perspective? I don't see any... "

That's easy, if you pursue reciprocation they way it was done pre-Google.

If you sell automotive graphics, and you get links from other automotive related sites that have decent link directories, then likely you will be listed in their "paint and graphics" category, with maybe 20 other sites.

For anyone who has managed an automotive-related link campaign (I have done about 50 over the years), they'll soon find out that REAL PEOPLE with REAL CARS look through these link directories for stuff about their cars. Then they click on REAL LINKS that interest them.

Your server logs will then reflect REAL TRAFFIC from REAL PEOPLE with REAL CARS who are interested in automotive graphics.

In the REAL WORLD, that's how reciprocation works.

How do I know? I've managed hundreds of these situations, in all kinds of categories of interest. Our existing SEO clients continue to bring new domains to us to work with, becasue it works, very consistently. It's not theory, and not speculation. Just branding, via directory-to-directory reciprocation with other sites willing to do it.

BTW - all those reciprocated links with other relevant sites seem to have a secondary benefit. They have a very good effect on SERPs.

But, to anyone managing an automotive site, if they choose to ignore 1000 good links from other automotive sites, then do that. Your competitors won't.

pageoneresults




msg:3236145
 6:11 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

But, to anyone managing an automotive site, if they choose to ignore 1000 good links from other automotive sites, then do that. Your competitors won't.

But isn't that unnatural and something that is detected in the algo? Wouldn't this have a negative effect?

When was the last time you saw a local (regional) automotive site that had a 1,000 natural backlinks? We'll exclude the big names as they are usually national and 1,000 links may be natural.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:37 pm (utc) on Jan. 29, 2007]
[edit reason] Edited. [/edit]

DomainDrivers




msg:3236309
 8:13 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

pageoneresults

"But isn't that unnatural and something that is detected in the algo? Wouldn't this have a negative effect?"

Please explain to me what is unnatural about branding your site and taking advantage of linking opportunities with legitimate sites within your own realm of interest? An automotive parts site links to an automotive graphics site, for their mutual benefit, as has been done long before Google even existed.

The only thing that I see as unnatural is trying to convince a automotive site owner that they should not establish their brand presence there, where it rightfully belongs. Gee. There's 1000 legitimate links for your automotive site, and you shouldn't have them. Now, THAT argument makes no sense.

I have never seen a negative effect, when this work is done right, as I described above in a previous post. Not once. People can imagine one, if they want, I suppose. They can imagine that the sky falling, as well.

"When was the last time you saw a local (regional) automotive site that had a 1,000 natural backlinks? We'll exclude the big names as they are usually national and 1,000 links may be natural."

I have seen it when they have set out to brand their site via reciprocation. I see it all the time.

What differnece is a regional site from a national one? Everyone registers their domain with INTERNIC. When Bezos registered Amazon. com, should he have been penalized for being an unknown? Same goes for every other successful dot.com. They were all once just a concept, with no traffic and no established presence. Many busted. Some did not. Using your logic, only large, established companies would have any right to good search resutls.

Are you saying that national brands are the only sites that deserve a lot of links? I am completely confused by the above statement, with your trying to establish who should and should not have more links.

Sorry, I just can't follow your logic. To me, links via reciprocation are a branding funciton, not an SEO function. It just so happens that, when it's done correctly, it effects the search engines. Good search results derive from good branding. But I'm very old school. I was doing it before anyone in SEO paid much attention to reciprocation.

Frankly, I think most people in SEO are completely confused by reciprocation, the purpose, and it's effect on search, based on what they say in their own writings. But then, they start from an SEO-perspective, not a branding perspective. I see it as branding first, SEO second. Always have, always, will.

I say that with full knowledge that our clients tend to come to us with an SEO-first mentality. Many of them bring all kinds of whacky SEO concpets to the table. But we still proceed as if it is branding, and we explain that to them. If they want us to do things that we feel are improper, we turn them away.

Most of the time, they appreciate the sensibility that we bring to the table. It allows them to stop fretting about the sky falling, and other scare tactics that are rampant out here. It takes a lot of direct experience to do that with confidence.

There will alwyas be sites that reciprocate responsibly, within their realm of interest. Some will do it more than others, based on their own ambition to establish ther brand via reciprocation.

So far, I have 9 years of experience at this work, with hundreds of sites of all kinds. It is a very effective way to get where you want to go. That's why people will keep doing it, regardless of what anyone on these forums or anyone in SEO says.

You are welcome to disagree, and advise people against it. Then you have to find other ways to get links. Your client's competitors will be reciprocating with determination, during that same timeframe.

Then, later, we all get to see what works best.

pageoneresults




msg:3236366
 8:56 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

You are welcome to disagree, and advise people against it.

And I will strongly advise those who seek advice from me against the type of strategies you are promoting.

Then you have to find other ways to get links.

There are plenty of "other ways" outside of reciprocation.

Your client's competitors will be reciprocating with determination, during that same timeframe.

They may well be. And, there is a good chance we are going to see that client here in the future wondering why their results in Google are not what they used to be.

Then, later, we all get to see what works best.

We shall. And I shall hold on to my belief that these types of programs are extremely risky in the average webmaster's hands. At the end of the day, its still a link farm and will most likely get tagged as such.

I say invest your energies elsewhere and detach that /links/ directory from your site. Get rid of it now before it is too late. ;)

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with recipricol linking. I just don't believe in the "build a directory of links" methodology. I've seen it cause more harm than good. History has proven this and of course history will repeat itself. But, you might as well take advantage of it while the weakness is there. ;)

bobothecat




msg:3236377
 9:06 pm on Jan 29, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey, why not just produce content that people want to link to naturally? Is there anything wrong with that approach?

Pageoneresults hit the nail right on the head. If you're copy is good enough, there's no reason to solicit links... they'll come naturally.

These natural links may take a bit longer to acquire, but they're usually 'worth' a lot more too.

PS... I have never done reciprocal links (never will), and do just fine.

This 46 message thread spans 2 pages: 46 ( [1] 2 > >
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