I have a question about link building strategy our team dreamed up the other day. We want to know if the following is a good idea or not?
A company I work with is currently in the process of developing a new hosted software service. The way it works is website owners will sign up for our product (an ecommerce tool), embed some code into their website, and they can then use our service to list their products for sale.
There will be different account types, a free account and various paid accounts.
The free account will be limited in features, and if site owners want to use the software on their page it will output a small link in the footer with something similar to the following "[a]shopping cart software[/a] powered by ABC Company". So they will be forced to include a link back to our site. Removing the link will disable the software.
Here's why we're doing this:
1. We hope free users won't like the idea of linking back to our site and promoting our software, so they'll upgrade to a paid version so they can remove it. So it's an incentive to upgrade. We think it's fair to have the link promoting our service as we are offering the service free of charge.
This lead us to thinking up the following...
2. This could be an excellent opportunity to get tons of inbound links for targeted keywords, and really improve our SEO rankings. We think it's very likely we'll have 100+ free users sign up a month when we first launch.
My question is, is this a good strategy for generating inbound links? Or can this actually penalize our site as the inbound link could be on 100+ new sites each month on every page of those sites. For example, if a customer is listing 500 products for sale with with his free shopping cart account that could be 500 inbound links from just one site. If you multiply that by 100 sites that could be 50,000 links a month on 100 websites. So is this considered inbound link spam?
If it's not a good idea we would obviously place a "no-follow" in the link, as having the link still gives free users an incentive to upgrade to a paid account.
One other thing, keep in mind that we can change, every other day, the link's keyword and the page it links to when the software is first set up. So we could target 10-20 different keywords a month across 100 sites e.g.:
"[a]shopping cart software[/a] powered by ABC Company".
"[a]ecommerce software[/a] powered by ABC Company".
"[a]online shopping cart[/a] powered by ABC Company".
So I need an SEO experts advice on this. Is this a good idea or bad idea?