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Link Development Forum

This 67 message thread spans 3 pages: 67 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
How To Ask For A Link (Email)

 12:13 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi, I was wondering how to go about asking a ite to link to me. It seems that emailing sites can be considered spam so i am wondering if it can be done without getting in any trouble.

I am not talking about mass mailing, but sending 10 or 20 emails with my "pitch" as to why they should place my link...

These are just short personal emails like:

" Hi **** I found your "URL" interesting and thought perhaps I could convince you to place my link on it.

I have a small resource site about blah blah blah loaded with great content

Here are my ideas blah blah blah

Please let me know if these ideas interest you and thanks for your time...

Does anyone see anything wrong with this? Is this spam and can it get me in trouble in anyway?

Thanks for the help!



 12:27 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I keep link requests very short and susinct. I try to show relevancy such as "my aviation site attracts student pilots and would be useful to your site which sells supplies to pilots".

If I really want the link badly, I will go ahead and link to the target site before asking for a link back. Many times if I link first I will get the reciprocal link back.

Keep your email sincere, short, highly relevant and personalize it a touch. Yes this takes a touch more time but it works. Also if a site publishes a link request form, always use it since an email such as info@domain.com might go to the wrong person or department.


 12:30 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

So you feel doing this is safe and not spammy and should not get a site in any trouble?

What is a good headline or subject line to use?



 12:34 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

and thought perhaps I could convince you to place my link on it.


Please let me know if these ideas interest you and thanks for your time...


Do not convince them. Ask them. Specifically. *would you link to my site www.mysite.com from your page www.yoursite.com/yourpage*.

Don't ask if the ideas interest them. Who cares? You want a link, not a conversation. That line in your email is way to distracting. The only thing they should see in the email is a request for a link - not a request if they found your content interesting.

Two more things, both important, one you touched on one you didn't. First, the email has to be addressed to someone by name. First name if possible. "Dr." or "Professor" if that's what they are. I've been corrected in the past by the recipient, but never in a negative way - always something like 'oh, please just call me Jim'.

But what you're really missing is WHY. Why is someone going to give you a link? And don't even begin to answer anything about search engines, or ranking, or even why it's good for YOU (which is about all I'm getting out of your original email). You need to specifically and clearly specify what the benefit is to THEM. Why are they going to link to you? Answer that in one sentence. I think without that, you're unlikely to get many links. Why would they link to you?


 12:36 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

And here are some example 'why's'.

I've got data your visitors may find interesting.

Your visitors can download this tool from my site for free.

You've got a busted link on that page. But good news! My site does the same thing and isn't dead, so while you're fixing it, you can just replace it with my site.

Your visitors will find this site interesting.

Here's a unique coupon code, your visitors can use it and get free shipping.


 12:47 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Wheel,

and you feel it is safe to email and ask sites for a link in this way? Can they report your site for spam or to Google and get your site penalized at all?

Thanks for the help,


 12:48 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

So you feel doing this is safe and not spammy and should not get a site in any trouble?

Tough one and no perfect answer. In my opinion, unsolicited commercial email is spam (so yes, I spam). But it's a grey area. If you move from unsolicited commercial email to BULK unsolicited commercial email you will have crossed the line in everyone's opinion. If it's not bulk, generally speaking it's less of a problem.

It's a good point though. I've never had anyone complain about doing it this way. But all of the emails have to be very personalized and it's obvious exactly who it's for, who it's from, and why. In fact, whenever I can I will sometimes drop in a sentence or two about their site - something unique that shows I know the subject matter and that I read their site. So it's an email from me personally, to them personally, helping them out, and not a commercial email at all really.

e.g. Hi Tshirtdeal. I read your article on the importance of high quality material in tshirts at www.yoursite.com/highquality.html. It's bang on - I'm in the cotton industry myself and couldn't agree more (and as a consumer I also agree, since I wear a lot of T's and like the heavier cotton :) ).

I have an article on my site about how cotton plants are turned into that high quality fabric that I think your readers would find interesting. It also acts as background reading and confirmation of your article. Would you consider giving me a link from your article, to my page at www.some-othersite.com/myarticle?

Thanks for your time - and good luck with the Tshirts!


See? I don't think that's really spam. If you approach this as "I can haz links? -LOLlinkscat" then you are going to have more problems I think.


