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How not to ask for a link
A few easy tips based on an email I just received

 4:40 pm on Feb 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

1. Don't mention anything nice about the person's site you are writing to. Keep the focus only on your site and how important your site is.

2. Mention repeatedly how important your low ranked, unknown site is and that the person you are writing to with an established, popular site "needs" to know about it. Don't use phrases like "you may find it of interest to know about my site" or "we seem to share a common interest" - those words are too polite and might actually get a response. Be sure to use terms like "you need to", especially when corresponding with a total stranger.

3. Address your email to "whom it may concern" even if the person's name you are sending your link request/demand to is in the title of his or her site, on the home page and listed again on the contact page. Remember your site is the important one, so it doesn't matter if you show an interest in the other person's name or web site.

4. Don't offer to link to the other person's site even if it is on the same topic as your site. Just repeatedly mention how important your information is and how linking to your site will help spread the word about this important topic. Ignore the fact that the publisher you are writing to already is spreading the word on this important topic.

5. Don't use words like please or thank you. If you use polite terms like that and the person you are writing to may actually respond to your email.

6. Repeatedly namedrop every important person you know related to the topic of your site. This shows how important you and your gray bar site with no links really must be. Make it seem like you are doing the link request recipient a favor by even taking time out of your busy schedule hobnobbing with important people to send him or her unsolicited spam email.

7. Don't bother to proof read your email and be sure to include spelling and grammatical errors.



 1:30 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

How about,

8. Mentioning Google PageRank in every other sentence;
9. Asking for a link on a page where I have 2 - 3 external links to good resource site in exchange for a links from www.your-spammy-domain-name.biz/directory/?
10. Asking for a link from my site on widget when you sell/offer something completely unrelated


 1:57 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

11. Rather than referring to your recipient's site by name, call it ' . $this_site . ' so that the recipient will understand the personalised nature of your approach and exactly how good you are at programming.


 1:59 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

12 Don't just ask for a link - prescribe *exactly* how the link must appear, with the most side-splitting text you can think of - or maybe a tasteless image.

13 Specify on which page the link must appear. It's usually best to go for the index page, but - if the mood takes you - go the whole hog and ask for a link from every page.

14 When you specify the domain they must link to, don't forget to put the complete URL - domain.com/index.htm, not just domain.com

15 Please note that this Code of Practice only applies to sites which are pathetic, repetitive, and thigh-deep in flahing ads, Adsense, sponsored listing and affiliate garbage. If your site does not yet qualify, go work on it and come back when it's totally trashed.

1b If you do mention the content of the person's site at all, be careful to make it obvious that you have not actually bothered to look at it.

4b A nice alternative is to offer a reciprocal link on a very deep, unrelated-topic page on a Google-banned site. You will not, of course provide that link until after they've linked to you using your link *exactly as offered* - and written back to you to confirm it.

7b If English is not your first language, don't even consider getting your spam proofread by a an English-speaker; if your email makes them laugh, they may just forgive your arrogance and stupidity.

[edited by: Quadrille at 2:08 pm (utc) on Feb. 5, 2008]


 7:10 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

16. Repeatedly proclaim how much you are against spam, and that your e-mail is not spam.


 7:58 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

17. Point out that you have already place a link to their site. Then either:
17A. Don't mention where their link is on your site
17B. Do point out where the site is on your site (but you need not mention that it is link #792 on a page of 1376 links).

[edited by: LifeinAsia at 7:58 pm (utc) on Feb. 5, 2008]

norton j radstock

 8:40 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

18. Explain in a patronising tone that links are necessary to rank well on Google.

19. Threaten the recipient that if no return link is placed within 48 hours then you have no choice but to remove the link.


 2:51 pm on Feb 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

20. Explain that you are already linking to recipient's site in a three-way "triangle link topography", but don't identify where said link supposedly is.


 6:38 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

(17. Point out that you have already place a link to their site. Then either:)
17C. Give the URI of a Links Management page hosted somewhere else.


