So here are five things I hate about linking, and I have more if you want them:
1). The fake sincerity of your bulk link request. I don’t mind a genuine attempt by a real person to request a link from me/my site. And I’m pretty much used to the generic “Dear Webmaster” approach. Delete. But the emails that blatantly lie to try and fool me make me laugh out loud. They usually start out “I was just looking at your site”. No you weren’t. And don’t tell me a link from your will “boost my rankings”, because it wont. And stop apologizing to me in the email you just sent while at the same time asking me to forward it to the “proper person”. What am I your personal messenger now?
2). Your “linking policy”. Linking policy? I don’t need no stinking linking policy. And you don’t either. Get over yourself. Once upon a time there was site devoted to stupid linking policies.
3). Your unsolicited RFPs that in all seriousness include statements like “…vendor will obtain 200 new links from sites with PageRank no lower than 4.” Yes, and any RFP with that as a condition was created by a person with an SEO I.Q. no higher than 5. We aren’t vendors. We are people, and we don’t send link requests to PageRanks, we send them to…people.
4). Your anchor text demands. Please stop telling me how to link to your site. If I link to your site, I will link to it in any way I darn well please. And in thirteen+ years of requesting links for hundreds of clients I have never once requested specific anchor text. Sometimes an inbound link profile can be so perfect that it becomes imperfect. Heavy duty algo-chasers know what I mean.
5). Your .edu link lust. Please stop the .edu link spam. Right now there are thousands of college professors baffled as to why their forums and blogs host 500,000 Viagra posts. And the form link injection technique is tired, as is the backlink you got for that “employment opportunity” posting on the college’s career services site.
There are many smart and honest people working very hard to help others learn the craft of link building and publicity. Sadly, they are outnumbered by thousands of human linkbots eager to make their weekly “link quota”.
What do you hate about linking? Please share your pet peeves in the comments below.
Eric Ward has been in the link building and content publicity game since 1994, providing services ranking from linking strategy to a monthly private newsletters on linking for subscribers. The Link Week column appears on Mondays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.