A pox on reciprocal link requests (with free clues)

Ash Nallawalla

21 March 2008

SEO

Some people need to buy a clue or two. I get a couple of link requests most days. I don’t even open them but I took a look at today’s example:

I have visited your site and I think that the content could be of interest to our web site visitors.
If you feel that you would be interested in exchanging links please go to [url], here you will be able to enter your websites details into the appropiate category.

Please ensure that the reciprocal URL that is entered is working properly, otherwise the program will decline the exchange.

Our details are as follows:

Site URL: [url]
Site Title: [snip]
Site Description: [snip]

.. or use this HTML:

[snip]

If you have any other cross-promotion ideas, please let me know.

Please note that the link on our website can take upto 72 hours to be visable, due to the updating of the system.

Best regards,

Dear clueless Indian link monkey,

If you took the trouble to tell me which of my 65 websites you are referring to, you might have a chance of filling your day’s quota of links. How do I know you are from India? Apart from the IP address originating in India, you used the unique Indian English word “upto”. The rest of the world knows it as two words “up to”. Look it up in a dictionary.

The second free clue is that I have no websites concerning your client’s topic. Your boss seems to conduct “linking campaigns” for clients based on quantity, not quality. However, my giving your client a link from an off-topic page will do nothing for either of us and will lessen the relevance of my page for its topic. Your boss probably knows this, but business is business, right?

The third free clue is that not all websites have a free-form “links” page where they can conveniently drop your HTML. Many of my sites use Joomla and its built-in links component gives indirect links that don’t help SEO.

The fourth free clue is that the link anchor text needs to be varied, so giving others the HTML and anchor text will give your client a few identically worded links. This won’t help the client.

The last free clue is that your spellings suck. Many people won’t notice it, but the ones who do will be less inclined to play.

Ash Nallawalla

Search strategist experienced in large, complex websites. SEO consultant.

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