 7:46 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

21. Explain that adding the link will provide so much value to the site and the visitors, and in fact, visitors will visit the site more oftenly and spend more time in the site, all because of the external link, what a value!


 8:06 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

22. Send reminder emails, including a scary warning that the useless reciprocal link WILL BE DELETED if the requested link is not added within X days.

23. Outsource your link development to an SEO firm that uses a single domain for all the reciprocal links they create on behalf of their clients.


 9:34 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

[17. Point out that you have already place a link to their site. Then either:]
17D. Give an URI of a link page which is either
  • blocked in robots.txt
  • blocked with robot meta tags
  • uses rel="nofollow" on outbound links
  • contains outbound javascript links
  • has outbound links through a CGI script
  • has no incomming links from other pages from your site.
17E. Combining features of 17D on one link page is recommended, just to be sure that your link page meets the requirements of an industry standard professional link page.

17F Seed your link page with info from a professional source, DMOZ is preferred. This will show that you invested much time in hand picking the links relevant to your industry.

24. Add an unsubscribe option at the bottom of your link request. Mention that people have to reply to the request by email with "REMOVE" in the subject line. With this option you will be able to identify the real email address of your link partner, rather than a possible catch all where your link request was sent to. This is helpful to maintain your database of current working email addresses of link partners.

25 If you don't have a real email address, try postmaster, sales, info, webmaster or use the address provided in the whois listing. If nothing else helps, try email address abuse. On that email address, SPAM filters are often switched off by default and your request will have a higher chance of being read by a human.

26. Mention that your linking technology was discussed and approved in professional webmaster communities. Mentioning WebmasterWorld is recommended as it is the world known best unbiased source of recommended link request practices.

26B. Provide a link to this thread in your link request, so that your potential link partner can verify your claims.

27. Start your email with I found your site on SUBJECT, where SUBJECT is the exact snippet present in the DMOZ directory for that site. DMOZ editors are known to write accurate short descriptions of sites and it frees you from the obligation to actually visit the site and create your own description.


 10:24 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

28. If you don't get any response, call the site in question and ask for "sales". Salespeople will usually give a truly unique reaction to a call that doesn't have anything to do with selling stuff.


 10:27 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

29. Do not use simple domains which could create brand, rather put a lot of keywords with dashes in your domain - that creates awareness and on topic links. Webmasters are happy to link out to self-explaining domains like

30. Do not mail to related sites. Google does not like heavy interlinking, so links from other car pages could be recognized as spam and your domain kicked from the index. Only mail total irrelevant sites that you need to exchange links.


 1:20 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

31.: Don't bother with English if you can't speak it, after all there are an abundant number of tools on the web for the recipient to auto-translate your message

0.: Offer link exchanges with the reciprocal link added to a well known FFA site instead of your own. Your efforts in seeking out such directories/link exchange programs is usually more than welcome by the recipient.


 2:01 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

32: Boast about your site as an invaluable partner to link to, only to find out most of your pages are undeveloped with "coming soon" messages.


 2:09 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

33. Demand they visit your site

34. Claim link exchange is the only way to improve search engine ranking.


 2:58 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

35. Webmasters admire persistence. If at first you don't succeed, try - try again! Send the same email over and over and over until you get a response. At least once a week should do it.

[edited by: MamaDawg at 2:59 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2008]


 4:13 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

36) Bombard people with repeated emails titled "Get a quality PR3 link".

Isn't that an oxymoron?

[edited by: annej at 4:40 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2008]


 4:16 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

37. It is vital that you show no understanding of goals and objectives of the web site you are seeking to link with. Do not waste time putting your request for a link in any kind of context that relates to the audience the webmaster is seeking to serve.


 5:19 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

38. Not only does the exchange mututally help our PageRank and search listings, but the opportunity for direct traffic via link clicks is huge!