 12:54 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the help Wheel :)


 12:58 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wheel has a good point. Don't convince. Ask politely. Forget about all of the crap you read on the web about linking and just contact the other webmaster in a cordial way - like you would want to be contacted.


 1:11 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Relevancy is key. Always try and personalize the e-mail to their site.

Subject is also important, as you can strike out before the webmaster even reads your e-mail if your subject doesnt achieve an "open".


 3:17 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

The link requests I grant usually look like this...

Hi Ken
My name is ...... and I/we have a business that does (something related to the topic of my site).

I/we have a a website at: (url)

I'd like to ask you to give the website a look and link to it from your site.

Their real name
Business name
Business address
Business phone
Business email*

[*Note: Link requests that come from Gmail, Hotmail, etc addresses are spam as far as I'm concerned.

If you want a link to example.com and your email address is ANYTHING other than you@example.com, it's spam in my book]


 3:28 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

What do you think a good "non spammy" subject line is?



 3:31 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

What do you think a good "non spammy" subject line is?

Non-spammy subject line: Link request

That's the subject of the email, why not just say so. Pretty much anything else is spammy in my mind.


 3:49 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Keep in mind you also might receive some spammy looking requests from legitimate domains that are highly relevant to your site - its just that the emails are coming from newbie webmasters or ignorant webmasters.

I am not so quick to click delete. I look at the domain first and if I see potential I will first get the link and then explain to the webmaster how to go about making his link request look less spammy.

Remember everyone is new at this when they first begin.


 4:21 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I don't mind people sending me requests, it is few and far between that a good one pops up, but for the most past the less then 10 a day I may get does not bother, to me if you are a webmaster you should be fine with other webmasters emailing you for a legitimate partnership of some kind... If one catches my attention I read and reply, if not I just delete...no biggy to me...

I have been linking for years, just trying to refine my approace since my skills came from the early linking days....


 4:27 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have cut down on the spammy emails by not publishing email addresses. Instead I publish a link request form with captcha. It keeps the link requests more relevant and the captcha practically eliminates all spam.


 5:22 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

. It keeps the link requests more relevant and the captcha practically eliminates all spam.

By contrast, I almost always approach sites that don't have any sort of linking policy. So I wouldn't normally start off with 'link request' as the subject line.

But there's more than one way to do this.


 5:38 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I didnt say I use "link request" in the subject line. I was referring to how I cut down on incoming spammy requests to my site.


 11:09 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I despise when webmasters try to tell me the exact link phrase to use to their various pages. And then go on to say they will add a link back to my site once I've added links to their site.

Like others said, if the message is not real and very personalized, I mark it spam. 95% of the requests I get are obviously sent in bulk as there is not even any relevance to my site.

Those that take the time to give a good reason will often at least get my interest enough to visit their site for evaluation.

This may just be me, but my sites do not really support a section for adding links to random sites like most webmasters are requesting. If I don't have a links section, don't ask me for a link. It is that simple. I'm not going to build a link section just for your request.

Now if I run a blog, and you have some article of interest you just wrote, I may reference it if I find it is useful to my visitors. But don't ask for a link. Simply offer me some unique useful information that I may want to share.


 11:46 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have forgotten when I last sent an email asking for a link back / exchange.

I do however receive numerous emails for link exchange. I consider them spam, and just delete them, whatever the domain. Though the frequency of these emails are dropping year by year - with the peak in 2005-06.

I feel link exchange days are gone. Now I don't waste my time looking for potential "link exchange" sites. I spend that time on building my sites with quality content, other stuff etc.

Moreover the success rate was bad too - 5% of the webmasters I sent an email actually gave a link.

It was frustrating as well as time wasting.

.... so bye bye link exchange!


 12:27 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

DS, there's a world of difference between asking for a link, and a link exchange. I've never asked for a link exchange and when i ask for a link, I never offer a link back. If the motivation for someone to link to you is that they get a link, it's not a link I want. If you read above, you'll see that there are other reasons why I ask people to give me a link (and it's never for mutual SEO benefit).

And despite not offering a link exchange, my initial success rate was probably 1 in 10 or so. then it went to 1 in 5. Nowadays, depending on what I'm doing I'll get at least one in 5, and in some of the link building I do it's pretty much 100%. The more you target the end website the better your chances.