 5:56 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

39. Make sure that you have an autoresponder set up so that if the remote possibility that the webmaster actually responds, he will be really p*&ccd off that they have to go back to their inbox again within a nano second to delete more of your spam cr@p.


 6:37 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

40. When you have the nerve to pick up the phone and I politely decline your "partnership" offer, be sure to leave me with a few choice words and slam the receiver in my ear, confirming why I didn't want to have anything to do with you in the first place, proving that people and their sites resemble one another.


 7:18 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Address a webmaster with a clearly female name as Mr., and if you can't determine if a webmaster is male or female, be sure to address your email to Dear Sirs.


 8:37 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

41. Make sure not to use your own email address from the domain you are trying to attract links to, but use generic email provider (@hotmail or @gmail, AOL is preferred) .

42. Oh and definitely make sure that the page you are proposing to the webmaster to link to contains at least 3 AdSense Blocks and 4-5 Flashing Affiliate Banners(the more the merrier! And preferably the ones that are 2 tones in color that say CONGRATULATIONS! YOU WON a ....)


 9:38 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Address a webmaster with a clearly female name as Mr., and if you can't determine if a webmaster is male or female, be sure to address your email to Dear Sirs.

ohhhhhhh I hate that!

(numbernextone). Write your message in all CAPS (or Greek, since I obviously know Greek), with lots of pictures that will be blocked by spam filters.


Send the same message 5 or 6 times in a 10-minute period, each one on behalf of a different (but equally unrelated) site, but from the same e-mail address. Surely the recipient will feel so popular and loved that they will link back to all of them!


 10:46 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

Always contact sites that feature high in search results and tell them that "they don't appear to be showing in the search results"


 11:14 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

"Always contact sites that feature high in search results "

I love that one - "I just found your site"

[well, sure, there it was on the first page of the serps. That's why you want the link!]

... and then "you need this link exchange because your site can't be found on Google!"



 10:33 am on Feb 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

43. Request a link for your site whose sole content is an animated "Under Construction" banner. [Yes, I've gotten this.]

44. Write to a site whose flagship article is "How to NOT request reciprocal links", and violate every single suggestion listed in that article.

45. Write to the email address listed in the WHOIS domain record rather than writing from the site. After all, the site's contact page might explain exactly how to get a link from that site, or might even say in no uncertain terms not to ask for a link, and you should avoid listening to the webmaster you're begging a link from at all costs.

46. Better yet, CALL the number listed in the WHOIS record. Even though the site in question explicitly says that all link requests go straight to the trash, clearly you're too busy and important to have bothered visiting the site to see that warning on the Contact page.

47. Title your **very first** message you send something ridiculous like "Reciprocal link not found."

48. Write to sites that rank right at the top of the serps for competitive money terms and that clearly get tons of traffic and obviously make the kind of money you could only dream about, and:

(a) Proceed to lecture them on what they need to do to rank well.
(b) Fantasize about how interested they will be in linking back to your ugly-ass, zero-content, completely unrelated site that gets absolutely no traffic.
(c) Imagine how scared they will feel when you sternly warn that you will remove the link to them (gasp!) from your ugly-ass, zero-content, completely unrelated site that absolutely gets no traffic unless they link back right away.

49. Write to the address you found on the Contact page (the same page that says in screaming bold red letters not to write about link exchanges), where the address is something like WE-DO-NOT-TRADE-LINKS@example.com. To make your request extra special, add a note that says something like, "Just to let you know, this is not an automated request, it is made by a real person (me!) who visited your site personally." Make them spend a lot of time pondering whether you're lying when you said you visited the site, or whether you were too stupid to understand what you saw there.


 10:44 am on Feb 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

50) Do not include in your message the name or url to your website! If the recipient is smart enough, he will figure it all out through telepathy!
(amazing how many of those I get)

[Edit: renumbered]

[edited by: Hobbs at 10:45 am (utc) on Feb. 10, 2008]

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43 ( [1] 2 > >
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