I find my success rate gets closer to 100% when I do things like pick the site I want a link from first - then decide what I need to do to get a link. for example, I had a list of 10 blogs that I wanted a link from. I visited all 10 and determined a way I could approach them for a link. I eventually contacted 3 of them with my link request and one of them gave me a link. Volume goes way down, but quality and success rate goes way up.

Besides, what's wrong with 5% success rate? If you want 20 links, contact 400 people. it's work, but now you've got 20 links more than the next site. Over time this adds up.


 12:41 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Its not spammy if you personally target sites, by visiting them first, I really hate those mass mailed link requests which I always ignore


 1:25 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd say 5% is a very high success rate. Most folks probably see < 1% success.


 1:40 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I link if I think mutual linking is of value to both sites.
I then email saying that I have linked as part of my sites policy of providing a comprehensive list of widget related sites in our geographical region. I say thaat it isn't dependent on a return link but one would be appreciated. Usually works.


 2:11 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have found it a very good idea to always add their link to my site be an article or on my resource page first before I send them an email. I get 10-20 link request a day and most say "add me I will add you" this is an instant delete.
If your site is worthy and you add my link to your site send me an email telling me were it is I will link back to your site using either the suggested anchor text or make up my own.

People now understand the importance of links it is a no brainer and will be happy to help promote your site if their site is as well promoted first on a quality site with no tricks.


 3:23 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

My site is a resource in a particular area, with many articles and a few links pages with resources that I think will interest my visitors. The link requests I get mostly disqualify themselves in one or both of two ways: they ask for a link exchange and try to make it sound like they are doing me a favor; they ask for a link and show they haven't thought about the relationship of their site's content to mine.

I WILL link to sites that I think provide resources of interest to my visitors and not available elsewhere--but very few link requests make a case for their site in those terms....


 3:33 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have had great success writing individual link request emails for each website i'd like to link to me. No copy and paste jobs at all, completely fresh emails from each individual site. The amount of responses really jumped up after I changed the subject from "Reciprocal Link Request" to "<TARGET COMPANY NAME> Partnership Inquiry" or something along those lines. I found that when you put the title of the company you're trying to contact in the subject line, they at least tend to give it a second look and that is sometimes all you need to get their interest.


 4:07 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I consider all requests I get like this to my personal sites as spam and report them as such via SpamCop.

I have a software directory site and someone contacting me about listing their software on the site would, of course, not be considered spam.


 4:44 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I get link requests all the time, and I simply ignore most of them. If they get through my spam filter, I usually report them to my anti-spam provider as spam. Why? Because at least 90 percent (probably more) or irrelevant to my site's content and are obviously driven by SEO considerations. They're worthless requests from people who own junk sites and just finished reading a 1999 edition of SEO FOR COMPLETE IDIOTS.

Boilerplate text is always a dead giveaway: "I think you have a great site, and I'd like to propose a link exchange with my PR3 site about hotel bookings in Vietnam." (Never mind that the recipient of the link request is operating a Web site about bakeries in New York or Bible schools in Widgetville.)

Occasionally I'll get a legitimate e-mail from a site that really might be of interest to my readers, and I'll link to that site. The legitimate requests stand out from the boilerplate garbage because they're hand-typed e-mails from real human beings who actually thought about my site (and its relevance to theirs) before suggesting that I might want to consider linking to them.


 4:51 pm on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've only sent a link request twice in 8 years. I don't know if that tells of my lack of link-development activity or what. Regardless, both times it was to sites that I personally found interesting and useful.

The first site was an entertainment site which I had been visiting for years, and linking to from my own site. I finally emailed the site owner (this is a relatively major film site), and asked him for a link. It was a short and simple email. Next thing I know he emails back to let me know that he has linked to my site. Now my link is next to sites of big studios and such. Not to bad.

The second site was when I simply linked to someone else, not even for a link-back. The site I linked to has much lower traffic than mine, but had one particular page that I really liked. Once I had linked to her site I simply emailed her with the following subject line "You Are Famous!". The email was just letting her know that I had linked to her blog page. Soon after that I received a link-back, which I wasn't even expecting.

I know this doesn't help much, but I thought it would add another dimension to this thread.

This 67 message thread spans 3 pages: 67 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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